The new owner of four of Britain’s circuits, Jonathan Palmer, is clear about his plans for historic racing
What are your views on historic and classic racing?
Historic racing is certainly important. It’s of great appeal to people, and that’s something I’m very keen to optimise. It’s very good that people are still running these cars and I think there is a greater appetite for this type of event than ever. The competitors are the custodians of our racing heritage.
What are you thoughts on high profile events like the Oulton Park Gold Cup?
I certainly think the Gold Cup is something we’ve got to make a lot more of. It didn’t do too well in 2003 in terms of gate. The event is crying out for some decent promotion. We need to generate more revenue and give circuits a sensible future. It’s important to focus on events where there’s a chance of getting a sensible crowd and I’m a big believer in the value to the circuits of historic racing. What happens at Goodwood is a good indicator of this.
Will race entry fees for club racers continue to rise under your ownership?
In the cost of going racing, the entry fee is a small percentage of the overall cost. Competitors need to readjust their perception of what is a reasonable fee, but I am very eager to ensure that entry fees only go up by a small amount. I want to see the operation of the sport become more efficient.
What are your other plans for your circuits in the near future?
We’ll be getting the venues smarter and tidier. I want to make a significant difference, and that will translate into more people wanting to go racing. We do care about the service we are providing. And I’d like to get Thoroughbred Grand Prix back on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit next year!