Com­pre­hen­sive mo­tor­sport in­sur­ance prod­ucts to keep you on track;

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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.

Low­don (l) and Booth

Nick Tandy picks up the John Ni­col Tro­phy

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