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Middle East key to the future of motor sport, says Richards

NEWS STORY
01/04/2008

Speaking on the first day of the Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East, Prodrive boss David Richards, who previously enjoyed success in F1 with Benetton and BAR, claimed that the Middle East is a "significant focal point for the motor sport industry".

Speaking to a packed auditorium, gathered in the high-tech Ruf factory at the Bahrain International Circuit, Richards said: "From next year, this region will have six world class race circuits. It shows that the Gulf has become a significant focal point for the motor sport industry."

He added that these circuits have developed a new business model for racing facilities around the world, with the addition of subsidiary businesses to complement the main events on the track. This is most evident in Bahrain with the planned creation of a multi-billion dollar Technology Centre and in Abu Dhabi with the development of the Ferrari World amusement park.

"The business model of a stand-alone race circuit is gone forever," said Richards. "This area of the world is looking at motor sport as a proper sustainable business plan and we should all pay attention."

Other key speakers at the forum will be Ron Dennis and Force India boss, Vijay Mallya.

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