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Merry Christmas from MotorSport Vision

Friday, December 24 2010

"As it draws to a close, 2010 has been another memorable year for MSV, with record breaking crowds at several of our events, a new points system making a thrilling finale to our British Superbike Championship, a British champion in our FIA Formula Two Championship, strong demand for track time for both club race events and trackdays, and our PalmerSport corporate event at Bedford Autodrome enjoying the biggest growth for many years.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship adopted a new 'Showdown' format in 2010, which was undoubtedly a huge success. The result was a superb climax in front of an unprecedented 45,000 fans at Oulton Park in October, with the champion only being decided on the final lap of the last of 26 races. The first half of race two was absolutely stunning with a four bike battle for the lead until Tommy Hill and James Ellison dramatically clashed fighting for first place. In the end, no one could dispute Ryuichi Kiyonari and HM Plant Honda, who were deserving champions.

After learning a great deal in our inaugural 2009 season, the second year of Formula Two saw another strong field and an evolved Williams F1-designed F2 car, with increased power and downforce delivering improvements of around two seconds a lap. This year's title battle emerged as a two way fight between two British drivers, Dean Stoneman ultimately overhauling Jolyon Palmer after a dominant weekend at Oschersleben. Dean's performance in the prize Williams F1 test at Abu Dhabi in November was certainly impressive, as was Jolyon's post-season GP2 test, also at the Yas Marina circuit.

These are exciting times for F2 and for 2011 we have a superb calendar comprising five current Grand Prix circuits, and a powerful global TV package. I'm delighted that the Williams F1 prize test for the F2 Champion will continue next year, and for the first time we will also be offering GP2 tests to the second and third place drivers.

Our MSV race meeting calendar remained extremely healthy in 2010, and special moments included the fiftieth anniversary of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, a magnificent gathering of every Team Lotus F1 car from 1958-1994 at the Snetterton Lotus Festival, two BSB rounds at Cadwell Park and the inaugural Bedford Autodrome Schools' Grand Prix. The season finale of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park and the British Touring Car Championship attracted record breaking crowds, and we welcomed the BBC F1 production team to Brands Hatch in August, when David Coulthard took presenter Jake Humphrey for a spin in his Mercedes DTM car before competing in the German championship a few days later.

MSVR, the racing division of MSV, has experienced tremendous growth in the past year, and MSVR in particular will be expanding further in 2011 by adding four new series to its portfolio, including the MSV F3 Cup and MINI Challenge. Club MSV, our in-house trackday organiser, has also had a successful season, and even launched its own race series - the Trackday Trophy.

Even in tough economic times MSV is committed to developing and improving our circuits, and this year we have invested in several major development projects, including resurfacing the entire Brands Hatch Indy circuit. We also carried out a run-off extension at Cadwell Park's Barn Corner, which proved a challenge as we had to fill in a large part of the lake beyond the existing Armco barrier in order to remove and re-install it!

However our most significant project has been the redevelopment of Snetterton to create the new three mile Snetterton 300 circuit, which is due for completion ahead of the 2011 season. Snetterton has had its own character and great features but I wanted to evolve it in a big way to create a favourite UK circuit with much more appeal to drivers, riders and spectators by providing both increased overtaking and more challenging corners. The anticipation is nail biting!

M