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GP Week : Issue 106
not traffic-jammed? A pure kilometer number on where the circuit is located doesn’t help. Like the Shanghai International Circuit, it may be only 30km from the town centre but it translates as a two hour, bare-knuckle drive. The investor who acquires the land should be aware of natural beauty (a forest, a lake, up and down-hills), as well as opportunities to build those support facilities like malls, country clubs, kart tracks, hotels, and other attractions that will keep people coming year-round. And it’s not only a question of building the track itself; maintenance is also critical. Another factor is culture and the local laws that come into play. After all this information is gathered, a Schematic Design is completed. The track layout design is created with the help of an ‘expert’. Let’s say you want to build a race track for MotoGP: who is going to design the track other than a professional bike rider? Or, if you want to build a track that should suit an FIA event (F1, GP2, etc), to whom do you go? You will pick someone who has the ability to give the right feedback for the needs of the series you want to target. The final target is to give motorsport fans real action. This can be done only if you have the appropriate track for the appropriate series. Having this tool at hand, the interested parties can present the business plan to potential investors. The revenues are vital, for, without them, the whole project will collapse. Revenue-generation is an inevitable, key, phase. Like the above- mentioned items, this is part of the Vision Planning procedure. Now all things are in place. How do we move forward? “We work with internationally-reputed specialist business consultants, such as KPMG. With these experts we provide clients with a report consisting of feasibility analysis, zoning, phasing and land use strategies, estimated quantities and costs and, of course, potential yield. These reports also identify how a motorsport facility could affect the local, regional and national economies,” explains Clive Bowen. He concludes: “We prefer to ensure that a viable business model is in place before a project enters a detailed design stage. This process is critical to evaluating land use and to ensuring that motorsport becomes the core economic ‘value add’ to the project. It is also important that the extracted land value from development surrounding the motor sport destination covers all or part of the capital cost required for that destination”. The strategy on how to develop the motorsport, basically in countries where the sport isn’t mature enough, is another basic element. For example a driving school or a road safety training area, are facilities that can be included in the complex. Once again, it’s not all about building the track itself. The success is to build a motorsport facility that can survive and “live out of its own money”. This is the point where the Master Plan kicks in. All the data and studies gathered from all the above steps are combined in a single report, which in detail includes an overview of the design theory, the proposed circuit designs, the architectural layouts and the land-use strategies. The detailed master plan takes about a month to complete. Once this is finished, the final dossier is handed over to the appropriate body for approval. The tension mounts until all is finally signed and sealed. This will be the point when all the parties will be happy to go forward with the project. So how long does is takes to get to this point? There is not a straightforward answer. If all goes well it will take three months of detailed planning and scheduling – but things can go wrong at any point. How many of those elements are visible to the race fans? None. The visible part for them now finally kicks in, for all is now agreed and the construction contractor starts the implementation phase. Designing is one part; constructing and operating is the second. F1 FEATURE >> 39