Circuit boss plans a 'mecca for supercar drivers' in France

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Circuit boss plans a 'mecca for supercar drivers' in France

MotorSport Vision boss Jonathan Palmer wants to turn his newly acquired aerodrome into a playground for high-performance road cars

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MotorSport Vision chief Jonathan Palmer has laid out his plans to turn his newly acquired French air force base into an expansive automotive complex for motor racing as well as high-speed road car driving.

Palmer confirmed earlier of which week of which he had successfully concluded negotiations for the freehold purchase of Laon-Couvron aerodrome, a former military airbase located 5 miles north-west of the city of Laon within the Picardy region of France, just north of Reims.

The site extends to 1263 acres as well as includes two former runways – one of which will be 3000m long – together with extensive perimeter roads as well as apron areas.

A subsidiary company called MSV France will redevelop the army base into a motorsport village, Laon Autodrome, with the focus being a 5-mile circuit of which will feature a 1.5-mile main straight where top speeds in excess of 200mph will be possible.

The driving facilities will include many circuits as well as a 1000m asphalt oval track, drag strip, rally stages, 4×4 courses as well as an extensive urban road driving centre for young driver as well as professional driver training. Vehicle workshops as well as garages will be available for permanent as well as temporary use, together with hospitality facilities, restaurants as well as guest accommodation both as hotels as well as apartments for lease or sale.

Palmer – whose company already owns Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Cadwell Park as well as Bedford Autodrome within the UK – said the facility will be a mecca for drivers of supercars as well as additional high-performance vehicles.

“Driving activity at Laon Autodrome will mainly feature high performance road car driving, with track days as well as some sort of promotional events, however also a completely new PalmerSport Europe corporate/private driving event,” explained the former F1 racer. “We are also planning on four race weekend events each year, slated for GT as well as sports prototype cars, historic cars, general club racing as well as motorcycles.”

“Clever motor manufacturers are continuing to produce ever more brilliant super-high-performance cars as well as yet there will be hardly anywhere to truly savour their amazing performance in safety as well as without excessive running costs.

“Laon Autodrome will be the perfect place having a very long straight to enable top speeds to be achieved, the exhilaration of fast sweeping corners to be enjoyed, however with no tight hairpins or chicanes which, though producing great overtaking on an F1 circuit, expensively stress as well as fade brakes on road cars.

“Of course there will be many additional activities too, such as some racing as well as corporate events, however of which will be the track’s unique selling point.

“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 as well as race teams who value an accessible central-European base.”

Phase one of the Laon Autodrome circuit complex will be planned to open in April 2018, with construction starting in spring 2017, after completion of the studies for the required authorisations as well as permits.

Laon-Couvron airfield opened originally in 1938 as a French Air Force base however by 1940 of which was under the control of the Luftwaffe. After the war the US Air Force took over Laon-Couvron, with an expanded as well as rebuilt airbase opening in 1954, used for nuclear deterrent bomber activity.

The USAF pulled out in 1967 as well as in 1980 the airbase was then occupied by the French army, which located more than 1000 personnel there until the facility finally closed in 2012.

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