Circuit of Wales project has to be finished now - Jonathan Palmer

The Welsh Government's refusal to help fund the Circuit of Wales must mean the end of the project, according to Association of Motor Racing Circuit Owners chairman Jonathan Palmer

Circuit of Wales project has to be finished now - Jonathan Palmer

After years of delays the £433million proposal was dealt a major blow last month when the Welsh authority decided against offering the financial guarantee needed to build the prospective British MotoGP venue.

It had already provided £9million in public money before deciding not to offer further support.

While the Circuit of Wales developer has hit back, citing a "fundamental misunderstanding" of the risks involved and requesting a new meeting with the government, Palmer believes the project must now be over.

The AMRCO organisation voiced its concern about the viability of the Circuit of Wales by urging against state support in 2014, and Palmer told Autosport he thought "it would be over two years ago".

"It has to be," he said when asked if the Circuit of Wales was finished after the Welsh Government's decision.

"It's been an appalling waste of public money and it was so predictable.

"We as AMRCO made our views clear. Most of the circuit association could see it was going to end in messy tears, a lot of money wasted and a negative impact on the rest of motorsport.

"It's slightly baffling. Despite writing to those involved from a government point of view, I'm the chairman of AMRCO, but was never phoned or contacted to talk about my concerns or glean a bit more.

"It means a lot of money was wasted, and it's not just the money - it's the hope people were given.

"It was massively misleading in terms of scale and in terms of employment."

The AMRCO includes Palmer's MSV circuits, Silverstone, Donington Park, the BARC's trio of tracks, Goodwood and several other venues from Britain and Ireland.

Palmer insisted it was never trying to protect itself and ward off competition by doubting the Circuit of Wales.

"We couldn't stand by and not raise concerns and present what we believe to be the reality of the situation to try and prevent the Welsh Government wasting the money," he said.

The Circuit of Wales signed a five-year deal with MotoGP promoter Dorna in 2014, with an option for another five years.

Donington Park was initially tasked with keeping the race while ongoing delays pushed back the Circuit of Wales' construction, but that deal fell through and Silverstone, the race's host since 2010, stepped in and has remained the British MotoGP venue since.

Palmer said MotoGP has not been on his radar either side of his deal with MSV to purchase Donington, and expects Silverstone to be favourite to win back the MotoGP contract in its own right.

"I would have thought so," he said. "It's been at Silverstone for some time now.

"But Circuit of Wales as a company I assume does still exist and has the contract, so we'll see."

shares
comments
Palmer's MSV waiting for Donington Park deal clearance

Previous article

Palmer's MSV waiting for Donington Park deal clearance

Next article

Promoted: Olli Caldwell - Britain's busiest F4 racer

Promoted: Olli Caldwell - Britain's busiest F4 racer
Load comments
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
Remembering Goodwood’s heroes at 78th Members' Meeting Plus

Remembering Goodwood’s heroes at 78th Members' Meeting

A year and a half after it was originally scheduled, this weekend’s 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting honours key figures from the circuit’s history, including the likes of Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney and Gerry Marshall

National
Oct 14, 2021
The restorer keeping a land-speed record-holder's memory alive Plus

The restorer keeping a land-speed record-holder's memory alive

From a famous land-speed special to an Indianapolis 500 frontrunner, restorer and racer Geraint Owen has a fascination for making old machines work

Historics
Oct 4, 2021
The real-life Jedi revival earning rave reviews in club racing Plus

The real-life Jedi revival earning rave reviews in club racing

The F1000 championship celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021, and is going from strength-to-strength. While that hasn't always been the case, the series for lightweight Jedi cars has learned valuable lessons that are making it a force to be reckoned with

National
Oct 1, 2021
The questions posed by British F4's imminent shake-up Plus

The questions posed by British F4's imminent shake-up

It’s all change in British F4 next year with a different car, engine and promoter. But with the British motorsport governing body set to become a competitor to organising clubs, and a question mark over the external funding to replace the shortfall previously put in by Ford, a lot remains unclear

National
Sep 23, 2021
The 17 penalties that led to a bizarre timetable issue Plus

The 17 penalties that led to a bizarre timetable issue

OPINION: An unprecedented 17 alleged cases of gaining an advantage at Thruxton’s Club chicane in Ginetta Junior made for a set of truly baffling events, and poses further questions about the consistency of penalties in such situations

National
Sep 2, 2021
The question marks resulting from national racing's rediscovered freedoms Plus

The question marks resulting from national racing's rediscovered freedoms

OPINION: When government restrictions relaxed last month, so too did rules surrounding how club events operate, leading to a range of views on the best way forward. Beyond scrutineering, there's also the matter of in-person driver briefings and trainee marshal involvement to consider too

National
Aug 27, 2021
The uncertainty and opportunity of British F3's enforced identity change Plus

The uncertainty and opportunity of British F3's enforced identity change

OPINION: It was inevitable that British F3 would need a new identity someday amid the FIA’s stance on series outside its remit using the ‘F3’ branding. But while its mid-season switch to the GB3 moniker was met with some surprise, many championship insiders are adamant that nothing will change

National
Aug 11, 2021