British tracks to keep on racing

The motorsport futures of four major British motor racing tracks have been secured in a deal worth an estimated £30 million.

The new owner of Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Oulton Park and Snetterton is MotorSport Vision Ltd (MSV), a company created by ex Formula One star Dr Jonathan Palmer and two businessmen/enthusiasts, Peter Ogden and John Britten.

Britten is a former MG and Morgan racer who also backed the privateer Porsche sportscar team that Palmer drove for in the mid-1980s; Ogden was formerly a managing director of Morgan Stanley before founding Computacenter in 1983, a company which has been a strong supporter of GT racing in the last decade.

MSV bought the tracks in January from Interpublic, which in turn owns Brands Hatch Circuits Limited.

"The future of these historic venues as motor racing circuits is now assured," said Palmer, the managing director of MSV. "Central to our plans is the continued ownership of all four and the development of each of them in accordance with the character and opportunities they present.

"There is clearly a great deal of work ahead. However, I am very excited about the prospect of providing spectators with more entertaining motor racing and competitors with circuits that become even better to race at. "We're totally committed to developing motorsport at these circuits and believe that, through innovation and

quality enhancement, we can revitalise one of the UK's most thrilling sports."

Interpublic, which bought the four circuits from Nicola Foulston's Brands Hatch Leisure in 1999, will now focus its UK motorsport efforts on staging the British Grand Prix, the rights to which were part of the above deal, and running Silverstone, which it leases from the BRDC. As a consequence its Brands Hatch Circuits Ltd subsidiary has been renamed Silverstone Motorsport Ltd.

Andrew Waller, the managing director of Silverstone Motorsport Ltd, said: "We are delighted that Jonathan Palmer and his team are acquiring the four circuits and believe that our sale to his company will help safeguard the future interests of UK motorsport."