Saturday, 18 June 2011

National Motorsport Week Spreads Across the Country



Teams, venues, championships and businesses right across the United Kingdom are embracing the re-energised National Motorsport Week (25 June-3 July) with a raft of different initiatives and activities.

The latest companies to support the initiative are:
M-Sport
Prodrive
Silverstone
Croft
Knockhill
Mercedes-Benz World
Dunlop
Daytona

Following last week’s announcement that all eight UK-based Formula One teams would be opening their doors to the public during National Motorsport Week, both of the UK’s two FIA World Rally Championship operations, M-Sport (Cockermouth) and Prodrive (Banbury), confirmed that they would also be offering the opportunity to visit their facilities. 

On Monday, June 27, M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE will be inviting the public to attend an Open Day at M-Sport’s headquarters at Dovenby Hall, Cockermouth. Visitors to the state-of-the-art technical facilities will have the chance to see the M-Sport collection of historic Ford cars driven by the likes of rally stars such as Colin McRae, Jari-Matti Latvala, Francois Delecour and Malcolm Wilson, have a photo taken in a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car, try the Ford Focus RS WRC rally simulator where the fastest time of the day will win a team jacket signed by the BP Ford Abu Dhabi drivers and visit M-Sport’s merchandise shop to purchase gifts for friends and family at rates specially discounted for National Motorsport Week.
Wilson said: “Each year motorsport contributes six billion pounds to the British economy and employs over 40,000 skilled people throughout the country – as an industry and a sport, it is one of the country’s proudest and enduring success stories.  I’m an MIA board member and when I heard that they and the MSA were supporting this year’s National Motorsport Week, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to ensure M-Sport’s involvement in this fantastic initiative. We are always keen to raise the awareness of rallying - and motorsport as a whole - as it is a genuine UK success story to be proud of. The team are looking forward to opening our doors to the public and I look forward to meeting everyone personally on the day.”

Tours to the M-Sport facilities (photo above) will be by prior booking by email application to enquiries@m-sport.co.uk and subject to a £10 per head charge, of which £5 will be donated to the MIA’s Motorsport Foundation.

A select number of tours to visit the MINI WRC headquarters at Prodrive in Banbury will also be available to win on the Go Motorsport website at www.gomotorsport.net.

Alongside the opportunity to see the homes of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC and MINI WRC, a number of other initiatives are being staged by teams, championships, motor clubs and venues during National Motorsport Week.

Backed by the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the UK’s governing body of motorsport, and the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), National Motorsport Week exists both to highlight the UK’s on-going world-leading role in all areas of international motor sport as well as to showcase the wide range of opportunities open to enthusiasts at grass roots level throughout the country. 

Some of the UK’s most iconic motor sport venues will also be taking advantage of National Motorsport Week to stage their own special events aimed at widening awareness and appeal. Silverstone, the home of the Santander Formula 1 British Grand Prix, will be giving the public a chance to bicycle around the full GP circuit and to see its state-of-the-art new Wing pit and paddock complex on the evening of Saturday 25 June. Entrance is free though a donation to the Help for Heroes charity is requested. This special cycle ride is being co-hosted by the MG Car Club, which is extending hospitality to cyclists and their families that evening at the track, with a party and children’s funfair. 

Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands is also actively participating in National Motorsport Week with a free live screening of the Formula One European Grand Prix from Valencia plus a series of other motor sport events during the promotional period.

On Friday 1 July, members of the public can sample a high-speed passenger lap at Croft Circuit in a Caterham around the challenging 2.1 miles of the North Yorkshire circuit absolutely free! On a first come, first served basis for anyone over the age of 14, the circuit will be giving away passenger rides with its experienced race instructors.

The previous day, Thursday June 30, Dunlop will be opening the doors to Tyre Fort in Erdington, Birmingham for public tours and a rare opportunity to see inside the operation that researches, designs and produces competition tyres for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Moto 2, Le Mans 24 Hours, Australian V8s plus a range of other international race and rally series. Dunlop will support tyre tours at its headquarters with a field tour around their BTCC tyre fitting operation in the BTCC paddock at the following round held at Snetterton in Norfolk.

The day will include a presentation on motorsport tyre production and the compounds which help teams and individuals to gain a competitive advantage. Café Dunlop will be there to offer refreshments to visitors whilst they check out a BTCC car and FTR Moto 2 replica bike. 

Dunlop Brand Manager, Andy Marfleet said: “National Motorsport Week is a great opportunity for driving and racing enthusiasts to gain greater knowledge of the motor sport industry. Dunlop are offering people the opportunity to gain an insight into the role of tyres within motor sport. With Dunlop being involved in events like BTCC, Le Mans 24 Hours, Moto 2 and Isle of Man TT we are well positioned to talk tyre technology with members of the public and explain our race to road philosophy,” concluded Marfleet.
Numbers are limited and those interested in attending any of Dunlop’s activities should contact Dunlop’s Joseph Plummer at joseph_plummer@dunloptyres.co.uk
 
Further north at Knockhill in Scotland spectators displaying a Go Motorsport logo can get free access to circuit’s race day activities on 2 July. The weekend’s Scottish Championship Car Racing meeting is organised by the SMRC with 18 races from Scottish Formula Ford, Legends, Mini Copper, Sports & Saloon and Classic Sports & Saloon Championships. Those producing a Go Motorsport logo also can enjoy free passenger track rides during the lunch-break of the Hot Hatch Day on 26 June (subject to availability) in one of the circuit’s race prepared SEAT Cupra track cars driven by professional ARDS instructors.
 
The UK’s premier kart venue operator, Daytona Motorsport, also has fully embraced the revitalised National Motorsport Week with an exciting opportunity for two of its ‘Arrive & Drive’ karters to win a free entry to a future round of the 2011 Vodafone DMAX Championship.
 
Entry to the competition is simple: during National Motorsport Week the fastest karter at both Daytona Sandown Park and Daytona Milton Keynes will automatically win a prize entry.
 
Daytona Vodafone DMAX Series Director Jim Graham commented: “We are delighted to support National Motorsport Week. It is a great initiative and if all race teams, venues, drivers and news outlets jump on board we can really build a week to celebrate motor sport. I know a lot of the F1 teams are on board as are the circuits, so from a karting perspective we are very pleased to be able to offer this competition.” 
 
Colin Hilton, Chief Executive, MSA, said: “It is really encouraging to see that the whole sport is getting together behind National Motorsport Week, from F1 and WRC teams, to venues, businesses and clubs. We want to open up the world of motorsport to as many people as possible and show them just how easy it is to get involved.”
Motorsport & the UK
Our Competitors
  • Britain has produced more F1 World Champions than any other nation with ten title winners; Brazil and Finland are next up with three each.
  • Two of the last three F1 World Champions are British – Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
  • More British drivers (31) have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans than those representing any other nation, including France (26).  
  • Guernseyman Andy Priaulx MBE is the only driver to have won three World Touring Car Championship titles.
  • The reigning IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion is Dario Franchitti from Scotland.
  • UK karters currently hold six of the 19 International karting titles awarded by the CIK-FIA.
  • The UK is one of only two countries to host rounds of all four major FIA World
  • Championships: FIA Formula 1 World Championship, FIA World Rally Championship, FIA GT1 World Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship.
  • There are more than 32,000 MSA Competition Licence holders in the UK.
  • The UK hosts almost 5,000 MSA sanctioned motor sport events every year including: autocross, autotest, circuit racing, cross-country, drag racing, hillclimbing, karting, rallycross, rallying, sprinting, time attack and trials. 

Our Industry
  • British-based constructors have won no fewer than 34 F1 Constructors’
  • Championship well ahead of Italian (16) and French (3) based teams.
  • Eight of the 12 current F1 teams are based in the UK.
  • Two of the three premier World Rally Championship teams are based in the UK.
  • The FIA World Touring Car Championship winning team is based in the UK.
  • UK companies dominate the design and manufacture of components used in the majority of the world’s competition categories.
  • More than 4,000 UK companies are involved in the technology driven world of UK Motorsport and Performance Engineering Industry with an annual turn-over of £6 billion – if which £3.6 billion exported.
  • These innovative businesses invest more than 30 per cent of their sales into R&D when the UK pharmaceutical industry invests 15 per cent. 
  • Motorsport supports nearly 40,000 full and part-time jobs of which 25,000 are qualified engineers.