Fresh dis­cus­sion in Par­lia­ment leads to two-week hurry up for trou­bled cir­cuit

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Jack Benyon

Colin Turk­ing­ton says he is still two weeks away from ty­ing up a deal to re­main in the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Championship.

The North­ern Ir­ish­man, a twotime ti­tle win­ner, split from the Team BMR Subaru squad last month and has been left look­ing for a seat for 2017. He has been strongly linked to a re­turn to the WSR team to drive a BMW. He won both of his crowns with the BMW squad.

The 34-year-old said: “We are work­ing very hard. I am des­per­ate to re­turn to the championship, and I am only go­ing to do that in a car that gives me a chance of win­ning races and fight­ing for the championship. It is ob­vi­ous that there aren’t too many of those left.”

The Cir­cuit of Wales has been given a fresh hurry-up from the Welsh Gov­ern­ment to prove that it can raise the bud­get nec­es­sary to green-light the project.

The £357.2 mil­lion project has hit a num­ber of stum­bling blocks since it was first dis­cussed in 2011.

Since the Welsh Gov­ern­ment con­firmed it would not un­der­write the project, the firm be­hind the track plans, the Heads of the Val­leys Devel­op­ment Com­pany, has been search­ing for pri­vate in­vest­ment, with the Aviva in­sur­ance group rumoured to be in­ter­ested.

Vikki How­ells, a Welsh Labour AM, asked Cabi­net Sec­re­tary for Econ­omy and In­fra­struc­ture, Ken Skates, for an up­date on re­cent de­vel­op­ments in the Welsh As­sem­bly last week.

Skates told the As­sem­bly: “Last July, I made it clear what our po­si­tion as a Welsh Gov­ern­ment is. I stated clearly in this Cham­ber that we re­quire a min­i­mum of 50 per cent of the cap­i­tal and 50 per cent of the risk of the project to be taken by the pri­vate sec­tor. Should that hap­pen, we will con­sider any new pro­posal against the ap­pro­pri­ate val­ue­for-money and due dili­gence tests.

“I’m keen to avoid the op­por­tu­nity costs as­so­ci­ated with a project that does not have a fi­nal end date. So, I have there­fore writ­ten to the Heads of the Val­leys Devel­op­ment Com­pany to­day, ask­ing them to make faster progress on this project and ask­ing for ev­i­dence to be pro­vided to me of named in­vestor term sheets within the next two weeks.”

A spokesper­son for the Cir­cuit of Wales, which has a five-year deal for the rights to hold the Bri­tish round of Mo­togp, said: “The Cir­cuit of Wales con­tin­ues to have reg­u­lar meet­ings with Welsh Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials which are ex­tremely pos­i­tive, and we wel­come the Cabi­net Sec­re­tary for Econ­omy’s de­sire for a speedy res­o­lu­tion aligned with our own proac­tive timetable.”

COW has been asked to prove in­vest­ment in­ter­est

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