Simon Dolan

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Simon Dolan
Born (1969-05-20) 20 May 1969 (age 47)
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Investments, films and race driver
Net worth £965 million[1]

Simon Dolan (born 20 May 1969[2]) is a British businessman and entrepreneur.

Businesses and investments[edit]

Dolan's businesses and investments include SJD Accountancy, PHA Media, Oneserve, Contractor Umbrella, She Who Dares, Destination Board Games, Jota Aviation and Jota Sport.[3]

Dolan's first major business was SJD Accountancy, which was among the first accounting firms to offer a money back guarantee.[4] It is the only accounting firm in the UK top 100 owned by an individual rather than a partnership.[5] In 1999 Dolan also set up Contractor Umbrella Ltd. SJD Accountancy was acquired in 2014 along with accounting practice Nixon Williams by Sovereign Capital for over £100m .[6]

Dolan began investing in new start-up companies via Twitter in 2010, initially offering a £5 million investment pot for successful business pitches on the social networking site, earning himself the nickname "Twitter Dragon".[5][7] Dolan's investments via Twitter have included Global Moguls,[8] and mental health magazine Uncovered.[9]

Motor racing career[edit]

Main article: Jota Sport

Dolan's interest in motor racing began in March 2007 before creating his own racing team, Jota Sport, in 2008. In 2010 Jota Sport signed a multi-year agreement to become an Aston Martin official partner team in motorsports.[10] Jota initially competed in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage at the 2010 24 Hours of Spa where the team won their class.[11] Dolan and co-driver Sam Hancock participated in the VdeV series with a best finish of third at Circuit Paul Ricard. Dolan made his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011.

Dolan's career highlight was 1st place in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2014 with Harry Tincknell and Oliver Turvey, who replaced Marc Gené after he was recalled to Team Joest Audi Sport LMP1 team following an accident in practice for Loic Duval.[12]

Following a landmark sponsorship deal with Russian energy company Gazprom, the team competed as G-Drive Racing for the 2016 European Le Mans Series following a transfer of naming rights.[13] Racing in a Gibson 015S, Dolan and G-Drive's season got underway at Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom, in April, where they recorded their opening win of the season in the LMP2 category.[14] The victory was followed up with a runners-up finish at the following race at Imola, in May 2016. The team's good performance continued throughout the season and was capped with a victory in the final race of the season at Estoril, in Portugal. The victory secured the 2016 European Le Mans Series title for G-Drive Racing. Dolan topped the Drivers' classification alongside team mates Giedo Van Der Garde and Harry Tincknell, all securing 105 points.[15]

Journey to Le Mans[edit]

Main article: Journey to Le Mans

Dolan was the focus of a 2014 British documentary, directed by Charlotte Fantelli, that followed Jota Sport on their quest to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 category in 2014. The film followed Dolan and his Jota Sport team mates and captured the highs and lows the team encountered on their way to victory. Journey to Le Mans was released in a number of cinemas across the United Kingdom in October 2014, and released on DVD in November 2014.

Racing Results[edit]

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2011 United Kingdom Jota United Kingdom Sam Hancock
United Kingdom Chris Buncombe
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2 GTE
Pro
74 DNF DNF
2012 United Kingdom Jota United Kingdom Sam Hancock
Japan Haruki Kurosawa
Zytek Z11SN-Nissan LMP2 271 DNF DNF
2013 United Kingdom Jota Sport United Kingdom Oliver Turvey
Germany Lucas Luhr
Zytek Z11SN-Nissan LMP2 319 13th 7th
2014 United Kingdom Jota Sport United Kingdom Oliver Turvey
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Zytek Z11SN-Nissan LMP2 356 5th 1st
2015 United Kingdom Jota Sport United Kingdom Oliver Turvey
New Zealand Mitch Evans
Gibson 015S-Nissan LMP2 358 10th 2nd
2016 Russia G-Drive Racing United Kingdom Jake Dennis
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Gibson 015S-Nissan LMP2 222 DNF DNF

Complete European Le Mans Series results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races initalics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rank Points
2016 G-Drive Racing LMP2 Gibson 015S Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8 SIL
1
IMO
2
RBR
3
LEC
5
SPA
5
EST
1
1st 103

Mandalay Estate Mustique[edit]

In June 2014 Dolan bought Mandalay Estate on the island of Mustique for a reported £14 million.[16] The estate had previously been owned by Felix Dennis who died on June 2014.[17] Mandalay Estate was previously owned by English rock legend David Bowie who had the villa built in 1989.[18] For the first time in its history, the villa is now available to rent [19] for $40,000 per week.[20]

Publications[edit]

Dolan's autobiography How To Make Millions Without A Degree: And How to Get by Even If You Have One was published in 2010.[21] It tells the story of how he built his £140 million empire after leaving school at 15.[22] In the book, Dolan offers advice to business owners and those considering starting their own business instead of going to university.[23][24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Rich List 2016", The Sunday Times Magazine, 26 April 2015, p. 76.
  2. ^ "Simon Dolan GT2 European Cup Driver Bio". 
  3. ^ "Simon Dolan The Twitter Investor". 
  4. ^ Keeping it simple, Best Practice Magazine, December 2007
  5. ^ a b Kaffash, Jaimie (31 August 2011). "Simon says reform the partnership model". Accountancy Age. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Reed, Kevin (22 September 2014). "£100m private equity deal creates new accounting group". Accountancy Age. 
  7. ^ "Investors use Twitter to inject cash=this is money.co.uk". 5 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Hurley, James (14 June 2010). "Successful business pitches via twitter get 800k investment". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  9. ^ "Uncovered magazine investment". 15 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Jota Sport Sign Aston Martin Deal". 8 June 2010. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Team Jota win Spa 24 Hours in GT4". 2 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Le Mans 24 Hours: Marc Gene to replace Duval in #1 Audi". crash.net. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "JOTA Sport Announces Partnership With Gazprom Neft" fiawec.com
  14. ^ "Van der Garde wins on sportscar debut with Jota in Silverstone ELMS" autosport.com/
  15. ^ "ELMS Estoril: Van der Garde seals championship in Jota Sport Gibson" autosport.com/
  16. ^ Tonkin, Sam (12 January 2016). "Inside David Bowie's 'tranquil' Caribbean retreat: Stunning mansion built for him as a private getaway goes on sale for £14million". The Daily Mail- Mail Online. 
  17. ^ Rowe, Marsha (23 June 2014). "Felix Dennis obituary". The Guardian. 
  18. ^ Middleton, Christopher (11 January 2016). "Inside David Bowie's holiday home". The Telegraph. 
  19. ^ Agnew, Roisin (25 March 2016). "Can't afford $20 million for David Bowie's Caribbean house? Now you can rent it instead". Lonely Planet. 
  20. ^ Ekstein, Nikki (1 November 2016). "You Can Now Rent David Bowie's Mustique Villa for $40,000 a Week". Bloomberg. 
  21. ^ "The Upstart – 'How to make millions without a degree' review". 
  22. ^ "Daily Express – Make millions even after dropping out of school". 
  23. ^ "The Wright Stuff – Q & A session with business men and women". 
  24. ^ Dolan, Simon (18 August 2011). "The Telegraph – You don't need a degree to get ahead". The Daily Telegraph. London. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jon Lancaster
Björn Wirdheim
Gary Hirsch
European Le Mans Series
LMP2 Champion

2016 with:
Giedo van der Garde
Harry Tincknell
Succeeded by
Incumbent