Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry ring road to become motorsport circuit

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Media captionFestival director James Noble: "150 racing cars will be competing against the clock around Coventry ring road"

Coventry streets will be the first in the UK to host motorsport races under new laws introduced earlier this year.

A circuit is being designed so in May 2015 two days of competitive time trials will be held on the city's inner ring road.

The road will be closed to other traffic while British Formula 3 cars, with a maximum speed of about 275 km/h (170 mph), complete laps.

Organisers believe it could attract 100,000 visitors.

James Noble, Motofest Festival Director, said: "There's a meeting, the Tour of Mull, which is a similar size to this that brings in £12m turnover in one weekend.

"This is good news for the economy and we will make sure Coventry is still open for business."

Coventry City Council has agreed to the event using legislation introduced in July, which by-passes the previous need for an Act of Parliament to suspend the Road Traffic Act.

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Image caption Birmingham's Super Prix races made a loss in 1986 and 1987 and broke even in 1988

Previous street racing events, such the Birmingham Super Prix, needed to follow a more complex legal process. In normal circumstances racing on public roads is illegal.

The Birmingham competition was held for five years until 1990 and ended amid criticism of how much it cost the council to host.

The British Automobile Racing Club will be running the time trails in Coventry and ensuring the "safety of the competitors and the residents of the city", said its general manager, Ian Watson.

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Image caption Time trials will take place on the 2.25 mile (3.62km) Coventry ring road circuit

Roadworks at Coventry ring road's junction six are expected to be continuing at the time of the event, but should not affect the 2.25-mile (3.62km) ring road circuit.

Darren Langerveld, from Motorfest, said the time trails in 2015 could be followed by full-scale "proper wheel-to-wheel competitive racing" on the ring road within the next few years.

Subject to Motosport Industry Association approval, about 150 British Formula 3 cars, vehicles from the British Touring Car championship and Porsche Carrera Cup series cars will compete on the ring road on 29-31 May.

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