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New West Midlands Circuit Plans

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Plans have emerged for a new "Kart Racing Complex" which will be situated in the West Midlands.

The plans have not yet been agreed but are expected to go before a planning committee soon. If approved, it is expected to cost £3 Million.

The driving force behind the development is Roy Johnson, whos son, Roy Johnson Jnr has been competing in the UK and Europe for a number of years.

So, what do we think?

It appears as though the developer has big plans for the complex. The initial mock-up video shows a basic layout of what is planned. It's unclear how accurate this mock-up is, as we think the circuit looks a little twisty!

Below is a quote from www.expressandstar.com

Quote

Speaking about the effect the complex will have on the local economy, Mr Johnson said: “Me and my son are off to a race weekend.

“This will cost me £80 a night for me and my son for three nights in the hotel, £240. Then we will have to chip into the mechanic that will probably be another £150. Then I have got to feed the mechanic, feed my son, me, the missus.

“This is an example of a monthly race meeting which we are hoping to have. Some of the bigger teams have some eight people. That is eight people spending that, £4,000 plus.”

Mr Oliver added: “An event could bring in some £200,000 to the economy in just one weekend. One event a month and you are looking at £2.4 million.”

Mr Johnson said: “It will be a premier facility, aiming to be one of the best"

What we learn from this, is that the developer is expecting a certain type of customer if he thinks his estimations for the local economy are realistic.

For these figures to be achievable, it will have to rival PFI in both facilities, but also in its clients/customers for monthly club meetings.

If they do succeed in making this club attractive for these customers, it will be interesting to see how this will effect the numbers competing at PFI.

I'm not sure what will lure the big teams away from PFI, other than it's location, which may be preferable for many teams.

If the club fails to attract the client base it hopes, it will also be interesting to see whether this club would become more "Dad & Lad" freindly.

It's not clear from the article what the day to day running of the complex would involve. We imagine it will be an arrive and drive business through the week, with a club running a race weekend once a month. This model is common throughout the UK which circuits such as GYG, Dunkeswell, Three Sisters, Llandow, Rowrah, PFI amongst many others, all running this arrangement.

There are exceptions to this rule, but most of these are using land owned by either the MOD or on land used for a second purpose during the week. Examples would be Forest Edge (MOD) Rissington (MOD) Fulbeck (Private land owner with agricultural business throughout the week). As a general rule, the clubs who run a karting business throughout the week, are able to rely on the business for investment in the circuit and facilities, rather than relying on the income from entries etc. This means the club meetings at a weekend can run with relatively small grids without too much hassle.

A little bit off topic there!

So, will we see this circuit succeed? This project has big plans and clearly hopes to target the bigger, more "premier" clubs out there. We will try and follow the progress of this project to see whether it can make it from the drawing board to reality..

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