Oban’s Susie is third richest person in Highlands

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Oban racing sensation Susie Wolff MBE is now the third richest person in the Highlands and Islands, according to the latest figures.

The Sunday Times Rich List 2019, published last week, puts Susie and her husband Toto in third place for the region with a fortune worth £335 million, up £13 million from the previous year.

The Highlands and Islands area is topped by Mohamed Al Fayed and family on £1.7 billion, followed by Ian Taylor (£750 million), Toto and Susie Wolff, Greg Coffey (£273 million) and the Marquess of Bute (£148 million).

Susie, the daughter of John and Sally Stoddart, who owned a motorcycle dealership in Oban, is a former pupil of Oban High School who married Toto Wolff in 2011.

Now head of Venturi Formula E team, Susie was a racing driver until her retirement from competitive driving in 2015. She was honoured with an MBE in 2017 for services to Women in Sport.

Speaking about her new role, Susie said: ‘When I decided to stop as a professional driver in 2015, I knew that I wanted to continue with the challenge of competitive racing, just not behind the wheel.

‘You can’t just switch off your competitive instincts when you stop driving and that determination and desire to achieve still burn brightly inside me.

‘I took time to carefully decide the right direction for that challenge and I have now found the perfect next step, with the opportunity to become both a shareholder and Team Principal of Venturi Formula E Team.’

Last year she returned to Oban with her son Jack to help raise funds for Atlantis Leisure with her gala An Evening With Susie Wolff and Friends.

The event took place at the Argyllshire Gathering Halls on Friday September 28.

Susie, who gave birth to her son in April 2017, said at the time: ‘It’s the first time my son Jack will be in my home town so it has real significance for us as a family and I can’t wait to show him around.

‘It means a lot to me personally to help raise money for Atlantis Leisure.

‘The centre featured heavily in my childhood and I’m very grateful to have been able to train there and develop my sporting abilities.

‘Accessible recreational facilities like Atlantis Leisure are essential for the community and essential in the fostering of future sporting talent in the region.

‘Local people really need and value having sports facilities like this on their doorstep so I’m very happy to have the opportunity to support the sustainability and growth of the centre.

‘It’s really important to me that the young people in Oban have the same opportunities and access to the facilities that I had with Atlantis.’

The former Formula 1 development driver has many fond memories of Atlantis Leisure.

She said: ‘I started out in the swimming club – the Oban Otters. I remember so many mornings in the pool before school training there, working hard but also having a lot of fun.

‘I learned tennis there, too. Ball sports are definitely not my strength but it was a brilliant place to learn. There was a huge refurbishment in the mid-1990s which was fantastic. My friends and I just loved meeting there and doing some sport for fun.

‘The facility also became essential for my fitness and strength training when I started karting so it’s fair to say that I spent a great deal of my childhood within its walls.’

An Evening With Susie Wolff and Friends also featured Oban’s Scottish women’s rugby international Abi Evans.

Susie talked ‘about my personal journey from a small town on the west coast of Scotland right up to the international pinnacle of motorsport, Formula 1, and the life lessons I have experienced along the way’.