Manor enters LMP2 with ex-f1 crew JONNY ADAM SAMPLES A CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE
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Manor Motorsport will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship this year with a new project headed up by ex-formula 1 men John Booth and Graeme Lowdon.
Manor has registered a single Oreca-nissan 05 into the LMP2 class for the full WEC schedule, including the Le Mans 24 Hours. The team has signed Tor Graves as its first driver.
Booth established the Manor team 27 years ago and most recently masterminded its entry into F1 in 2010, initially as Virgin Racing before the Marussia title was adopted from 2012 until 2015.
Booth and Lowdon split from the F1 team at the end of last season following a difference of opinion with new owner Stephen Fitzpatrick.
“We are delighted to be joining the WEC,” said Booth. “It is a fantastic series and visits iconic tracks around the world. The level of competition is very high and we are really looking forward to racing again.
“The LMP2 class is specifically designed for teams independent of manufacturers, which places the focus firmly on how the team performs. I can’t wait to see the car running now.”
Lowdon added: “There is a real buzz within the team at the moment and we have enjoyed great support over the last few months. We all have a great passion for motorsport and we are keen to share that.”
Iam very proud to say that I knew John Nicol. Having done some work experience at Brands Hatch as a young teenager, he was one of the men it was impossible not to meet, and someone it was impossible not to be impressed by.
Nicol was a chief executive of the British Racing and Sports Car Club and also operated the Brands Hatch Racing Club, which was devised by circuit supremo John Webb to promote the interests of the circuit through operating its own meetings – a bit like the Motorsport Vision Racing division which does the same thing for the Brands Hatch group of circuits now.
I was equally delighted to see the latest recipient, Le Mans winner Nick Tandy, pick up the John Nicol Trophy at the BRSCC’S annual awards bash in Stratford-upon-avon on Saturday night.
The accolade is another to contribute to Tandy’s impressive collection of silverware that he has earned over the last few seasons.
It was also announced by the BRSCC chairman Bernard Cottrell on Saturday night that Tandy had accepted the offer of becoming an honourary vice president of the club. I can’t think of anyone more suitable for the job. Not only does Nick have a top-flight career for Porsche that has taken him to the very pinnacle of the sport with that victory at Le Mans, he also has a keen eye on the younger generation through his role heading up the JTR MSA Formula team.
There’s not a lot that escapes his attention on the nursery slopes. He knows the drivers, understands how the sport works, knows what is required to run a title-winning team and also has the knowledge that he has gained from years behind the wheel – all the way back to racing in Ministox when he was a much younger man.
And the humility that he showed when he stepped on to the stage on Saturday night was also impressive. Tandy was quick to pay tribute to all of the champions who had been highlighted earlier in the evening when they were picking up their own silverware. Tandy seemed genuinely impressed by the other talents in the room.
All of those factors combine to mean he is perfectly placed to have a useful input into shaping the future of the sport through his new role with the British Racing and Sports Car Club. He is desperate to give something back to the sport that has given him almost everything he has in life so far. It is a great match and a mark of the man that he was so eager to step up to the plate when Cottrell asked him.