British MotorSport Festival As part of the plan to build the brand of Morgan and Lotus in China, I had conceived of an event on the scale of the British Business Awards which I founded in 2008. This time, to bring the entire British business community together around the platform of Motor Sport; with Morgan a key catalyst in this initiative. It would be a cost effective and efficient way that I can build the brand in China for this relatively small brand, and whilst CEO of Lotus it gave me the chance to bring 2 brands into the fray. Now the event is a reality: - there has been, and continue to be, plenty of politics and the first will be a financial trial, but there is much interest in British motor racing culture and cars. If we can style this to become a Goodwood Festival in China, Beijing and Shanghai, over the coming years then it can play a role in building the auto culture in China. One day I want to see a Morgan Race Challenge Team in China - but that should be 2018 I suspect. In the meantime, EASTWEST is taking up the PR, Eggplant the website, and our friends Paul McNeil at Skye Media is taking on the social media. Lehman Brown will tackle the finances. I managed to engage the UKTI, CBBC and CBI again - and Benson has the motor sport contacts. The release went on on 18th and we already have some interest from the media and spectators. Here is the release: 2015 November 18 Beijing The Inaugural British Motor Sport Festival (BMF) is to be held in Beijing to establish British One Marque racing in China. The UKTI and Beijing Motor Sport Association endorsed 5-day event will bring together British racing cars, Chinese drivers and British trainers and will continue across China in 2016. Lotus, Morgan Motor Company, McLaren, Radical and the Mini Owners Club of China will have cars and drivers put through their paces under the stewardship of organisers Imperial Motorsport and guidance of instructors from the Association of Racing Drivers Schools in the UK. 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.” Mr. Li Chunsan, Secretary General of Beijing Motor Sport Association (BMSA) – a supporter of the BMF commented, “China is emerging as a domestic and international competitor in motorsport at all levels, from drivers through to race teams. The British Motor Sport Festival is a dynamic platform for people in each aspect of the industry to learn, to compete and to further develop the motor sport culture 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. The British and Chinese communities are fully supporting the event, with endorsement from the UKTI, China Britain Business Council and Confederation of British Industry and from the Beijing Motor Sport Association. 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.