2015 November 30 Beijing The Inaugural British Motor Sport Festival (BMF) successfully launched on November 29th at Beijing Golden Port. Over 200 guests of drivers, instructors, media and car owners attended the opening ceremony. Five British Supercar Brands – Lotus, Morgan Motor Company, McLaren, Radical and the Mini Owners Club of China joined the Opening Parade with cars and drivers put through their paces under the stewardship of organizers Imperial Motorsport, guidance of instructors from the Association of Racing Drivers Schools (ARDS) and support of UKTI.
From left to right: Jim Ye, CEO of Beijing Golden Port, Nyat Chaw Loong, CFO of Lotus NYO, Jim James, Co-Founder of BMF and Managing Director of Malvern Morgan China, Dr Mark Wareing, Minister-Counsellor and Director of the Advanced Manufacturing section of UKTI, Jackie Chen, CEO of Lotus NYO and Benson Tan, Chairman of Imperial Motorsport
The UKTI endorsed 5-day event will bring together British racing cars, Chinese drivers and British trainers and will continue across China in 2016. During the event, 3 awards were also given to 6 individuals by Dr Mark Wareing, Minister-Counsellor and Director of the Advanced Manufacturing section of UKTI, including The Best Chinese Instructor, The Most Promising Chinese Driver and MINI Challenge winner.
Jim James, Co-Founder of the BMF said, “The British Motorsport Festival provides a platform for British brands to create safe and authentic race experiences for owners of their cars in China.”
As the largest car market in the world, interest in motor sport has flourished in recent years in China. A growing number of professional, semi professional and amateur racers compete on 6 registered permanent circuits, 6 street circuits and the US$350m Formula 1 track in Shanghai. Some 40-50 million Chinese watch F1 broadcasts. A large number of rallies are held each year for off – road vehicles, and a growing list of Classic Car events are taking place, all of which led to the introduction of the British Motor Sport Festival.
The 5-day BMF aims to bring the best of British experience and cars to the track. This will include homologation by Patrick Blakeney, Chairman of the Association of Racing Driver Schools (ARDS) and prizes awarded by Dr Mark Wareing, Minister-Counsellor and Director of the Advanced Manufacturing section of the British Embassy commercial section, the UKTI.
The BMF platform includes the Imperial Motorsport Academy Class, Mini Challenge. Lotus on Track Elise Challenge, Inauguration & Parade, McLaren hot laps and an English Tea Party.
The development of motor sport in China represents a great opportunity for British and Chinese associations, owners and racers to trade, learn best practice and to race at an international level. According to the UK Motorsport Industry Association, approximately 4,500 companies are involved in the UK Motorsport and High Performance Engineering 87% of which export their services. The combined value of the industry is some GBP9 billions.
Dr Mark Wareing said, “Motorsport represents a large social and commercial opportunity for China and for Britain to extend the deep ties which we already enjoy. The British Motor Sport Festival creates a much needed platform to drive these relationships at greater speed.”
The British and Chinese communities are fully supporting the event, with endorsement from the UKTI, China Britain Business Council and Confederation of British Industry. Other partners include Swire Properties hotel EAST, Skye Media and Eggplant Digital.
“The BMF in China is a fantastic initiative that will benefit the interests of our members, the UK and the community at large. The UK is a global lead in the motor sports field. What better way to showcase this than the festival that will boost Sino-British trade and engagement,” commented Stephen Philips, Chief Executive of the CBBC.