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Access all areas – opening doors to the next generation

Access all areas – opening doors to the next generation

There should be no barrier to follow your dreams. Whether it’s race, gender, disability (visible or otherwise), sexuality or personal background, we all have a duty to promote inclusivity in all areas of society.

Motorsport is firmly rooted in the DNA of SQN. Within our team there is a wealth of talent that has been nurtured from across racing’s eclectic mix of formulae – F1, MotoGP, WEC, WRC and Formula E among them.

While some of us have followed our career paths with comparative privilege, which is far easier to realise with the benefit of hindsight, others have had to work harder, dig deeper, and defy expectations. The drive for equality has recently manifested itself at the heart of our organisation; a collective accountability to open opportunities to those who might otherwise not have been afforded a chance.

Ahead of the recent British Grand Prix, we worked with our friends at Cosworth on an exciting opportunity for aspiring motorsport journalist, Liam Plötner. 13-year-old Liam from Perth in Scotland has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He also happens to be a walking F1 encyclopaedia; his knowledge on F1 past and present – drivers, cars, season results, and stories is immense.

We felt his passion for the sport deserved a special treat, so we invited him to Cosworth’s Northampton headquarters to offer a glimpse into the company’s F1 heritage and its present-day activities. Thursday 15 July, a bright sunny morning, Liam and his dad Dougie rocked up at Cosworth’s Octagon building not really knowing what to expect. Behind the closed doors, surprise after surprise awaited.

Greeted by the sight of the Jaguar Racing R2 Formula 1 car, the amazed reaction was immediate. When Liam was invited to take a seat in the cockpit of Eddie Irvine’s former berth, he could scarcely contain his excitement.

From there, he was given a tour of the impressive Cosworth facilities – including a sneak peek into some confidential areas – by Managing Director Bruce Wood, one of the company’s longest serving team members. Looking around the company’s impressive auditorium, a veritable feast of F1 powerhouses from over the years showcased the company’s motorsport technology in all its glory.

The tour also took in some of Cosworth’s most recent equally ground-breaking partnerships with Aston Martin (Valkyrie) and Gordon Murray Automotive (T.50). Liam left with his own F1 piston, from Bruno Senna’s CA2010 engine, and a smile that probably lasted all of Silverstone weekend.