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COULD THE BTCC RETURN TO WALES? The British Touring Car Championship could return to Welsh soil for the first time since 1993 if plans for an-all new circuit in South Wales come to fruition. The proposal being put forward for the Circuit of Wales would see a 3.5-mile circuit created at a location in Ebbw Vale in Blaenau Gwent. Part of a wider project that would include investment in industrial, commercial and leisure developments, the circuit would be developed in line with FIA and FIM standards to make it suitable for a range of major national and international events. Karting and Motocross tracks would be built alongside the main circuit while a racing academy would be created to help with the development of young drivers and riders. A planning application for the £250 million project, which would cover some 830 acres, will be submitted to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council within the next two months. While the headline news www.insidebtcc.com

to many is the revelation that it could mean a Welsh round of MotoGP or World Superbikes, it would also create a venue more than suitable for a round of the BTCC, which last raced in Wales nearly two decades ago. “This is a major private sector-originated regeneration project in partnership with the local authority and the Welsh Government which will create significant job opportunities in a deprived part of the UK,” Michael Carrick, chief excecutive of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company and the director in charge of delivering the project, said. “We are currently in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders on our plans to create world class infrastructure and facilities that will allow us to attract and retain high-quality businesses and operate international motor sports events. “This exciting project will create new capacity and deliver highquality automotive infrastructure in the UK whilst providing a major regeneration boost that will bring lasting benefits

to the regional and wider Welsh economy. “A key element in our strategy to develop the automotive cluster was to find the right location and site profile. We believe that we have identified an outstanding site in Ebbw Vale: it is on the boundary of a national park, close to major population centres, and the topography will allow us to create a unique, exciting, safe and stunning environment, which will offer an outstanding experience for competitors and spectators. “Our discussions to date have been extremely positive, and we welcome the feedback on our proposals. We do hope to finalise our detailed plans during this year and commence work on the development early next year with a view to being operational in 2015.” The Motor Sports Association, the governing body for fourwheeled motorsport in the UK, has already given its backing for the plans.

“The Motor Sports Association has a long and successful history with the sport in Wales, and Wales Rally GB has brought in excess of £10m a year to the Welsh economy since 2001,” chief executive Colin Hilton said. “There is no doubt that the proposed motor sport complex project could create great employment opportunities as well as increasing tourism, sport and education opportunities in the local and surrounding areas. “As a result, the MSA welcomes the initiative and will offer any assistance possible to the parties involved.” It is anticipated that the plans would create 3,000 new jobs during the construction phase with an additional 6,000 created when the development is complete. Tourism would also be given a boost while the economic benefits to the Welsh economy are reported to be over £50m per annum.

Inside BTCC 13

Profile for Inside BTCC

Inside BTCC - Issue 13 - Knockhill (August 2012)  

Issue 13 of Inside BTCC - an e-mag dedicated to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Looking ahead to rounds 19, 20 and 21 of th...

Inside BTCC - Issue 13 - Knockhill (August 2012)  

Issue 13 of Inside BTCC - an e-mag dedicated to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Looking ahead to rounds 19, 20 and 21 of th...

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