Go Motorsport, the UK's first ever centrally co-ordinated marketing campaign to encourage new people into motor sport, is launched on Wednesday 11 June by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.
The high-profile initiative is designed to stimulate greater interest in the sport and show a wider public audience - beyond simply motor racing enthusiasts - what a great sport it is and how easy it can be to become involved at all levels whether as a competitor, spectator, official or trackside marshal.
The Motor Sports Association, the governing body of motor sport in the UK, is funding the £250,000 project, but the true value of the programme is likely to be in the millions as a result of the 'benefit in kind' support of those organisations and individuals within the UK motor sport community.
At the heart of the initiative is a website www.GoMotorsport.net that, designed with a non-motor racing audience in mind, will simplify the sport for interested beginners across three key areas:
- Go Drive: highlights the many driving disciplines recognised by the MSA with details on how to participate, costs, requirements, where to go, who to approach and a searchable database of clubs
- Go See: lists venues and events by region and postcode making it easy for the for the public to find out what is on near them
- Go Help: explains the many roles that are available from administration, acting as an official or becoming a fully-trained trackside marshal and how to become involved
Lewis Hamilton comments: "It gives me great pleasure to attend the launch of the Go Motorsport campaign which is a great initiative by the MSA to attract more people into motor sport.
"While Formula 1 is the pinnacle there are many other classes of motor sport of which people are not aware. They don't realise that there is such a depth and variety to the sport - particularly in the UK.
"I am happy to see an initiative such as Go Motorsport raising awareness of the thousands of events around the country and showng people that there is something for all tastes, ages and budgets."
Go Motorsport has attracted a stunning line-up of famous names from British motor sport to endorse the scheme, including: F1 drivers Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Anthony Davidson; 1996 F1 World Champion and now President of the British Racing Drivers Club Damon Hill; F1 team principal Sir Frank Williams; World touring car champion Andy Priaulx; British touring car champion Jason Plato; Le Mans 24 Hours winner Allan McNish; TV commentators Murray Walker and Martin Brundle; World Rally champions Malcolm Wilson and Robert Reid; TV presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson.
MSA Chairman Alan Gow says: "This is a hugely important initiative and has already received great support and enthusiasm not only from many of the most famous names in UK motor sport but also from all others involved in the sport such as circuit owners, championship organisers, drivers, teams and clubs across all disciplines.
"We are extremely proud to have Lewis Hamilton launch Go Motorsport - he's an inspiration to many and we hope this initiative will help many of those that have been inspired by the achievements of Lewis and other drivers to get involved with the sport."
MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton adds: "The timing has never been better to launch this type of project. Interest in motor sport in the UK has never been higher, thanks in no small part to Lewis' exploits, and in the face of competition from other leisure activities we, as the governing body, must do everything we can to ensure that the sport continues to grow and expand.
"Go Motorsport completes an exciting portfolio of co-ordinated initiatives for the Motor Sports Association that will deliver a 'whole sport' strategy for the long-term strength and prosperity of motor sport. Thanks to sound financial management and greater efficiency as an organisation, the MSA was able to reinvest more than £1 million back into UK motor sport last year and we are investing more money in the sport than ever before."