23 January 2014, 18:30 - 22:00
Jesmond Dene House, Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 2EY
2014 is getting off to a flying start as we launch ourselves off the grid with a world exclusive – the story of how to create a Formula 1 from a standing start.
We are delighted that the North East’s own Graeme Lowdon is taking time out of his hectic international schedule to share his entrepreneurial, and sporting, story with members at our annual Chairman’s Dinner.
Many will know former Entrepreneur of the Year Graeme as the co-founder of Nomad Digital, one of the region’s most innovative new businesses of the past decade, which went on to become the world’s leading provider of data communications to the transport sector. It was via his connection with Virgin Trains, together with his role as non-executive commercial director of Manor Motorsport, which led Graeme into the highly competitive world of F1 in 2009.
In Manor, which provided a training ground for F1 world champions Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, he had a successful race team and, in Virgin, he found a global commercial partner at a time of rule changes in F1 that put limits on expenditure to allow smaller teams to compete.
From confirmation that it could enter the world’s best known racing series to lining up on the starting grid in Bahrain in March 2010 as Virgin Racing, the team had just weeks six weeks to design and build a car, find an engine supplier and create a complete team.
A year later, Russian carmaker Marussia bought a controlling interest in the team which rebranded as Marussia Virgin Racing for 2011 in a partnership that secured its F1 future for at least four years.
Graeme’s is a fast-moving story of ambition and innovation, determination and passion, that’s not to be missed.
Our Chairman’s Dinner is a hugely popular occasion, combining the sharing of outstanding business knowledge and experience with a superb social event in a fabulous setting.