Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nomad Revs Up for Formula 1 Success; Tyneside Boss Records Motor Racing Coup

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nomad Revs Up for Formula 1 Success; Tyneside Boss Records Motor Racing Coup

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Mernin

ATYNESIDE businessman yesterday made it onto the Formula 1 starting grid alongside the biggest names in motorsport.

After months of struggle, entrepreneur Graham Lowdon's dream to create a F1 team was realised.

The boss of Newcastle-based internet supplier Nomad Digital was keen to marry his business connections with his long-term role as a non-executive director of Yorkshire racing team Manor, which is best known for its involvement in Formula Three circuit racing.

The first step for Mr Lowdon, whose internet business makes over pounds 5m-a-year in revenue, was to help gain one of the newly created places on the F1 starting grid for next season for the team.

Changes announced this year mean that from 2010 teams will be encouraged to operate under a pounds 40m budget cap.

And it is that move which presented Mr Lowdon and his racing colleagues with a viable business model.

Spurred on by the chance of a relatively affordable route into the lucrative world of F1 racing, Manor GP pitched for, and ultimately won, one of four available places for new teams on the expanded 13-team grid next season.

Following that success, all Mr Lowdon needed was a wealthy sponsor for the team, which he found on the client list of his firm, which supplies internet to train companies all over the world.

He said: "Virgin are a significant customer of Nomad and we have worked with them for a number of years, so it was easy to discuss plans with them."

For the last two years, Nomad has worked with Virgin Trains by supplying its passenger wireless internet system on its West Coast Main Line trains. And it was thanks to this relationship that he was able to persuade Virgin's Richard Branson to part with his cash and support the newest name on the F1 grid.

Mr Lowdon said: "I'm really proud to be involved in F1.

"This year it has undergone significant changes for the future, which have given us the opportunity to enter, so it was a great achievement getting the entry in the first place. …

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