MotorSport Vision

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Founded 2004
Founders Jonathan Palmer
John Britten
Peter Ogden
Headquarters Fawkham, Longfield, Kent, United Kingdom

MotorSport Vision is one of the world's foremost motorsport organisations, and the leading operator of UK motor racing venues. MSV has a portfolio ranging from major two and four wheel championships to organising the PalmerSport corporate driving event.

History[edit]

MotorSport Vision was founded by John Britten, Sir Peter Ogden and Jonathan Palmer, who won the Formula Two Championship in 1983 and competed in 88 Formula One Grands Prix over the next six years.

MSV is famous for buying Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park in 2004 and working to modernise their facilities and customer care. Brands Hatch, the former venue for the British Grand Prix, has begun hosting international car racing again - events either joining or back on its calendar include the DTM German touring car championship, the FIA World Touring Car Championship and the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

In 2006, MSV formed MotorSport Vision Racing (MSVR), providing a complete car and bike racing organisation capability to the MotorSport Vision group. MSVR organises over 30 events annually across 10 UK circuits. MotorSport Vision's trackday division, Club MSV, has grown to become one of the UK's biggest trackday companies in the past four years and organises novice events up to advanced driver training days. Alongside PalmerSport, MSV also run driving experiences at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park.[1]

MSV also ran the Formula Palmer Audi championship from 1998 to 2010 which advanced the careers of hundreds of young hopefuls, nine of whom have made it all the way to Formula One. In 2008 MSV also acquired the rights to the British Superbike Championship which has already seen the considerable benefits of MSV's commercial, administrative and organisational expertise.

In September 2008 MotorSport Vision won an FIA tender to supply cars and operate the FIA Formula Two Championship, a new international single seater series derived from an FIA initiative to provide young, talented drivers with the opportunity to compete in top-level racing on a competitive budget. The Formula Two cars, like Formula Palmer Audi, were assembled and prepared in a dedicated facility at Bedford Autodrome, also home to PalmerSport and FPA. This category was discontinued after 2010.

One of its founders, John Britten, died on 25 November 2009, after a long period of illness.[2]

Circuits[edit]

Brands Hatch[edit]

In 1986, John Foulston bought Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Snetterton circuits from Grovewood Securities and established the Brands Hatch Leisure (BHL) company. The following year, the company acquired Cadwell Park before Foulston died testing a McLaren IndyCar at Silverstone. Ownership of BHL passed to his wife Mary, but the company was run by John Webb until 1990, when daughter Nicola Foulston took over the running. In that time, Brands Hatch hosted higher-profile series such as Formula 3000 and Superbike World Championship racing. 1988 saw further changes to the circuit layout, with a chicane added at Dingle Dell Corner, while Westfield Bend and Graham Hill Bend were tightened. New pits and a corporate entertainment facility were added in the late-1990s.

In 1999, Foulston announced that Brands Hatch had acquired the rights to the British Grand Prix from 2002.[3] Whilst discussions were ongoing with regards to planning permission to bring the circuit up to F1 requirements, Foulston sold BHL to Octagon Motorsports (a subsidiary of Interpublic) for £120 m.[4] Octagon, however, failed to obtain the necessary planning permission and instead decided to lease Silverstone in order to host the Grand Prix.[5] However, high-profile single-seater racing did return to Brands Hatch in 2003, when a round of the CART series was held at the circuit.[6] Despite attracting around 40,000 spectators[7] the race was not retained for subsequent seasons.

With financial pressures stemming from running the British Grand Prix,[8] Octagon sold off the group of four circuits,[9] including Brands Hatch, to the MotorSport Vision group headed by ex-F1 driver Jonathan Palmer in 2004.[10]

Oulton Park[edit]

After many years of decay, Oulton was given new life when it, along with Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Cadwell Park, was bought by MotorSport Vision. MSV, headed by ex-F1 racer Jonathan Palmer, have completely turned the circuits around, tidying them up and pulling the crowds in.

Oulton Park has always been acknowledged as one of the most picturesque circuits in the UK, and under MSV's guidance big meetings have thrived at the Cheshire track, including the British Touring Car Championship, two rounds of the British Superbike Championship and the Gold Cup classic car meeting dubbed 'the Goodwood of the north'.

In 2007 Oulton park was voted the best UK circuit by British Superbike fans,[11] whilst a BTCC meeting on Sunday 27 July 2008 saw a crowd of 35,000 attend - a record not only for the circuit but the highest crowd at any venue of the BTCC for a decade.[12]

Snetterton[edit]

Snetterton has undergone perhaps the most radical transformation of all the MotorSport Vision circuits since being taken over in 2004.

New spectator banking has been added to the track to improve circuit views, whilst the restaurant and toilet facilities have been updated or replaced. A new scrutineering bay has also been added.

Snetterton is well known for being one of the fastest tracks in the UK thanks to its combination of several long straights and relatively few corners. The lap record currently stands at 56.095 seconds, or an average speed of 125.27 mph.

Cadwell Park[edit]

In 1953 the track was lengthened to 1.3 miles (2.1 km), upon the invitation of the 500 cc motorcycle-engined Formula 3 to race in a traditional bike meeting. Around 30,000 spectators attended that particular race. The original track grew to the current 2.25 miles (3.62 km) layout in 1962 and hosted the British F3 series the next May. Some of the bends are named after family members e.g. Mansfield, Charlie and Chris. Cadwell is now considered too narrow for high level car races, although club motorsport associations such as the BARC and 750MC still hold meetings. The layout is ideal for bikes however, with the British Superbike Championship round being the most popular event on the championship's calendar. Several tests and feature clips for the motoring program Fifth Gear have been filmed here.

Bedford Autodrome[edit]

The track, in Thurleigh near Bedford is owned by MotorSport Vision. No official motorsport events are held at the circuit but it is a popular public track day circuit, it is also the home of the Jaguar SlikCat which is used for corporate events and for ride alongs during the track days. It is served by Bedford Aerodrome.

Series[edit]

In 2012 MotorSport Vision will host several prestigious international events such as the DTM German touring cars and the revived FIA Formula Two Championship.

Alongside these, MotorSport Vision's circuits will host the British Superbike Championship, British Touring Car Championship, the British F3 and GT championships, and a range of historic events including the Oulton Park Gold Cup.

There will also be numerous bike and car club meetings throughout the year, including the Britcar 'Into The Night' race at Brands Hatch. [13]

British Superbikes[edit]

In 2008 MotorSport Vision took over the responsibility for the organisation and promotion of the British Superbike Championship from Dorna.[14] The 2008 season was MSV's first in charge, and saw Shane Byrne take the title. The championship was screened live by British Eurosport, and highlights were shown later on Channel 4.

Formula Palmer Audi[edit]

Formula Palmer Audi, commonly known as FPA, was founded in 1998 by Jonathan Palmer. The ethos of FPA is to keep costs at a minimum whilst at all times promoting incredibly competitive and professional racing. The series is most famous for producing ex-F1 driver and IndyCar race-winner Justin Wilson and helping the career of triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx.

In order to keep a level playing field as much as possible, all the Formula Palmer Audi cars are run by a specialist team of FPA mechanics, rather than having separate teams. This concept of a large group of deliberately equalised cars has since been adopted by A1GP.

FPA has recently announced a scholarship prize with the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow KF2 karting championship,[15] and with the newly revived FIA Formula Two Championship,[16] positioning the series as a fantastic intermediary step between karts and top-level single seaters.

FIA Formula Two Championship[edit]

The FIA Formula Two Championship is the revival of the Formula Two series that was highly successful from 1967 to 1985. It will see 24 drivers competing in identical MotorSport Vision-run cars with a 400 bhp Audi engine over 16 rounds.

The FIA's overall concern was that the cost of competing in motor racing at a level to progress directly to Formula One today is so high that it prevents many talented drivers from having the opportunity to participate.

In September 2008 the FIA tender to supply the cars and operate the FIA Formula Two Championship was awarded to MotorSport Vision. Compared to rival series, Formula Two will cost significantly less per season whilst allowing drivers to prove their skill and develop their racecraft in identical vehicles designed by a six man team from WilliamsF1, led by Director of Engineering Patrick Head. The series was marred by the tragic death of Henry Surtees, who died in a fatal accident during a race at Brands Hatch.

MotorSport Vision Formula Three Cup[edit]

F3 Cup is a national motor racing series that takes place primarily in the United Kingdom with a small number of events in mainland Europe. It is a junior-level feeder formula that uses small single seater Formula Three built after 1980 and before 2007. The championship comprises nine rounds, each with two races. Each race weekend will comprise one 25-minute qualifying session and two 20-minute races.

The 2011 season saw rounds held in England at Snetterton 300 (Two rounds), Donington Park, Brands Hatch Indy, Brands Hatch GP and Oulton Park International. There is one round held in Wales at Anglesey Circuit International and one round in Belgium at Spa Francorchamps. A test drive of a Formula 2 was awarded to the most meritorious driver of the year, which was Aaron Steele.

In 2012, F3 Cup has been awarded championship status, so the F2 prize will be awarded to the driver of any class that has the most points. There is also a team championship for MSA Entrants fielding two or more cars.

BRDC Formula 4 Championship[edit]

Originally operated by the 750 Motor Club, a deal was reached in September 2012 to pass the name onto MotorSport Vision (MSV) to create the new BRDC Formula 4 Championship.

The 2013 season begins at Silverstone Grand Prix circuit on 27/28 April and ends on 28/29 September at Donington Park, a total of eight events with three races at each, all held in the UK.

The championship features a mix of professional motor racing teams and privately funded drivers using identical 2.0-litre cars built by Ralph Firman’s RFR company.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Review of MSV's fleet of driving experience cars
  2. ^ Personal statement by Jonathan Palmer
  3. ^ "F1 returns to Brands". BBC News. 1999-05-14. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  4. ^ "The Company File: Brands Hatch takeover". BBC News. 1999-11-09. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  5. ^ "Brands Hatch gives up British GP". GrandPrix.com. 2000-12-03. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  6. ^ "Champ Car series to do battle at Brands Hatch in 2003". CART.com. 2003-01-09. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  7. ^ "Champ Car World Series Returns From Successful European Swing". SpeedCenter.com. 2003-05-13. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  8. ^ "The problems at Octagon Motorsports". GrandPrix.com. 2002-10-18. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Completed acquisition by Motorsport Vision Ltd of Brands Hatch Circuit Ltd & Brands Hatch Leisure Ltd" (PDF). Office of Fair Trading. 2004-05-24. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  10. ^ "Palmer leads Brands Hatch purchase group". GrandPrix.com. 2004-01-05. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  11. ^ "Oulton Park homepage". MotorSport Vision. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  12. ^ Oulton Park's record BTCC attendance
  13. ^ "MotorSport Vision fixture lists". MotorSport Vision. 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  14. ^ MSV takes over BSB
  15. ^ BRDC Stars of Tomorrow announce scholarship prize with FPA
  16. ^ FPA announce scholarship prize with F2

External links[edit]