Media Release: Walkinshaw Driving For Air Ambulance Support At Thruxton
Oxford (UK) – Friday 26 April 2013; FW Motorsport’s Fergus Walkinshaw heads to Thruxton circuit, near Andover, for the most southerly rounds on the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup calendar and British Touring Car Championship package, on 4&5 May, with more than one ambition in mind.
The 22 year-old Scotsman, who lives near Chipping Norton, will not only be aiming to climb up the Ginetta GT Supercup title standings, but also drive awareness and funds for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
The team/owner driver became the first Motorsport Advocate for the Association of Air Ambulances in September 2012. Since then, Walkinshaw has been working with local air ambulance charities within the locality of circuits hosting BTCC events to offer them a visibility platform off the back of his FW Motorsport team’s 2013 campaign.
Based at Thruxton, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance flies seven days a week and has undertaken over 4300 missions since July 2007. The EuroCopter EC135 is crewed by one pilot and either two paramedics, or one paramedic and one doctor, with 15 paramedics and eight doctors on its roster.
From receiving a call, the helicopter can be airborne within four minutes and reach anywhere in Hampshire within 15 minutes, and the Isle of Wight within 20. Once the patient is on board they can be transferred to hospital within 10 minutes, falling well within the Golden Hour so crucial for emergency treatments.
It currently costs in excess of £125,000 per month to operate the service, including the lease of the aircraft, pilots, fuel, and maintenance, and yet it receives no government funding and relies on public and corporate support.
Walkinshaw will be paying a special pitstop to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Airbase on Friday 3 May, to help kick-start a weekend of fun awareness raising activity.
After an impressive team debut at Brands Hatch and fifth place gained in the round three series battle, FW Motorsport encountered a challenging first outing at Donington Park. Despite a tyre and throttle issue, Walkinshaw battled on to take 20 points across rounds four and five, but a non-finish in round six spoiled his points-scoring record and dropped him to 11th in the standings.
With clear pace and potential already shown in the team’s maiden season, Walkinshaw also has a proven pedigree around the 2.356-mile Hampshire circuit. The GT Supercup podium winner will be aiming to emulate his 2012 round seven fifth place form on his new team’s first Thruxton event next weekend.
Walkinshaw commented: “I’ve been working closely with the Association of Air Ambulances and its charity members since I became its Motorsport Advocate last year. We have some fun activity planned to help drive awareness and encourage fundraising for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance at Thruxton and we hope Ginetta and BTCC fans will help support this vital local service.
“On-track, our aim is to build on our consistent form and take steady points in FW Motorsport’s first season. We’ve got on the scoreboard in all but one race and that’s an achievement considering the class of competition this year. We know the car is quick at Thruxton and it’s a circuit I enjoy, so I’m hopeful that we can push back into the top six over the next three rounds and start climbing the title table.”
Qualifying for the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup kicks off an action-packed race weekend at Thruxton at 09.00 on Saturday, 4 May, followed by the opening series race at 14.20 and the first 16-lap showdown at 17.05. Round nine, again staged over 16 laps, starts at 13.22 on Sunday, broadcast live on ITV4 with live timing available at www.ginetta.com/live
FW Motorsport Press Office:
Emma Spearing: +44 (0)7736 341828 | firstname.lastname@example.org