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Jonathan Palmer named Autocar 2018 MotorSport Hero

Wednesday, May 16 2018

MotorSport Vision Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer was named 2018 MotorSport Hero at last night's Autocar Awards, recognising his huge contribution to the British motorsport industry over the past 30 years.

Palmer received the award at a ceremony at Silverstone's Wing complex, held annually to celebrate "exceptional cars and extraordinary people". The magazine recognised his ability to apply his F1 racer's nous to business, becoming "Britain's top circuit boss and arguably contributing more to the health and strength of British motorsport than any other individual".

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.

Palmer 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 told Autocar: "I enjoy business even more than I enjoyed F1. When you're a driver, there are pretty stark limitations on your ability to influence the complete operation you're working in. Your job is to keep fit, stay out of trouble, drop into the car from time to time and do a good job of testing and racing.

"But in business, at every hour of every day you have the opportunity and excitement of making decisions that make a difference. I find that very rewarding."

And asked the key to his business success, Palmer said: "People say MSV set a benchmark and maybe we have. That's certainly what we're trying to do. But the principle is very simple: I just like to do things properly. Do that and your business will thrive."

A full interview with Jonathan Palmer features in this week's Autocar magazine.