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Massive Karting event in Cheltenham for 2013 - plans released!

Massive Karting event in Cheltenham for 2013 plans released!

Ambitious and exciting plans to stage a major Karting event on the roads of Cheltenham have been announced.

The project, promoted by Cheltenham Motorsports, is being sponsored by a group of Cheltenham based businesses and aims to stage the event in 2013.

The event could see a thrilling high-speed road race around the town centre, the provisional 1200 metre route incorporating the Promenade, Town Hall area, Regent Street and Imperial Gardens.  The two day event will feature Direct Drive karts, commonly used as a training school for F1 drivers.
The vehicles travel six inches above the ground, are incredibly lightweight and can travel at speeds of up to 140mph, although the maximum speeds reached on the Cheltenham circuit are set to be 90mph, due to the complexities of the course.

Pete Allison, of Event and Management Services, is the MD of Cheltenham Motor Sports and is fronting the bid to host the event.
He said: "We estimate it could cost us up to £2 million to put the infrastructure in place, but there would be additional costs on top of that.  The money would be raised through sponsorship and selling the TV rights. We are confident we could raise enough to make it happen and deliver a profit. It could put Cheltenham on the map, becoming a permanent fixture in the calendar to enforce Cheltenham’s position as a major events town."

The idea for the project started with the Rotary Club of Cheltenham North, which then formed Cheltenham Motor Sports Ltd and has since been sponsored by Cheltenham based businesses E&MS, Media Eden, Shock UK, BPE Solicitors and legal firm Maitland Walker.

Gill Rouse, a fundraiser for Rotary and the Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy Fund (LINC) at Cheltenham General Hospital, said: "It started off as a small idea and has gradually snowballed from there. The momentum is really gathering pace now and it is starting to take shape as a reality. It's big, it's bold and it has massive potential. We also hope it will generate huge amounts of money for worthy Cheltenham charities, including LINC."

Jennie Rainsford, of Media Eden, the organisation promoting the event, described the event as a thrilling prospect for Cheltenham.  “The potential for Cheltenham is huge, whether that is from the direct benefit to local and associated businesses or in raising the general profile of Cheltenham as a major event town.  Cheltenham has a reputation for being rather stuffy and staid.  A thrilling motor sports event may be just the thing we need to widen the appeal of Cheltenham to a younger audience and help to increase the tourism to the town.  We are attracting interest from the F1 world, the Karting community and big names in motor sport."

Rob Wynell-Mayow, vice president of the Rissington Kart Club, which is advising organisers on the design and layout of the track said: "The karts go like bullets and take extremely high levels of skill to control.  Kart racing is where F1 drivers cut their teeth. Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button and, most recently, Lewis Hamilton have all done it. It's an incredibly exciting thought that something like this could go ahead in Cheltenham."

A ‘Motorsports Village’ would be erected within the town to provide essential facilities, with footbridges providing vital access to town centre businesses.  The aim will be to attract major media partners and to see the event televised.

Cheltenham town centre manager Martin Quantock is supporting the event and can see the potential benefit to the town’s profile.
In order for the event to go ahead, a Parliamentary Bill will need to be passed to lift road regulations, a process which could take 18 months to push through, meaning the event is being lined up for 2013.

The project team have been in discussion with the relevant local authorities, who have confirmed their support in principle.  Andrew North, chief executive of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "We are aware of the plans for a Karting event and, in principle, we are supportive of them.  The organisers still have a lot of planning to do, but this event could bring a lot of visitors into Cheltenham, offering a significant boost to local trade."

Duncan Jordan, group director of environment at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "An event like this could further enhance the profile of the County and Cheltenham. We're keen to see what benefits this might be able to bring to the area and the local economy."

Explore Gloucestershire
22 April 2010  

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