News : MINI racer Marcus Allen – 50 days to raise £50k!

AROnline’s regular readers may recall that, when our former News Editor, Clive Goldthorp, stood down from that role last July and became Contributing Editor, he did so in order to devote more time to developing the career of a talented young Racing Driver and that we were hoping to announce more details of the project shortly afterwards.

Well, after several delays caused by unforeseen events, we can now reveal the details of Clive’s project:

The Driver – Marcus Allen
Marcus Allen, 21 and from Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, began Kart Racing in the entry-level Cadet Class at the age of eight and triumphed in both the Rissington Kart Club and Midlands Championships in 2001.

Marcus graduated to the Junior TKM Class in 2002 and then won the Club Championships at both of the Cotswolds’ two Kart Circuits, Rissington and Shenington, in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. He also competed at National level in 2005 and 2006 finishng third and then winning the high-profile Super One Junior TKM National Championship in each of those years.

Marcus made the move from karts to cars in 2009 and raced in the highly competitive Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600 Championship in which he finished an impressive third overall. However, what really marked him out as an exceptional talent was his drive to second in the final round of that year’s Championship – after problems in Qualifying, he started on the back row of the grid and climbed from twenty-ninth to ninth in just one lap on a blindingly wet track! Marcus went on to win the Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600 Championship  in 2010 and took three outright wins despite driving an ageing Swift SC92F.

Our Contributing Editor, like many other Castle Combe regulars, believes Marcus has already more than demonstrated that he possesses the talent to reach the highest level in Motor Racing. However, that is not just his assessment of Marcus…

John Pratt, Performance Director of Silverstone-based iZone Driver Performance Limited and triple World Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx’s former Driver Coach, says: “We’ve already worked with Marcus on our simulator – he definitely showed a lot of natural talent and was clearly a quick learner. We would really like to work with Marcus again in the near future and, now that he has finalised his Career Development Plan, we can offer him much more specific guidance.”

Paddy Mortimer, one of the UK’s top, Elite-level Performance Psychologists and currently the Performance Director of British Ski and Snowboard, adds: “I’ve been working with Marcus on a Performance Development Programme for some time and, as part of the auditing process, we carried out a ground-breaking, research-based psychometric assessment.

“Marcus has already surpassed many of the high performance, Olympic-level athletes with whom I’ve worked during the past twenty years. That’s why I’m so keen to continue working with this raw, exciting talent and to help Marcus realise his unquestionable potential.”

Marcus’ main focus this year has been on completing his studies but he now aims to capitalise on that talent and forge a long-term career as a professional Racing Driver – his ultimate objective is to win the British Touring Car Championship.

The Next Step – The MINI Challenge
Marcus had an impressive first run in a JCW Class MINI Challenge car at Castle Combe a fortnight ago and has now set himself the target of winning the MINI Challenge in 2012 – he sees that as an essential first step to a British Touring Car drive.

The MINI Challenge has become established as probably the most competitive One-Make Saloon Car Championship in the UK – an increasing number of Motor Racing Industry insiders now regard the series as a training ground for the British Touring Car drivers of the future.

The MINI Challenge’s rapidly rising profile in 2011 can be attributed to two key developments: the switch to the MotorSport Vision (MSVR) Championship package and the introduction of a dedicated, standalone television programme screened at prime time on MOTORS TV which can also be viewed via the MINI TV button on the MINI Challenge’s website.

MSVR is the racing division of MotorSport Vision Limited which owns and operates four of the UK’s leading Race Circuits – Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Oulton Park and Snetterton – and is now the fastest growing Race Meeting organiser in the country. The twenty race MINI Challenge will feature with other MSVR Championships at a total of seven Race Meetings in 2012 and visits tracks such as Brands Hatch, Castle Combe, Donington Park, Oulton Park, Silverstone GP Arena and Snetterton 300. MOTORS TV will again cover all twenty rounds of the MINI Challenge next year.

The Team – Excelr8 Motorsport
Marcus recognises that, in order to achieve his objective of winning the MINI Challenge in 2012, he needs to be run by the most ambitious and professional Race Team in the series – he believes that Norfolk-based Excelr8 Motorsport best meets those criteria.

Excelr8 Motorsport was founded by Team Principal, Antony Williams, and his wife in 2007 and has rapidly become the team to beat in the MINI Challenge. Excelr8 won the top JCW Class with Luke Caudle in 2010 before clinching a clean sweep in 2011 when Chris Knox won the overall Championship and the JCW Class and Ant Whorton-Eales won the Club Class as well as finishing fourth in the overall Championship.

Excelr8 aims to repeat that triple success in next year’s MINI Challenge and to run four cars in and win the Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy. However, beyond that, Team Principal Antony Williams’ goals for Excelr8 are to enter one car in the British Touring Car Championship in 2013, enter a second car and compete for Top 10 points finishes in 2014 and then challenge for regular podiums in 2015.

Excelr8 Motorsport’s targets therefore closely mirror Marcus’ own career objectives – Marcus firmly believes that, with determination, professionalism and the necessary funding from a cohort of commercial sponsors with whom he and Excelr8 can foster long-term relationships, they can achieve their mutual objectives and, in doing so, provide those partners with significant commercial benefits.

Antony Williams, Team Principal of Excelr8 Motorsport LLP, commented on the prospect of running Marcus next year and said: ‘I can certainly say that meeting Marcus during his recent test at Castle Combe was a great pleasure and I am sure that, with the right team behind him, he will no doubt compete at the very front of the field in the MINI Challenge in 2012. Marcus is clearly a talented and professional racing driver with the raw pace to win and the personality to help sponsors promote their products and services.

‘That’s why we want Marcus on board with Excelr8 next year and are therefore offering him an Assisted Drive with the team. The Assisted Drive Package is a subsidised drive whereby Marcus would be an ambassador for the team and expected to develop with the team over a number of seasons.

‘We really hope that Marcus can bring the budget together and look forward to achieving some great results with him next year.”

Sponsorship Procurement – How AROnline’s Readers Can Help
Marcus and his father, Malcolm, have funded all his activities in Karting and Motor Racing to date themselves. However, if Marcus is to take up the option of an Assisted Drive in one of Excelr8 Motorsport’s JCW Class cars next season, he needs to generate commercial sponsorship of circa. £50,000 to include testing and insurance but excluding VAT. The offer of an Assisted Drive is, at present, only open until the 6th January, 2012 – hence the headline above!

Our Contributing Editor has always believed that “it’s not what you know or who you know but what you know about who you know and what you do with that information” which can sometimes make a real difference in circumstances such as these so, bearing that firmly in mind, here is how we reckon that AROnline’s global readership of 200,000 unique users a month can assist Marcus in his quest to raise the requisite commercial sponsorship of £50,000 (plus VAT) by really harnessing the power of the Internet:

  1. Like and send this article to as many of your Facebook friends as possible and invite them to repeat the process,
  2. Tweet about the article on Twitter and invite all of your followers to do likewise,
  3. Recommend the article publicly on Google,
  4. Download the latest version of the attached Marcus Allen – Motor Racer Sponsorship Presentation then email copies and a link to this article to any of your own business or professional contacts who’s employers or companies might benefit commercially from an association with Marcus and AROnline and/or
  5. Email our Contributing Editor via and suggest any other companies which you reckon might derive a commercial benefit from working with Marcus and AROnline – we already have an extensive list of carefully selected companies which we will now be approaching but are always keen to have more ideas!

Marcus’ MINI racing exploits are to be covered extensively by AROnline and his commercial partners will have the opportunity of advertising on the website at preferential rates.

A final point: all of those who have been assisting Marcus to date have done so on an entirely pro bono basis because they share with him an unwavering belief in his talent. We recognise that an exceptional amount of luck will be required if we are to procure the budget of £50,000 (plus VAT) in the now limited time available. However, as someone once said, “the harder I (net)work, the luckier I get” so let’s get (net)working and see what the AROnline community can achieve!

Download the Sponsorship Presentation in PDF form

Clive Goldthorp

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