A1 Team Malaysia had a royal appointment yesterday when the team's original A1GP car and driver Fairuz Fauzy were presented to His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, of the British Royal Family. This prestigious occasion was part of the 50th ...
A1 Team Malaysia had a royal appointment yesterday when the team's original A1GP car and driver Fairuz Fauzy were presented to His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, of the British Royal Family. This prestigious occasion was part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the A1GP car builders, Lola Cars.
The Duke of York made a special visit to Lola Group's state-of-the-art facilities in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in the UK with Fauzy, fresh from his A1GP success at Zandvoort last weekend, being reunited with the original Lola A1 Team Malaysia car for this special occasion. After serving for 22 years in the Royal Navy, The Duke of York is now the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, so it was very appropriate for Malaysia to be represented at this event.
The Duke of York was accompanied by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Hugh Duberly Esq CBE. They were welcomed by Martin Birrane, Executive Chairman of the Lola Group. The A1GP Lola race car brought the team four race victories in the World Cup of Motorsport since its inception in 2005 and the new generation model designed and built by A1 Technologies with consultancy from Ferrari has already brought the team further success at the start of the fourth season of the series at Zandvoort in the Netherlands last weekend.
Fauzy said of his role in this prestigious occasion, "I was honoured to be invited to meet His Royal Highness, The Duke of York and show him the team's A1GP car. It was a privilege for me to tell him about the powerful racing machine and he was very interested to know the details of the car. It has capped a very exciting and successful weekend for A1 Team Malaysia, so I'm riding high at the moment."
Lola Group Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane said of A1 Team Malaysia's participation in the royal visit, "It was a pleasure to meet Fairuz today and congratulate him on his fine victory in Holland on Sunday. The Malaysian A1 car was always one of the most vibrant on the grid, along with the Irish car obviously (Mr Birrane is Irish!). The Duke of York was bowled over by the variety of cars that Lola has built over the years and the A1GP Lola caught his eye immediately. It was great that members of the Malaysian team were here to meet the Duke and to share the celebrations in marking Lola's 50th anniversary."
Birrane, himself a successful racer of many Lola cars over the years -- although not the A1GP model -- commented further, "It was a privilege to introduce His Royal Highness The Duke of York to our latest technical capabilities and the talented team that we can draw upon here in Huntingdon. The Duke of York provides an important role for companies like Lola, as we continue to gain international recognition and keep British industry at the forefront of leading edge technology. To welcome a member of the Royal family to be a part of our 50th anniversary celebration was a great honour for everyone involved with Lola."
Lola Cars 50th Anniversary celebrations continue on Sunday 12th October when a parade of up to 16 Lola designs will drive through the streets of Huntingdon, with the cars forming a spectacular 'paddock' in the town's historic market square. A1 Team Malaysia will play a central role in this event with Fauzy set to power up the Lola A1GP car and roar through the town as part of the cavalcade.