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Jonathan Palmer inducted into Motor Sport Hall of Fame

Tuesday, June 05 2018

MotorSport Vision Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer was inducted into the 2018 Motor Sport Hall of Fame last night at a glittering ceremony at Woodcote Hall in Surrey.

Palmer became only the second recipient of the Motor Sport Industry Champion Award, recognising his considerable contribution to the world of motorsport which included spells in F1 and the British Touring Car Championship before turning his hand to business and successfully reinvigorating the fortunes of some of the UK's best-loved race circuits under the MotorSport Vision name.

The award was presented by last year's inaugural Motor Sport Magazine Industry Champion winner, Prodrive's David Richards CBE.

Palmer said: "We have some of the best circuits in the world in the UK and their heritage is something both MotorSport Vision and Motor Sport magazine and its readers cherish. I enjoy business even more than I enjoyed F1 and looking after the MSV venues brings me a great deal of pleasure. 

"Achieving high standards of venue quality, facilities and customer service has been central to our business philosophy and we have invested substantially to achieve this. For too long the quality of our facilities hadn't been good enough but we've changed that. We have a great team of hard-working personnel at MSV of whom I'm immensely proud.  They all believe in the ethos of striving for highest standards - and we all enjoy being part of a business that is appreciated by its customers."

Following his on-stage speech, Richards said: "What he's done to the circuits is a great credit to British motor racing and he's done a really great job."

After an F1 career that saw him drive 83 Grands Prix for four teams between 1983 and 1989, Palmer raced in the British Touring Car Championship and worked alongside Murray Walker in the BBC F1 commentary box before switching his focus to business. He established the world-beating PalmerSport corporate driving event at Bedford Autodrome, and went on to take over five UK race circuits - Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Snetterton, Oulton Park and most recently Donington Park - with huge success, dramatically improving the venues for both participants and spectators.

He has also helped progress the careers of hundreds of aspiring young racing drivers by running affordable, yet very high quality, single-seater championships, including Formula Palmer Audi, BRDC Formula 4 and the current British Formula 3 Championship.

Palmer also presented an award at last night's ceremony. The Formula 1 award, sponsored by Princess Yachts, went to Mike Costin and the late Keith Duckworth, whose son Roger joined Mike on stage to accept the prize in recognition of two of the sport's most successful engineers.