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Laon Autodrome project gets green light

Friday, February 15 2019

MotorSport Vision (MSV) has been given the go-ahead for its development project at a former military base near Couvron-et-Aumencourt, north-east France, following a public inquiry and evaluation of the environmental, health and technological risks.

The UK's leading circuit owner bought the 1263-acre site in 2015, with plans to expand its business and create an international motorsports complex, Laon Autodrome, to attract customers from all over Europe. The project has now been approved by the prefect of the Aisne Department, who signed a decree giving the green light to MSV France.

The ambitious project will redevelop the former US airforce and subsequently French army base into a vast motorsport village with a sweeping super-fast five-mile main circuit, and the opportunity to include a huge 1.5-mile main straight where top speeds of over 200 mph will be possible, creating a mecca for the owners of supercars and other high-performance vehicles.

Other driving facilities will include an eight-mile country road route, a two-mile urban road system, a driving dynamics area, and a 1000m asphalt oval track.

Laon Autodrome, scheduled to open in spring 2021, has been designed for a wide range of activities, including motor racing, with six major events a year, motor manufacturer product launch events, testing, trackdays, corporate motorsport events, motor industry testing and proving, and driver training.

MSV chief executive Jonathan Palmer said: "To now have formal authorisation from the prefecture for our Laon Autodrome project is fantastic news - this is essentially the planning consent.  The approved details also provide us with the operational scope we needed to maximise the potential of the development.  We are now moving on to the next stage of getting tender responses for the extensive works, which are scheduled to start mid-year."

MSV, a private company owned by former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer and Sir Peter Ogden, operates six UK motorsport circuits - Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Cadwell Park, Donington Park and Bedford Autodrome. The world-renowned PalmerSport corporate hospitality event, operated by MSV, has been based at Bedford Autodrome since 1999.