Lowdon plays down Virgin base fears

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GRAEME Lowdon, the sporting director of Marussia Virgin Racing, has allayed fears they plan on abandoning their Dinnington base at the end of the 2011 season.

It was revealed in July the perennial Formula One backmarkers acquired a new technical centre in Banbury, having outgrown the premises in Rotherham.

Fears were growing the much hyped technical overhaul would mean Virgin would move out of South Yorkshire and be based exclusively in the south of England between their sites in Banbury and Surrey.

While Lowdon has confirmed Virgin are transfering some of their set-up from Dinnington to Banbury, he insists both locations will be used as they bid to move closer to the midfield pack in 2012.

“We have moved some of our operation to Banbury but we have made a long-term commitment to both locations,” Lowdon told The Star. “We are just deciding on what to house in each location.

“We are doing some work at Banbury to bring it up to standard but the Dinnington base lends itself to other parts of our operation.

“It is useful to have access to two facilities. There will be a strong presence at Dinnington for the foreseeable future.”

Virgin are revamping the Banbury site, with the commercial team moving in this week. Lowdon expects the new facility to be completed by the end of the year.

The Star understands the Dinnington hub will be utilised by Virgin, who have yet to score a single point since joining motor sport’s premier competition, for a minimum of two more years.