Mark Preston

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Mark Preston
Mark Preston.jpeg
Mark Preston.
Born (1968-11-07) 7 November 1968 (age 48)
Geelong, Australia
Nationality Australia Australian
Employer Team Aguri
Known for Formula One Formula E
Website www.prestonracing.com

Mark Preston (born 7 November 1968) is an Australian business man and motorsport professional. He is currently the Team Principal of the Team Aguri Formula E racing team.

He has a long history in motorsport, particularly in Formula One, having worked for Arrows F1, McLaren Racing Ltd and Super Aguri F1.

Personal life[edit]

Preston was born in Geelong, Australia. Raised in Melbourne, he graduated from the Monash University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1992. During his studies, he also worked as a part-time design engineer with Borland Racing Developments, which launched his career in motorsport.

Early career[edit]

Following his graduation from Monash University, Preston joined Tieman Industries, a company specialising in the design, manufacture and sales of dry bulk and bulk liquid road tankers. In 1993, he was appointed as a Project Manager at General Motors Holden, a role he later occupied for Holden Special Vehicles, where he designed custom vehicles for local and global markets.

Preston worked in parallel developing Spectrum Racing Cars with Borland Racing, where the Spectrum 05 was designed and run in the 1996 Australian Formula Ford Championship in 1996 where the team secured second place in the race with Jason Bargwanna. Spectrum went on to win a number of Australian championships in Formula Ford.

Formula One career[edit]

To pursue his dream of working in Formula One, Preston relocated to the UK in 1996 and secured a role with Arrows F1 team through his connections at Holden Special Vehicles.

Preston stayed with the Arrows F1 team for six years, occupying the roles of Stress Analysis Engineer, Senior Vehicle Performance Analyst, and Head of Research and Development. In these roles, he was responsible for computer aided analysis, vehicle dynamics, research and development laboratories and the test team.

Following the collapse of the Arrows F1 team in 2002, Preston joined the McLaren F1 Racing team as the Principal Designer,[1] and was later promoted to Head of Vehicle Technology Laboratories. In the latter role he oversaw the development of the radical McLaren MP4-18A alongside Technical Director Adrian Newey and Chief Designer Mike Coughlan.

After two years with the McLaren F1 Racing team, Preston left the Woking squad to create his own outfit, Preston Racing, with the aim of starting his own Formula One team.[2] Collaborating with ex-Arrows F1 employees and former Formula One driver, Aguri Suzuki, Preston created the Super Aguri F1 team.[3]

"We were selling ourselves on the fact that we had the technical or organisational group that could do something, and we were just waiting for someone with enough money to do it" [4]

Through Suzuki’s connections, the team was able to secure the support of Honda, who supplied the team’s engines from 2006 to 2008.[5] Preston was appointed as Super Aguri’s Chief Technical Officer and played a fundamental role in creating the team in just 100 days, with the SA05 cars making their debut in the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix after the team’s entry was ratified by the FIA on 26 January 2006.[6]

Preston continued with the team as Technical Director [7] for two further seasons, until Super Aguri’s withdrawal from Formula One in 2008.

Formula E career[edit]

In 2014, Preston founded the Super Aguri Formula E team in partnership with Aguri Suzuki.[8] The squad, later called the Amlin Aguri Formula E team, was one of ten entrants to participate in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship – the first FIA-sanctioned electric motorsport series in the world.

The outfit was rebranded as Team Aguri for the 2015/16 Formula E Championship, with Preston continuing as Team Principal.[9] In this role he is responsible for the strategy and development of the team.

Other work[edit]

Between 2008 to 2014, Preston was the Managing Director of Formtech Composites Ltd, a business specialising in the design, development and manufacture of lightweight carbon fibre composite components.[10]

In May 2015, Preston became the Founder and Director of the MobOx Foundation C.I.C – a laboratory in Oxford that runs studies into future technologies.[11]

Qualifications and research[edit]

During his work in motorsport, Preston has achieved a number of academic qualifications and been involved in several technology businesses.

He holds an MBA from the University of Oxford in 2006 and was involved in the Department of Engineering Science’s Tidal Energy Research Group during his studies. In this capacity, Preston was involved in the development and commercialisation of the Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine – an underwater device that generates power from tidal flows.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Preston joins McLaren". Autosport. 17 September 2002. 
  2. ^ "Preston Racing move in at Silverstone". Crash.net. 23 June 2005. 
  3. ^ "Preston postpones plans, joins Aguri". Crash.net. 1 January 1901. 
  4. ^ "Mark Preston: F1 & Grand Prix Expert". Champions Speakers. 
  5. ^ "Super Aguri boosted by Honda help". Autosport. 30 January 2006. 
  6. ^ "FIA confirm Super Aguri". Eurosport. 26 January 2006. 
  7. ^ "Preston is new technical director of Super Aguri". F1 Technical. 22 September 2006. 
  8. ^ "Super Aguri joins FIA Formula E Championship as sixth team". FIA Formula E. 1 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Team Aguri launch colour scheme via motorsport.com". Speed Major. 12 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Formtech partners BAE in bid to introduce composites to MoD". The Engineer. 29 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Autonomous racing cars: coming soon to a track near you?". Current E. 2 October 2015. 

External links[edit]