Page last updated at 05:55 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 06:55 UK

Race circuit's 1m driver tune up

Pembrey Motor Racing Circuit, near Llanelli, has spent 1m on improving its facilities on and off the track.

Wales' only internationally-registered motor racing circuit had undergone a 1m upgrade as a base for rising talent in the motor racing world.

Pembrey Motor Racing Circuit has a new pit lane and three double garages with workshops and extended viewing areas.

One team using the site for training includes reigning F1 champion and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen.

Circuit manager Phil Davies said: "What we're trying to do is to create Formula One world champions."

Andy Priaulx, the reigning World Touring Car Champion, who won the latest round of this year's championship at Pau in France on Sunday, is to give demonstration laps at the opening of the development on Tuesday.

He is to be joined by Bruno Senna nephew of the late F1 champion Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian was a regular visitor to Pembrey for testing and a corner on the circuit has been named the Senna Esses in his honour.


Two motor racing teams have signed up to test and develop their cars and drivers at the Carmarthenshire circuit's new International Driver Research Facility.

Raikkonen Robertson Racing is part owned by Kimi Raikkonen while Carlin Motorsport have been one of the most successful Formula 3 teams in Britain.

Mr Davies said: "If you've got a satellite workshop, with all the cars set up, all you've got send down the M4 is a seven-seater with a manager, a couple of engineers and the drivers.

"It's more cost effective than if you've got to bring two artics from Guildford and take them back to Brands Hatch."

"The only way you are going to develop drivers up to any significance is to put them in the car three our four days a week, building up their skills and physique.

"In reality, the teams are building up their engineers. It's all about setting the cars up for each driver."


He added he expected the 1.5 mile (2.3km) track to be used about 35 weeks per year, in addition to the variety of motor racing events held at weekends.

He estimated the 1m turnover of the circuit from race events brought in about 5.5m to the local economy.

He said the investment by the British Automobile Racing Club had received about 250,000 grant aid from the Welsh Assembly Government.

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