Formula One roars into Manchester

Formula One roared into Manchester yesterday as the BMW Sauber F1 Team Pit Lane Park got underway at the Trafford Centre. Members of the media enjoyed a ‘sneak preview’ of the Formula One themed park which opens to the public tomorrow until Sunday, to coincide with the British Grand Prix.Entrance to the Pit Lane Park is free of charge and offers unrivalled access to the sounds, speed and dynamics of the world’s most exhilarating and high-tech sport. Visitors can take part in a number of interactive attractions, including testing their skills on the driving simulators, the Pit Stop Challenge and a behind-the-scenes look at a Formula One garage.Today’s highlight included on-track action of both the BMW Sauber F1 and Formula BMW FB02 cars, featuring triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx and local driver Matt Howson, who performed a series of spectacular high-speed donuts on the 110-metre asphalt track.Andy Priaulx, who is set to compete in the British rounds of the World Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 26-27 July, commented: “It always feels amazing to drive the F1 Car. The noise, power and speed of these machines is truly incredible. The Pit Lane Park concept is fantastic as it brings F1 to the people, in a really exciting and intimate way.”  Peter Walker, General Manager Sports Marketing BMW (UK) Ltd said, ‘We are delighted to bring Pit Lane Park to Manchester. It’s not everyday you get to see a Formula One Car, whilst out shopping. It promises to be a thrilling weekend for British motor sport and we hope many people including families will come and enjoy the variety of attractions within the Park.”The cars will take to the track at regular intervals throughout the weekend. BMW Team Germany’s WTCC driver, Augusto Farfus (BR), will demonstrate the BMW Sauber F1 car, while Matt Howson, alongside last year’s Formula BMW UK Championship winner, Marcus Ericsson (SE) will drive the Formula BMW car.Located in Car Park 13 of the Trafford Centre, entrance to the Pit Lane Park is free for all visitors. Opening hours:Friday 4 July: 11.00am – 22.00pmSaturday 5 July: 10.00am – 22.00pmSunday 6 July: 10.00am – 20.00pm