Sportscar designer Nicolas Perrin is on track to stamp Skipton on the map of top motorsport.

His ambition is to develop a racing car which will compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race next year.

And he already has a a prototype scale model of the vehicle designed by his team based at his office in Hetton.

But he is aiming to break away from the traditional racing environment, where money counts, to share his dream and success with ordinary people.

His company, Perrinn My Team, is inviting students, schoolchildren, engineers and fans to get involoved in the project, from helping improve the design and engineering to contributing to the finance.

People are invited to have ideas for the livery and team wear right through to driver choice.

They can become part of the “team”, no matter where they live, accessing data online and they can even produce their own 3D print of the car or download a version of it to drive on a PC or simulator.

Students at Leeds University are already involved and even youngsters at Grassingon Primary School, where he recently visited, have shown him their ideas.

Nicolas, who worked for Formula 1 team Williams before setting out on his own, said: “We want to have the car ready to take part in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 2015.

“But before that we are aiming to have a full-scale model ready for when the Tour de France reaches Craven in the summer and take it out to show the public,” said the Frenchman who has made his home in the Dales.

“This is a brand new concept on how to run a racing car team and goes completely against the norm.

“We can create a true people’s team and, by opening everything up, we aim to not only build up a fan base that gets involved to improve the car but also attract backers who share our values. We are looking for £2.5 million in the first year. It’s all planned and costed. “At this stage everything is possible, including naming the car and team.

“The level of interest so far has been beyond our expectation, with people contributing ideas from around the world.

“We want people to take ownership of the car and feel they have a stake in it, hence ‘my team’ as the name suggests.

“It would be fantastic, wouldn’t it, to have such a racing team based in the wonderful Yorkshire Dales?”

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