With rumours about his 'exciting new role' beginning to spread from the moment that he announced that he would be stepping down as team manager at Panasonic Toyota Racing, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management has confirmed that he is heading for a similar role at the Yas Marina circuit.
Philippe Gurdjian, who not long ago revealed that he was to leave his senior post at Paul Ricard to concentrate on being the full-time CEO at ADMM, confirmed overnight that Cregan would be the latest addition to his Yas Marina team, with the Irishman expected to take up his new role on 1 February 2009. He will report directly to Gurdjian.
The move marks the end of Cregan's 24-year stint at Toyota, where he worked with both the general motorsport division, with interests in rallying and sportscar programmes, and the Formula One team, where he played a significant part in shaping the current Cologne-based operation.
“Whilst I'm very sad to be leaving Toyota, I'm excited about the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in Abu Dhabi," Cregan commented, "Philippe is incredibly determined about making the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix something extraordinary and it's not often that you get the chance to be involved in such a unique and interesting project.”
Cregan joins a core team of specialists from international motorsports and United Arab Emirates experts tasked with engaging the local community and developing motorsport within the Middle East region.
“Richard represents another key addition to the team here in Abu Dhabi – his management skills combined with his in-depth understanding of the world of F1 made him an extremely strong candidate for the team, " Gurdjian said.
“Richard's experience, gained from working his way up from the bottom of an industry to his existing role, gives him a wider comprehension of the challenges faced when creating a new business and developing a sporting property. I am very much looking forward to welcoming him here.”