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Virgin announce management changes 13 Jan 2010

John Booth (GBR) Sporting Director Virgin Racing. Virgin Racing announce that they will enter F1 in 2010 re-branding the Manor F1 Team. Louise Blouin Foundation, London, UK. 15 December 2009. L-R: Alex Tai (MAL) Team Principal Virgin Racing, and Nick Wirth (GBR) Technical Director Virgin Racing. Virgin Racing announce that they will enter F1 in 2010 re-branding the Manor F1 Team. Louise Blouin Foundation, London, UK. 15 December 2009. (L to R) Timo Glock, Richard Branson, Lucas di Grassi. Virgin Racing announce that they will enter F1 in 2010 re-branding the Manor F1 Team. Louise Blouin Foundation, London, UK. 15 December 2009.

Virgin, one of four new teams set to join the 2010 grid, have confirmed sporting director John Booth has been promoted to the role of team principal. Booth replaces Alex Tai, who occupied the position during the outfit's launch and has now moved on to work on new projects. Graeme Lowdon becomes Virgin Racing’s CEO.

Booth founded Manor Motorsport back in 1990 and the team went on to win 171 races and 19 titles in a variety of championships such as Formula Renault and the Formula Three Euroseries. Last year he led Manor’s entry bid to join the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship before Manor GP was rebranded Virgin Racing in December.

“John’s impressive racing pedigree and reputation is beyond question in the critical role of team principal,” explained Virgin Racing chairman, Etienne de Villiers. “John will be joined by Graeme Lowdon as CEO who previously held the position of director of racing. He was one of the founders of the original Manor GP team and a key architect of its successful formation last year.

“Graeme has a proven track record with Manor Grand Prix and is a formidable operator with an excellent reputation in the sport. Their combined experience and expertise make them the ideal candidates to lead the Virgin Racing team as we head into an exciting first season. These appointments reflect our long-term commitment to fully addressing the complexity and challenges of the new business and to creating a team with the appropriate skills and experience to ensure its sustainable success.”

Tai added: “Finding new opportunities and the challenge of starting new ventures is where my focus and interest lies. I am proud that we have taken the team from concept to reality in a short period of time and I am confident that Virgin Racing will be in trusted and experienced hands.”