Another British GP at Silverstone is set to kick off at the end of August. A Brit’ round in the FIM 500cc world championship (MotoGP) dates back to the opening days of the championship and the event has seen highs and lows through the decades. George Harrison of the Beatles hung around in the pit lane during the Barry Sheene years, but by the late 1990s WSBK visitors had overtaken those that bought tickets to the GP. It’s bounced back visitor-wise now, after the debacle of Donington and other dramas.
The current backdrop regarding the British GP is the Circuit of Wales. CoW was proposed in 2012. CoW was awarded a ten year agreement for the MotoGP event with construction set to start years ago. When construction did not start–and has not started–CoW basically became a promotions company with CoW acting as promoter for the GP at Silverstone.
CoW has met semi-fierce opposition in Wales. It appears that if the track is ever built it will be financed privately.
The Grand Prix is merely weeks away and tensions are high over its long term fate, with rumors swirling over the project possibly being in jeopardy.
A ten-year deal that the Circuit of Wales has with Dorma is still in effect till 2024 and the race has been held at Silverstone since the deal was first signed in 2014.
Despite initial confidence, the proposed track has hit some bumps along the way; it was proposed in 2011 and construction was to begin in 2013. Sadly, it has yet to break ground, though the Circuit of Wales maintains its rights as the holders of the British round of the MotoGP through its 2014 contract.
So what happens if there is no CoW? Move the great race back to Donington? Not bloody likely as Donington Park is now owned by Motosport Vision which also runs the British Superbike series and tracks such as Brands, Oulton and more. They aren’t keen to pay Dorna’s fee for a MotoGP event. Okay, then CoW–the promotions company–is moved out of the way so Silverstone’s ownership can promote their own race again? Not bloody likely as relations between Dorna and Silverstone were strained even before CoW came on the scene.
A lingering sense of uncertainty remains over CoW as their latest submission for government funding was rejected by the Welsh Government’s Ministry for Economy and Infrastructure. The announcement, made by Welsh Government minster for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates only served to intensify the skepticism surrounding the race despite the Circuit of Wales’ reassurance and makes the future of the project anyone’s guess.