JELLEY RETURNS TO THE BTCC
Fresh discussion in Parliament leads to two-week hurry up for troubled circuit
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.”