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MSV wins tender to purchase Navarra Circuit in Spain

Friday, September 30 2022

UK motor racing circuit owner MotorSport Vision (MSV)'s bid has been selected for the freehold purchase of Navarra Circuit in northern Spain by the public company NICDO (Navarra Impulsa Cultura, Deporte y Ocio). This follows an extensive tender process that began on 2 May 2022.

Navarra Circuit is one of Spain's best circuits, featuring a 4km track that holds FIA Grade T1 and Grade 2 licences, allowing it to host F1 tests and all race categories below F1, and FIM Grade B standards, which enables racing up to World Superbikes. The main circuit has three configurations, two of which can be run simultaneously. There is also an impressive 800m karting circuit, skid pan area and off-road course.

Navarra circuit was very recently built and only opened in 2010.  Further to the track itself, it boasts outstanding facilities including 32 first-class pit garages, 17 hospitality suites and 27,500 sq m of asphalt paddock space, as well as spacious administration offices, media centre and race event operations accommodation.  A vast 3500 sq m viewing terrace above the pits garages looks over the main straight and up to the 2000 sq m hill top conference building, with spectacular views of the circuit complex and stunning surrounding countryside.

The circuit has held many prestigious events in the past decade, including FIA GT1 World Championship and Blancpain GT Series (now known as GT World Challenge Europe) and World Superbikes.  In 2021, when riders hailed the layout as being fun, unique and full of character, six-time champion Jonathan Rea described the first corner as "like no other in the world."

MSV, a private company owned by former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer and Sir Peter Ogden, already operates six motorsport venues in the UK; Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Cadwell Park and Donington Park while the world-renowned PalmerSport corporate hospitality event is based at MSV's Bedford Autodrome venue.   MSV first expanded into Europe in 2015 following the freehold purchase of a former military airbase in north-east France (Couvron). The site is currently being established as the world's first self-sufficient eco circuit. MSV activities across its circuits include running 27 championships and series, including being the promoter of the British Superbike Championship and leading single-seater categories GB3 and GB4.  It also runs over 600 track days per year across its circuits.

MSV's tender bid for Navarra circuit was strengthened by its experience in operating multiple venues across the UK and developing them to become increasingly successful, not just for MSV's own business but also for the regions, driving visitor numbers, tourism and the local economies.

As part of the agreement with NICDO, MSV will invest in a wide programme of upgrades, including the complete resurfacing of the Navarra track. Furthermore the current management team at Navarra will be maintained and expanded, whilst MSV has also committed to working closely with NICDO to ensure the change of ownership generates significant benefits to the local region.

Once the sale process is complete and MSV formally takes over the facility, the first priority will be to finalise the circuit's 2023 events calendar.

MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer said: "The acquisition in principle of Navarra circuit is tremendously exciting and another landmark in the expansion of MSV.  It is an extensive and very impressive facility and our ambitious plans should enable the circuit to realise its full potential, with the intention of significantly increasing its levels of daily occupancy and the number of high profile race events.

"We believe a great strength of Navarra circuit is the region itself, and its proximity to beautiful cities such as Pamplona and Logrono, and of course the famous Rioja region. The scenery, food, wine and hospitality is outstanding, and will be a major attraction to those who come from outside of Navarra and indeed Spain. With our international presence, reputation and reach we expect to attract visitors and participants from the UK, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and beyond.

"We intend Navarra Circuit to become an internationally admired and successful circuit business attracting many new customers and visitors, as we have achieved with all our other circuits."