The MCE British Superbike championship could be set for a new round in Northern France after its promoter MotorSport Vision (MSV) completed the purchase of a former military airbase with the plan to develop it into an international motorsports facility.
The Laon-Couvron aerodrome is five miles north-west of Laon in the north-east of France and covers 1263 acres with two runways and extensive perimeter roads. The site also includes over 60 buildings covering workshops, accommodation, a sports centre and entertainment facilities.
MSV France (MSVF) has laid out plans to develop the site into a multipurpose motorsport venue, with a five-mile circuit including a 1.5 mile straight, with a focus for supercars and other high performance vehicles.
With ideas still in the initial stages, MSV hasn't stated which racing series the project may be aimed at but chief executive Jonathan Palmer has outlined a four race weekend schedule for GT and sports prototype cars as well as club racing and motorcycles.
“Our purchase of the Laon-Couvron airbase is a tremendously exciting landmark for MSV and one which will substantially grow our business over the next 10 years,” Palmer said. “We have been eager to expand into Europe and had targeted this area, midway between Paris and Brussels, so that our new Laon Autodrome circuit will serve not just the French market but equally importantly the whole of northern Europe.
“Location and easy access is key - our circuit will be just 75 miles from Paris, 90 miles from Brussels and within easy driving range of London, Amsterdam and Cologne, for example. Furthermore our plans include an international private airport, capable of accommodating any size of aeroplane.
"Driving activity at Laon Autodrome will mainly feature high performance road car driving, with trackdays and manufacturer promotional events, but also a stunning new PalmerSport Europe corporate/private driving event. We are also planning on four race weekend events each year, slated for GT and sports prototype cars, historic cars, general club racing and motorcycles.
“With the extensive engineering workshop space available alongside the driving circuits, we also believe Laon Autodrome will prove a very attractive base for automotive engineering companies and race teams who value an accessible, central European base."
MSVR holds the promotional and organisational rights to BSB and MSV owns five national circuits – Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Cadwell Park and Bedford Autodrome.
BSB currently travels abroad for a championship round at the Assen TT circuit in the Netherlands and has also signalled new intentions of returning to Ireland at Northern Irish circuit Bishopscourt.
The Laon Autodrome circuit complex is expected to open in April 2018 with construction starting in Spring 2017 after gaining the required authorisations and permits.