In effort to keep French GP Magny Cours announces upgrades
Endangered formula one venue Magny-Cours on Friday unveiled plans to improve the circuit and retain the French grand prix beyond this weekend's race.
Organizers have branded the project 'Magny-Cours 2', acknowledging the rising standards for hosting and retaining a spot on the annual grand prix calendar.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has said his sport will now move away from the isolated rural venue, and possible alternative hosts including Rouen, Le Mans and Paris have emerged.
But in a statement issued in French on Friday, Magny-Cours vowed to build 27 new stands, widen the pitlane and start-finish line, build a new media centre, improve paddock facilities and support local hotel infrastructure.
"Magny-Cours 2 is essential to maintain this great international circuit at a level of excellence, reflecting the position of our country, its sporting federations and athletes on the world sporting scene," the statement said.
The Magny-Cours 2 project is more than a construction project. It is a commitment distinguished by a desire to modernize, innovate and anticipate in order to maintain a leading position in the world of motorsport and increase the attractiveness of the local area through an approach involving economic development and the creation of sustainable jobs. Magny-Cours 2 consists of work to modernize and bring up to standard the bloc formed by the main building, the pit lane, the starting straight and the pit straight grandstand.
The aims of the project are to improve:
- facilities and working conditions for the teams ;
- facilities in the paddock reception spaces ;
- facilities and working conditions for the media ;
- facilities for the general public;
- working conditions for the organizers, sports federations and race control.
Modernizing for the future : dealing with international sporting, technical and media-related
With the emergence of new circuits and foreign players, the primary aim in modernizing and adapting the Circuit’s sports facilities to meet international regulations is to increase the presence and the competitiveness of France and its sports federations in terms of its ability to organize the most prestigious international motorsport competitions, in particular Formula 1 motor racing.
To do this, it is necessary to:
- create 27 pits, 8 meters wide and 20 meters long, each of which can be altered to form 2 pits 4 meters wide, equipped with toilet blocks and computer connections plus safe, separate networks f or the supply of fuel and fluids ;
- widen the pit lane from 12 to 18 meters ;
- widen the starting straight from 12 to 18 meters ;
- equip the paddock with separate toilet blocks.
Developments in the sporting organization of competitions also require functional alterations to be made to the working spaces for teams, federation officials and personnel responsible for safety, by :
- restructuring and enlarging the space reserved for race control ;
- creating a Parc Fermé (closed area) dedicated to technical inspection of vehicles ;
- creation of a new timekeeping room ;
- restructuring the operations control point (gendarmerie), the central safety point and the common control point ;
- creating offices allocated to the federation presidents, technical committees, secretariats and race stewards.
Furthermore, the organization of a Formula 1 Grand Prix is nowadays a global media event and a superb showcase for France at national, regional and departmental level. As at other international competitions, there is an ever-increasing media presence, which means that the premises and the IT and communications facilities which the Circuit makes available to them need to be adapted to their technical requirements, by creating : - a press room capable of holding 500-600 journalists and a specialist photo/interview room for 150 press photographers ; - a new conference room, a media reception area and three offices for press officers ;
- 50 booths for radio/TV commentators and a technical room reserved for the announcers.
As the financial side of professional sport has changed, the Circuit de Magny-Cours has become a venue for events at which major financial and commercial interests come together at national and international levels. This means that it must reorganize the range of appropriate, flexible reception areas which it offers. This new role played by major sporting facilities requires :
- the complete transformation of the existing reception spaces to create a flexible space
capable of holding 3000-5000 people ;
- alterations to and covering of the pit building terrace to create a VIP area.
Finally, this major international circuit must take into consideration the need to provide more comfortable facilities for visitors. To do this, the project includes:
- the enlargement and covering of the main pit straight grandstand ;
- removal of the starting grid footbridge and replacement by a tunnel ;
- construction of new toilet blocks in the Village du Circuit and in the East car park. Magny Cours PR