Precision is a word synonymous with the name of Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The company proved that both on and off the track in the recent move to Grove and double success at this year’s Australian Grand Prix.
The team’s move from Didcot, where they were based from 1983, was a feat which required extensive planing and massive investment. Media manager Jane Gorard sad “Anderson Consulting handled the logistics of the move and did a superb job. There were no problems and we only lost two days of actual engineering work.”
The move was necessary because the company became too big for the 6.5 acre site. Since 1983 the workforce has doubled. Williams now employs around 234 people and the 28 acre site at Grove offers plenty of room for expansion.
“The team win together,” said Mrs Gorard. “We are a family and though there are no regrets about moving to Grove, the team has fond memories of Didcot. During our time there we won seven constructor championships and five driver championships.
“The new building complements our needs with a central area where the car is built and engineering departments. Ninety per cent of the Rothmans Williams Renault car is built by us, with the exception of the engine which is built and supplied by Renault.
“The move will be complete when the wind tunnel, reportedly the most accurate half scale tunnel in private ownership anywhere in the world, is brought from Didcot. Weighing 165 tons, the tunnel will be transported in convoy in three sections while the A34 between Marcham, Milton and Chilton is closed in the early hours of April 28,
The team is working closely with the local police and authorities to ensure that the actual move causes as little disruption as possible. Police Inspector David Wood of Witney Traffic Department said “The move will take place between 1.15 am and 5 am on Sunday and the road will be re-opened as soon as the convoy has passed.”
The arrival of the tunnel is not expected to adversely affect the local community in any way and with Williams in permanent residence Grove is certain to find a place on the international map. “We are becoming known in many circles as the Grove Williams team,” said Mrs Gorad. “We hope to build a good relationship with the community. We have had a good response locally already and it was lovely to see the notice of congratulations pinned onto the Williams sign after our success in Australia.”
3/4/96 – Wantage & Grove Review