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Silverstone Innovation Centre is an Autosport winner

Silverstone Innovation Centre was in the thick of things at the recent Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham. Centre client, Sarah Franklin of Sarah Franklin Racing, came a close runner-up in the prestigious British Women Racing Drivers’ Club Gold Star Awards. And the Innovative Thinking Award in the national finals of the Formula One in Schools Technology Challenge was sponsored by Silverstone Innovation Centre and presented by Centre Manager, Dianne Wilson.

Sarah Franklin was a Gold Star Award nominee in the club driver section, for members of the British Women’s Racing Drivers’ Club (BWRDC) who aspire to become professional drivers. As a nominee she will benefit from dedicated web pages for the coming year, created by a professional design agency that will showcase her to potential sponsors and the media, in addition to having had personal video presentations on a dedicated stand at Autosport International. Sarah Franklin’s Porsche Cup Car was also a star, taking centre stage at the exhibition.

The Gold Star Awards are the BWRDC’s preferred way of highlighting talent within the sport and helping the nominees and winners promote and progress their careers. Sarah Franklin said: “It is a great honour to be a nominee for the inaugural BWRDC Gold Star Awards and I am pleased to be part of such a great group of drivers. To be chosen out of all the club’s members up and down the country is amazing!” She also praised the support she has received from Silverstone Innovation Centre since moving in. “Being based at Silverstone Innovation Centre has enabled me to focus on growing my business. The networking opportunities available have also given me the opportunity to make some great contacts, which is always important in motorsport and goes a long way to establishing and improving any business.”

The Autosport show also featured the finals of the Formula One in Schools Technology Challenge. Silverstone Innovation Centre sponsors the Innovative Thinking Award, which was presented by Centre Manager, Dianne Wilson, to the Road Rippers team from Lochgelly High School in Fife.

The F1 in Schools competition challenges students to design, construct and race a scale model F1 car made from a block of balsa wood and powered by a compressed gas canister. Working in teams of between three and six, students prepare a business plan, develop budgets and raise sponsorship, as well as designing and racing their car. The challenge has the aim of inspiring students to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership, teamwork, media skills and financial strategy.

The Lochgelly team had shown particular initiative in developing a piece of equipment to measure drag, a key factor in determining the speed potential of their racing car. This approach won them the Innovative Thinking Award.

Andrew Denford, Chairman and Founder of F1 in Schools, said: “The future of Formula One should be in safe hands if the standard achieved by all our entrants is an indicator of prospective British engineering talent. F1 in Schools is providing students with an innovative, engaging and rewarding programme that encourages independent thinking, team work and engineering learning.”

Dianne Wilson, Manager of Silverstone Innovation Centre, said: “It was very exciting to see Sarah Franklin, one of our Centre’s resident entrepreneurs, win a nomination for a BWDRC Gold Star Award. It should be a great stepping stone for her and the Sarah Franklin Racing team. Meeting some engineering entrepreneurs of the future from Lochgelly High School was also a great pleasure. The team had clearly worked very hard on their car and thoroughly deserved the Innovative Thinking Award that we are proud to sponsor.”

Silverstone Innovation Centre is a joint venture between British Racing Drivers Club and the East Midlands Development Agency and is managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres.

- ENDS –
Editors Notes
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, Company Secretary & PR Director.
Tel: +44 (0)1865 811199 Email:

Photos available on request
1. Sarah Franklin of Sarah Franklin Racing, located at Silverstone Innovation Centre, with her Porsche Cup Car. Ms Franklin was a runner-up in the prestigious British Women’s Racing Driver Club Awards at Autosport.

2. Dianne Wilson, Manager of Silverstone Innovation Centre, presents the Innovative Thinking Award in the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge to the Road Rippers team from Lochgelly High School in Fife.

1. About Silverstone Innovation Centre
Silverstone Innovation Centre is a joint venture between British Racing Drivers Club and the East Midlands Development Agency and is managed by Oxford Innovation. The Centre is designed to house high performance engineering start-up and growing companies and offers 30,000 sq ft of space with individual units ranging from under 200 sq ft to over 1,000 sq ft.

The Centre also has a conference facility that is suitable for small meetings or larger corporate events of up to 60 delegates. Delegates can take advantage of a range of hospitality packages provided by Silverstone Circuit and can also benefit from corporate rates on accommodation at nearby Whittlebury Hall Hotel and spa.

Silverstone Innovation Centre is located at the Silverstone circuit, the home of British motorsport and the venue of the British Grand Prix, and is served by the A43 dual carriageway between the M1 and M40.

For more information, contact: Dianne Wilson, Manager of Silverstone Innovation Centre, on
tel: 01327 856000, email: or visit

2. About Oxford Innovation
Oxford Innovation provides services to growing companies, and to government bodies that promote enterprise. The company operates 15 Innovation Centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space to over 400 technology, knowledge-based and creative companies.

Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful Investment Networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million. During the last five years, the investment networks have helped over 90 companies raise £19.5m. For more information:

Oxford Innovation’s sister firm, SQW Consulting, is a leading economic development and management consultancy whose clients include government departments in the UK and overseas, regional development agencies, funding bodies, local authorities, partnerships and international organisations. For more information:

Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+ 44 (0)1865 811199

Company profile of Oxford Innovation
Past press releases of Oxford Innovation.


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