MotorSport Vision to build new race facility in France

by Paul Hensby

Former Formula 1 driver Jonathan Palmer’s MotorSport Vision company has acquired an airbase in France with a view to creating the firm’s first mainland Europe-based race circuit.

MSV, who already own Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Cadwell Park and Bedford Autodrome, has purchased the former Laon-Couvron military airbase and will turn it into a racing circuit that will be primarily used for track days, corporate events and testing, although there are plans to utilise the circuit for four race meetings each season, focusing on sportscars, historic, club and motorcycle racing.

The airbase will be turned into a five-mile long circuit, with a 1.5-mile long straight, fast flowing corners and extensive run-off areas. There are also plans for alternative layouts of the circuit to be made, including an oval track, a drag racing strip, rally and 4×4 courses and a urban road driving centre.

“Our purchase of the Laon-Couvron airbase is a tremendously exciting landmark for MSV and one which will substantially grow our business over the next 10 years,” said MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer.

“We have been eager to expand into Europe and had targeted this area, midway between Paris and Brussels, so that our new Laon Autodrome circuit will serve not just the French market but equally importantly the whole of northern Europe.

“Driving activity at Laon Autodrome will mainly feature high performance road car driving, with trackdays and manufacturer promotional events, but also a stunning new PalmerSport Europe corporate/private driving event.

“We are also planning on four race weekend events each year, slated for GT and sports prototype cars, historic cars, general club racing and motorcycles.

“With the extensive engineering workshop space available alongside the driving circuits, we also believe Laon Autodrome will prove a very attractive base for automotive engineering companies and race teams who value an accessible, central European base.”

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