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A seasonal message from MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer

Saturday, December 24 2011

It seems amazing to think that we have now completed the eighth year of MSV running our circuits business and 2011 has certainly provided some memorable highlights.

The best of these is undoubtedly from our own MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, when Tommy Hill took the championship in the last few metres of the last lap of the last race of the season!  Tommy beat MotoGP star John Hopkins by just 0.006 of a second to claim the title at Brands Hatch after one of the most amazing laps in motorsport history, when the lead changed no fewer than five times! I'm delighted that BSB has gone from strength to strength under MSV's management and it was no surprise the fans voted it moment of the season in our recent poll.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has enjoyed a strong year too with plenty of highs and lows for the drivers, with Jason Plato surpassing Andy Rouse's win record during a title defence that brought him close to eventual winner Matt Neal, whose clash with team mate Gordon Shedden at Oulton Park will certainly be remembered as a classic sporting error! Meanwhile the DTM's annual British round at Brands Hatch saw Martin Tomczyk launch a stunning title run that saw him eventually overhaul championship leader Bruno Spengler, and both drivers will return in 2012 with the new BMW team, alongside British touring car legend Andy Priaulx - it's a privilege for Brands Hatch to partner the DTM as they enter such an exciting new era.

The FIA Formula Two Championship, also operated by MSV, was dominated by the brilliant Mirko Bortolotti. An impressive test for the Williams F1 team capped a year when he became the most successful driver in F2's current era and he is a very worthy champion. After finishing F2 runner up in 2010, my son Jolyon graduated to GP2 this year and we were all thrilled when he took a podium at Abu Dhabi.  Jolyon has just signed for the leading iSport team in GP2 for 2012 with the target of the top three in the championship, so fingers crossed!

Perhaps the most significant highlight of 2011, however, was the realisation of my ambition to transform Snetterton into one of the country's best circuits, with the Snetterton 300.  When the work had been completed I was relieved that the reaction from the vast majority of drivers, riders and spectators was hugely positive, and indeed the BSB and BTCC crowds in 2011 were the biggest in the circuit's history.

Our internationally acclaimed PalmerSport corporate event, which takes place at Bedford Autodrome, is set for a real boost next year with the addition of the exhilarating Ariel Atom.  A new fleet of ten specially developed PalmerSport versions, featuring a racing paddle shift gearbox, are even more amazing and these will headline the 2012 event. 

I am delighted to say we have also extended our partnership with BMW for a further three years.   The legendary M3 is the highlight of our RaceMaster retail driving events at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, and a special PalmerSport version provides an awesome experience at Bedford Autodrome.  New for 2012 is a fleet of MINIs for our increasingly popular YoungDrive programme.

Amongst many highlights to look forward to in the coming year, Brands Hatch has a significant part to play in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, from hosting the torch relay to the Paralympic Road Cycling events in September. Our motor racing programme will be as busy as ever and include BSB, BTCC, DTM, F3, F2, historics and trucks, as well as a host of often highly entertaining club events.

Thank you for being customers of MSV during 2012 and I hope you've enjoyed what we provide.  Of course we are always striving to improve, so if you'd like to make any comments please email me at jpcomments@motorsportvision.co.uk and we'll try to make MSV even better!

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!