New Zealand tourism icon Shotover Jet is getting ready to take on the world of motorsport by enetering a team in Formula One
Shotover Jet has announced its intention to enter a team in the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The Queenstown-based company is already a global leader in commercial jet-boating and cutting edge technology in this industry, with 40 years experience in the jet boat sector.
Clark Scott, General Manager of Shotover Jet, says it’s a bold and exciting move for the company and is delighted that two years of planning and a lot of hard work behind the scenes is coming to fruition.
“You might think that jet boating and Formula 1 racing are completely different, but actually there are a lot of synergies.
“For a start, fluid dynamics are similar to aerodynamics so it was a natural progression from our current fluid-based operation. Then we have some of the world’s best design, mechanical and technical staff at our disposal who are highly trained and experienced with jet boat design, engine configuration and mechanical technology, and have a lot of transferable skills. They’ve been working hard for a long time on a body design and this is showing very encouraging results in wind tunnel testing. They’ve also developed an engine design and we’ve been working with a major European engine supplier to refine it."
Scott says the Formula 1 season falls during New Zealand’s quiet ‘shoulder season’ for tourism, so the company can obtain significant global brand exposure for Shotover Jet in key markets before the following peak travel period. It can also utilise its talent pool year-round and provide investment opportunities for key partners with whom Shotover Jet currently has long-term partnerships.
“It would be an understatement to say it’s a very exciting time for us. Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motor sport – it just doesn’t get any better than that. We’ve been testing our design for several months and feel confident it’s a goer. We know we’re in for a real challenge but we’re absolutely up for it,” he says.
Shotover Jet is currently in final negotiations to secure high profile sponsors and engine supplier contracts.
Once these contracts are confirmed, the cars will be finished to exacting specifications and rigorously tested.
Shotover Jet says it is evaluating an existing North Island track, which has a number of corners based on international F1 circuits, as a permanent test circuit. A New Zealand driving team is preferred but all options will be considered.
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