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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Pole position for motor racing circuit
Formula 3 car
Pembrey is a popular venue for racing and testing
Plans for a 1m overhaul of Wales's only internationally registered motor racing circuit in south west Wales have been given the go-ahead.

The Welsh Motor Sports Centre circuit, in Pembrey near Llanelli, will be extended to two-and-a quarter miles from the present one-and-a-half miles.

Formula Saloon car
Races provide spectacular action

The development at the Carmarthenshire facility also includes a massive pit-lane complex housing 15 double garages and workshops, a medical ambulance centre, hospitality suites and viewing areas.

It is hoped the project will be completed within the next two years.

Circuit manager Phil Davies said: "It is a big boost not so much to attract new events but to consolidate existing ones.

"We can provide newer and better facilities for spectators, competitors and testing teams."

Mr Davies also allayed fears the scheme will increase noise pollution for people living in the area.

"We won't be increasing the amount of traffic just improving our existing facilities," he said.

Funding will come from the BARC (British Automobile Racing Club) - which runs the circuit on a 50-year lease from Carmarthenshire council.

The BARC will also be applying for a Sportslot grant - under a government match funding scheme.

Famous names

The Welsh Motor Sports Centre is Wales's only internationally registered circuit and attracts Formula Three racing teams from all over Europe.

It has also been used extensively as a testing circuit by many Formula One teams and some of the most famous names in the sport such as former world champions Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna.

It recently hosted the first round of the 2002 Formula Saloons championship.

The circuit is a partner in the Autotechnium initiative which provides specialist facilities for the car and motor racing industries.

Where I Live, South West Wales
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