MSV targeting pre-Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round for new French venue

MotorSport Vision chief Jonathan Palmer wants his firm's new circuit in France to become the home for the pre-Le Mans 24 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship

MSV targeting pre-Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round for new French venue

The Laon Autodrome track will be located on a former military base in northern France, with a main circuit layout of 4.5 to 5 miles as its centrepiece.

MSV completed the purchase of the land earlier this month and is now preparing to secure planning permission before planned development begins in 2017.

The new MotorSport Vision France [MSVF] organisation will be formed to run the facility.

While track details are at a very early stage, Palmer has promised the Laon Autodrome will boast one of the fastest layouts anywhere in Europe.

Key to the design will be the construction of a 1.5-mile main straight, allowing Palmer to target the Le Mans 'warm-up' date currently occupied by the Spa WEC round.

"By making one of our events a sportscar or GT meeting we leave the door open to something like the FIA WEC or the European Le Mans Series and, ultimately, that's what I'd like to see racing at Laon," Palmer told Motorsport News.

"Currently the WEC teams use Spa-Francorchamps as a 'dress-rehearsal' for Le Mans.

"But this new layout will share some key characteristics with La Sarthe in terms of the high-speed nature of it.

"The track will be fast and flowing and a real challenge for drivers. There won't be stop-start hairpins or tight, restrictive corners

"They may be put in to create overtaking chances at some tracks, but they create a lot of braking load, which increases the wear and tear on both competition and road-going cars."

The venue is due for completion in 2017, with MSV eyeing four major race events per year.

Alongside the sportscar slot, one will be set aside for motorcycle racing, one for historic motorsport and one for national championships.

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