|Nick Whale joined the motor industry as a sales executive in 1982, rising through the ranks to Group Operations Director of the Ryland Group and taking the company through flotation to become Ryland plc. In 1999 he started Nick Whale Holdings and the group now holds franchises representing Lotus, Morgan, Noble, Saab and Porsche, employs 90 people and turns over around £50m.
During 2001 Nick formed a partnership company with 1996 Formula One World Champion Damon Hill and the Damon Hill group, employing over 200 people, is likely to turn over around £80m in 2004.
"I am delighted that Nick has joined the Board," says Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA. "His appointment is exactly what the new Board structure was designed to achieve. There is a wealth of external experience that we should be tapping into in order to address the challenges we face and Nick`s extensive experience, both commercial and sporting, will be invaluable."
As well as being a hugely successful businessman, Whale is also an accomplished competitor. Having started in sprints and hillclimbs, Nick had a number of enjoyable years in single-seaters, production saloons, the British Touring Car Championship and GTs leading to membership of the BRDC in 1995.
Now a keen historic rally driver, Whale won the Historic Challenge in 1999, the inaugural British Historic Rally Championship in 2000 and, more recently, the Manx rally in 2002 and the Killarney rally in 2003.
"In the past 25 years, I`ve taken a huge amount from the sport and it`s brought me a lot of pleasure," admits Whale. "Now I have a great opportunity to give something back and help the MSA address some of its challenges. I have been lucky enough to participate in many different forms of motor sport and would definitely class myself as a `grassroots` guy. I`ll be a voice and an ear for the MSA at club level and I also hope that people will pick up the ‘phone and contact me themselves."