new wave of interest
The Go Motorsport campaign, launched earlier this year by Lewis Hamilton, is preparing for a huge surge of interest from people looking for roles in motor sport after the 23-year-old Englishman was crowned the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Champion.
Go Motorsport has been set up to encourage and help new people to become involved in motor sport by offering advice and guidance on how to get started - whether as a competitor, official, trackside marshal or volunteer. It also explodes the myth that participation in motor sport is for the rich only.
As Hamilton's proud father Anthony said last night: "Hopefully this will be an inspiration for other families and kids. When we started we had nothing, no money. But after a lot of hard work we are top of the world. It shows it can be done. Hard work, dedication, respect to your family, respect to all people, fantastic."
Go Motorsport is the first centrally co-ordinated initiative of its kind set up by the Motor Sports Association, the governing body of four-wheeled motor sport in the UK, and was launched by Hamilton at his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team's headquarters in June.
Joining Go Motorsport as ambassadors and lending the campaign tremendous credibility have been many of UK motor sport's top names, including David Coulthard, Jenson Button, commentating legend Murray Walker, OBE and this year's Le Mans 24 Hours winner Allan McNish.
As Hamilton's F1 season has gained momentum so has the Go Motorsport name with an increasing number of visitors to its website www.GoMotorsport.net from people inspired by his achievements. Anecdotal evidence shows a record number of people, particularly youngsters, are interested in karting - where Hamilton began his career. However, as Go Motorsport reveals there are many more avenues of four-wheeled fun for people to enjoy.
Hamilton's F1 title is sparking never-before-seen levels of motor sport coverage in the media and also interest across the country from people now looking to join in UK motor sport's many events during the year.
MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton commented: "Lewis is providing an incredible platform from which to develop motor sport in this country. The British public has been gripped by Lewis' exploits and the sport is enjoying more media coverage than ever before. More and more people, from all kinds of backgrounds, are becoming interested in the sport.
"The MSA is firmly committed to increasing participation and bringing more people to the exciting world of motor sport, either as competitor, volunteer or official. We are investing heavily in promoting the sport and making it more affordable and accessible to all."