Restructure of UK circuit racing

Last week, the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) revealed its template for the complete restructuring of UK circuit racing to the Council of the Motor Sports Association (MSA) - the governing body of the sport in Britain. The...

Last week, the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) revealed its template for the complete restructuring of UK circuit racing to the Council of the Motor Sports Association (MSA) - the governing body of the sport in Britain. The plans specifically address widely-held concerns about the excessive number of formulae, the shortage of competitors and the escalating costs of club racing.

The recommended structure follows over 18 months of concentrated work and research, conducted by the MIA Industry Co-ordinator Alan Cornock, in consultation with: John Kirkpatrick and other members of the MIA committee; the MSA Championship Committee; the Automotive Manufacturers' Racing Association (AMRA); major motorsport clubs; circuit owners and promoters. The valued opinion of many other respected motorsport figures was sought during the research phase and taken full account of in the evolution of the plans.

Said Cornock, "The UK racing scene has changed out of all recognition in the last 10 years. Our research has shown there is a desperate need for costs to be polarised, so the growing demands of the professional (PRO) series, their spectators and sponsors are properly met, while costs for those who race purely for fun (the CLUB competitors) are reduced and their enjoyment increased."

The MIA scheme clarifies the difference between PRO and CLUB racing and outlines a clearly structured ladder of progression for the PRO group. It is hoped that the classes concerned would be granted the MSA stamp of approval as 'National Champions'.

The promoters of each of these levels would have to sign contracts binding them to their series for a minimum of three years, complete with financial penalty bond for early withdrawal. This bond, similar to that for travel agents, airlines or house builders, would ensure the financial responsibility for the healthy performance of a series is more evenly shared between the promoter and the teams, the industry and the competitors.

The structure will not be implemented until the 2002 season, thereby allowing ample time for debate, clarification and investment and sponsorship plans.

Initially, the MIA proposals have concentrated on the PRO level. However, it is intended that the same logic be rapidly applied to the CLUB arena, for which the over-riding priority would be to provide optimum enjoyment and increased value-for-money for the drivers.

The scheme will entail some amalgamation of formulae and in that regard the MIA has instigated a related pilot scheme for 2001, in the form of a joint BRSCC/BARC 'Formula Libre' single-seater series. For their part, the MSA are forming a working group under Colin Hilton, that will assess the existing list of formulae and report back to the 'Championship Control Panel'.

The main aims of PRO Racing (sponsored and professionally-promoted series run on a commercial basis) are to:

1. Provide good value to the spectator, promoter and teams

2. Provide a clear and understandable path of progression for professional drivers and sponsors

3. Create full grids for each category

4. Create classes that are sanctioned by the MSA and run at properly-funded and financially-secure, high-profile events

The main aims of CLUB Racing (series run by motorsport clubs for their members) are to:

1. Optimise the enjoyment of the competitors and their immediate supporters

2. Create full grids for each category - amalgamate if necessary

3. Reduce the cost of participation and promotion

-MIA-

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Series Automotive , General