Silverstone cries foul over new track

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IOL mot pic mar25 F1 Circuit of Wales 2 A computer-generated impression of the proposed Circuit of Wales.

London, England - British Formula One Grand Prix host Silverstone Circuits Limited has asked prime minister David Cameron to confirm that a proposed new circuit in South Wales will not receive government financial support.

Silverstone, which risks losing the British MotoGP round to the Welsh newcomer, said on Monday it had sought clarification as to how the Circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale would be funded.

The BBC reported last week that developers behind the proposed £280 million (R5 billion) venture wanted government in Wales and Britain to commit up to £50 million (R895 million) towards it.

The Heads of the Valleys Development Company has said it hopes to create 6000 jobs.

Others have criticised the scheme as a 'white elephant' that would not live up to its ambitious plans to regenerate a deprived region.

Silverstone said its own application for help, when it had sought support to secure the future of the British F1 race, was denied “on the basis that this would be classed as illegal state aid”.

“In the absence of such aid, Silverstone had to sell off assets to ensure the British Grand Prix was retained in the UK,” it said.

“It is Silverstone's view that the Circuit of Wales project is not viable.”

The premier British circuit said it had no objection to competition but the addition of a government-funded circuit would threaten the British motorsport industry.

“Motor sport at circuit level is not particularly profitable and is often loss-making,” it added. “Many UK circuits are under-utilised and struggle for revenue. It is unrealistic to suggest Circuit of Wales will be the exception.”


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