Marussia Motors acquires significant stake in Virgin team 11 Nov 2010
Virgin Racing announced in Abu Dhabi on Thursday that sportscar manufacturer Marussia Motors have acquired a significant shareholding in the team. From the 2011 season they are set to be known as Marussia Virgin Racing.
Virgin Racing was established last year when Manor Motorsport joined forces with WR Technology Limited (Wirth Research) and Virgin to compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship. Marussia Motors is not new to Formula One or to Virgin Racing either - the Russian company, headed by ex-racer Nikolay Fomenko, has been a partner of Virgin since the team was launched in December 2009.
This is definitely a good news story for Virgin Racing and for Formula One, said Graeme Lowdon, Chief Executive of Virgin Racing. Marussia Motors has been a much-valued team partner throughout the 2010 season and we are delighted to introduce them formally as the significant shareholder in Virgin Racing and a major force in the teams future. This announcement cements our place on the Formula One grid and is testimony to the hard work and dedication of every single member of our team.
For Moscow-based Marussia Motors, the purchase of this shareholding reflects the new sportscar manufacturers ambitious plans to position itself firmly on the worldwide automotive radar. The aim is to utilise Marussia Virgin Racing as a powerful international marketing platform.
This also means there will be a major Russian presence in the Formula One paddock during the build-up to the inaugural Russian Grand Prix, which is set to be staged in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi in 2014.
This is the realisation of a dream for Marussia Motors, confirmed Fomenko. While manufacturing, launching and marketing the Marussia B1, B2 and other concepts in Europe, we will have a Formula One team to promote these activities and demonstrate to the world that a new car manufacturer has arrived from Russia with truly international ambitions.
The investment by Marussia Motors, alongside strategic investor LDC, will enable the team to plan more ambitiously for the longer term. There will be no significant change to the teams organisational structure as they prepare for their second season.
Virgin Racing team principal, John Booth, who has overseen the teams development throughout the season, is confident that the investment from Marussia gives the team the stability and focus to strengthen its position within the sport. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved with Virgin Racing in what is really only 16 months since the team was founded. I am delighted that the significant efforts of the team have been recognised and have attracted the commitment of Marussia Motors, which will enable us to move forward and deliver against our five year target for success.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group of companies, commented: Our first year in Formula One was always going to be tough - even more so as we were launching in the midst of a worldwide recession. Virgin is delighted to have secured a partner which shares our vision and spirit for challenging the establishment and we look forward to working together to move the team up the Formula One grid.
Virgin have yet to score their first world championship point and currently occupy 12th spot in the 2010 constructors standings.
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