Laughton man John Booth and Manor team back in motor racing after departure from Manor F1 outfit

John Booth team principal Marussia Virgin Racing at their factory in Dinnington, South Yorkshire 
Story Nick  Westby Picture Chris Lawton
05 July  2011
John Booth team principal Marussia Virgin Racing at their factory in Dinnington, South Yorkshire Story Nick Westby Picture Chris Lawton 05 July 2011
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You can’t keep a good man down – just months after quitting Manor F1, Laughton’s John Booth is back in motor racing.

Booth created Manor Motorsport 26 years ago, and in 2010 took his then Dinnington-based outfit into Formula One.

Manor have chosen the ORECA 05 chassis powered by a Nissan engine.

Manor have chosen the ORECA 05 chassis powered by a Nissan engine.

But Booth, along with fellow team boss Graeme Lowdon, left at the end of last season, after five years, a number of name changes, an administration and over 100 Grand Prix entries at the top level of the sport.

And now, the pair are returning to racing, taking the original Manor into its first season in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the legendary 24-hour Le Mans race.

Booth, who has worked with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen, said: “We are delighted to be joining the World Endurance Championship.

“It is a fantastic series that visits iconic tracks all over the world.

“The level of competition is very high and we are really looking forward to racing again.

“The LMP2 class is specifically designed for teams independent of manufacturers and/or engine suppliers which places the focus firmly on how the team performs.

“I can’t wait to see the car running now. We have lots to do but we have a great team of people to get it all done.”

Team principal Booth and sporting director Lowdon have established a subsidiary, Manor Endurance Racing Limited, which will initially enter one car into the LMP2 class of the championship which kicks-off at Silverstone, the team’s base, on 17th April.

Lowdon insisted their appetite for a challenge had not been dulled.

He said: “It’s really great to be racing again and the FIA World Endurance Championship provides a fantastic challenge for us.

“Pre-season testing starts soon and there is a lot to do but we have never been afraid of a bit of hard work.

“There is a real buzz within the team at the moment, we have enjoyed great support from the fans over the last few months and we are very keen for them to get fully involved in what we are doing.

“We all have a great passion for motorsport and we are keen to share that passion.”

The team will announce the full race driver line-up before the official pre-season test event, The Prologue, to be held at the Paul Ricard circuit in France at the end of March, but have already confirmed that Tor Graves will re-join the team.

He was the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship runner-up in LMP2, and drove for Manor in 1998, 2003 and during the Team’s successful 1999 British F3 campaign.

Booth said: “We have worked with Tor a number of times and know he has the speed and the experience we need as a team entering a championship that is new to us.”