Pretoria, 26 May 2017: Guests and Stuart White fans united at an exclusive fund raising event held at Zwartkops Raceway last night to show their support of this young racer’s future career and to see the new Formula Stuart White brand be unveiled.
The Stuwie White Racing annual fundraising event for 2017 was a tremendous success. Around 75 supporters and sponsors from across the country joined the Stuwie White Racing team and gathered at Zwartkops Raceway to show their support for 15 year old driver, Stuart ‘Stuwie’ White, and to help ensure his future success by pledging donations and sponsorships.
The event was planned as a combined effort between the Stuwie White racing team; Oxigen, who manages Stuwie’s sponsorships and commercial rights; and Brand New SA who conceptualised Stuwie’s new brand. The main goals of the event were to raise funds that would secure Stuwie’s continued ability to compete on an international scale and to unveil the new Formula Stuart White brand.
Greg Mahoney, the event MC, emphasised the importance of nurturing and supporting local young racing talent. “Looking at the crowd at the event and comparing it to crowds at similar events held at Zwartkops, what is clear is that there is a gap somewhere in the young, up and coming racing talent in South Africa. The age gap between upcoming racers like Stuwie and established names in local racing is widening and this is why our support of someone like Stuwie is so important,” said Greg.
According to Stuwie’s father, David White, the event was successful and their fund raising targets were met. “I am really grateful to everyone who attended the event and made donations toward our fund raising efforts. It is tremendous to see how Stuwie’s fans, supporters and sponsors have come out and supported him. Stuwie is working hard to put South African drivers in the spotlight and the contributions that we received play a big part in that.”
Stuwie began his racing career as a kart driver at the age of 8. After winning numerous local and international accolades, Stuwie has taken his racing to the next level by competing in the 2017 Autosport French Formula 4 Championship alongside local Formula Ford and endurance race commitments throughout the year with his ultimate goal being to race in the Formula 1 in the years to come. The French Formula 4 kicked off in April at Nogaro in France and will consist of seven rounds held in France, Italy, Belgium and Spain. The series concludes on 15th October at Le Castelle in France. Thus far Stuwie has had two podium finishes including taking 3rd in Pau, France on 20th May as well as the Junior Championship title.
Speaking at the event was the renowned voice of Formula 1 in South Africa, Sasha Martinengo who explained why Stuwie’s performance in the Formula 4 is so significant. “The French Formula 4 series has given rise to some of the world’s most incredible and well drivers including the likes of Jean-Éric Vergne, Stoffel Vandoorne who races for Mclaren and Pierre Gasly who races for Red Bull. They all at one time competed in the exact same series that Stuwie is competing in right now. Stuwie’s competing in this series is an unbelievable achievement. If we look at the other 20 drivers he is competing against there are only four juniors and Stuwie is always at the top and is earning podium positions that usually go to people who are older and far more experienced than he is.”
Following the progress that Stuwie has made in his racing career over the past year, a decision was made to create a new brand that would serve him for the rest of his racing career. Hein du Plessis of Brand New SA unveiled the new brand at the event and explained their approach by saying: “Part of Stuart’s success to date is the fact that he has his own formula for winning. We wanted to convey this alongside the fact that although he has become known as ‘Stuwie White’, he will outgrow this in a few years. We wanted to create a brand that is timeless, and this lead us to the Formula Stuart White brand.”
Sasha Martinengo explained the importance of having the right brand in today’s motorsport arena. “Motorsport is unlike any other sport on the planet. It is a complete, singular minded discipline that requires incredible courage, bravery, talent and money,” he explained. “ If you look at the world’s most famous drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, you will see that they surrounded themselves with the best. The best engineers and professionals were put on their teams. What they have in common though is that it was about them. The best teams were built around the brand that these drivers created for themselves. And in Stuart’s case, he now has the best helping him create this amazing brand that he can build on as his career will no doubt progress to greatness.”
Stuart himself concluded the evening by thanking everyone for their support and explaining what his goals are for the next few years. “Your support means so much me and is so important if I want to make a career in motorsport over the next few years. The next four years for me are what they call in the industry the ‘make or break years’. There are obviously no guarantees but I plan on giving it my best shot instead of having to say that I didn’t try. My best performance is what I can give back to my supporters, my sponsors and the country that I love.”