8 CHRONICLE & ECHO
THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2009
F1 figures talk about
Police traffic safety cameras will be at the following locations in Northamptonshire: TOMORROW: ■ A6 Burton Latimer Bypass (N) ■ A6 Burton Latimer Bypass (S) ■ A605 Thorpe Waterville ■ B569 Rushden ■ C56 Barton Seagrave to Cranford St John ■ A508 Broad Street, Npton ■ A422 Brackley Bypass (E) ■ A4525 Helmdon (W) ■ A5193 Wellingborough ■ C147 Wellingborough ■ B526 Horton ■ A43 Collyweston (N) ■ A605 Barnwell ■ A427 Corby (W) ■ A6116 Brigstock ■ B645 Rushden ■ B570 Irchester ■ B4525 Helmdon (E) ■ A5 Towcester (S) ■ B4100 Aynho
The lowest prices for unleaded petrol in Northampton: ■ Morrisons Cattle Market Road .............99.9p ■ Morrisons Kettering Road ....................99.9p ■ Abington Express Northampton* .......100.8p ■ Spar Westbridge Northampton ..........100.9p ■ Sainsbury’s Weedon Road .................100.9p The lowest prices for diesel in Northampton: ■ W Grose Northampton* .....................103.9p ■ Morrisons Cattle Market Road ...........103.9p ■ Spar Westbridge Northampton ..........103.9p ■ Morrisons Kettering Road ..................103.9p ■ Tesco Northampton South Extra ........103.9p Prices correct as of June 16/*June 15. More prices available at www.petrolprices.com
Final lap in racing history?
THE cluster of motorsport teams, suppliers and manufacturers based in Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties has been compared to Silicon Valley and Hollywood in America. With what is possibly the final British Grand Prix at Silverstone just days away, HELEN BUCKINGHAM takes a look at what the loss of the race will mean for Motorsport Valley.
Current roadworks on roads in and around Northampton include: ■ NORTHAMPTON – Kingswell Street, Northampton – Gold Street to Woolmonger Street. Road closure until September 25. ■ NORTHAMPTON – Bridge Street. George Row to Drapery. Lane closure until September 25. ■ NORTHAMPTON – Byron Street, Kingsley, lane closure along whole length during path resurfacing work until August 7. ■ NORTHAMPTON – College Street, Northampton – Gold Street to St Katherine’s Street road closure until September 25. ■ OVERSTONE – Billing Lane, two-way traffic signals during cabling work until August 4. For more roadworks visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk
RAIL: London Midland 00:34 service from London Euston to Northampton will not call at Bushley, until Friday. LONDON UNDERGROUND: The Circle line will be suspended this weekend, Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21, between Kings Cross and Moorgate, to carry out engineering works. ROADS: M1 southbound entry sliproad will be closed from 11pm to 5am daily, until July 18.
WEBSITES & TELEPHONE CONTACTS: TRANSPORT IN LONDON: www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/livetravelnews/realtime/ tube/default.html RAIL: www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_ bulletins/today.html#engineering (National Rail 0845 7484950) ROADS: www.trafficengland.com (Traffic England 08700 660 115) www.highways.gov.uk/traffic/ (Highways Agency 08700 660 115)
RIPLE Formula 1 world champion Jackie Stewart recently described Silverstone race circuit as a “jewel” in the heart of “motorsport valley”. The circuit has a place at the centre of a cluster of motorsport engineering and supply companies in Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the surrounding counties that cannot be coincidental. And with potentially the final British Grand Prix at the venue which has been its predominant home for more than 60 years now just days away, many will be wondering what the knock-on effect of its loss will be on the collection of companies which has made Motorsport Valley its home. Of first concern is the circuit itself. As the biggest event on Silverstone’s calendar, the British Grand Prix draws huge crowds and there are fears its loss to Donington may mark the beginning of Silverstone’s demise, something the circuit’s owners strongly refute. Robert Brooks, chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), said: “Silverstone has an excellent future, with or without the grand prix. One of the things we are excited about is that we have secured the contract to organise the British MotoGP event. “I don’t think there is any question of any other events not being held at Silverstone in the future, it is just a case of having different opportunities. We are still the premier motor racing circuit in the UK and I would argue we are one of, if not the, premier motor racing circuit in Europe. We are confident we have a strong business going forward.” With five Formula 1 teams based in Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties, there is a concern the change of venue could cause them to move elsewhere in the country or even abroad. However, teams have been quick to quell any suggestion of a move, and say there is more to Motorsport Valley than Silverstone race circuit. As the closest team to the track, having its factory in Silverstone village, Force India
would perhaps be hit hardest by the loss of the circuit from the race calendar. Lucy Genon, spokeswoman for the team, said: “Every major event in Force India’s history has been interwoven with Silverstone circuit, from the first shakedown of the Jordan 191, to Michael Schumacher’s first F1 outing, to the launch of the Midland and Spyker teams. “The term ‘home race’ could not be more appropriate. The team in its previous Jordan incarnation was based within the boundaries of the track and, when it had outgrown these premises, it moved just 400 metres across the road to its current facility. “From the factory you can hear and even smell the F1 cars, a unique experience that would be lost should the GP move elsewhere. The 2009 British Grand Prix will be a very poignant one for Force India.” However, she said the team had no plans to relocate. She added: “The factory is perfectly situated for efficient supply lines and logistics and a great deal of the team’s employees live nearby. “Although the loss of the British Grand Prix to Donington would have an impact on logistics, not to mention the morale of staff around the time of the race, the effects are not significant enough to consider a relocation. The circuit offers many advantages as a base, even without a grand prix. It is used almost year-round for racing activities, is centrally located
within the UK with excellent links to the rest of the country, has good business facilities and networking opportunities and a skilled workforce within easy reach.” Red Bull Racing is based in Milton Keynes and, according to team principal Christian Horner, also has no plans to relocate. He said: “All the infrastructure is set up and established here and the British Grand Prix is only one of a maximum of up to 20 grand prix in a year, so it wouldn’t make any sense to move. “So many motor racing teams are centred between the M40 and the M1 in and around the Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire area, not just Formula 1 teams. There is great infrastructure and lots of suppliers and it’s the heart of not just the industry, but motorsport generally.” Northamptonshire-based team Brawn GP were unable to speak to the Chronicle & Echo in detail but said: “We have no plans to relocate our factory from our base in Brackley regardless of the location of the British Grand Prix.” Team
■ German driver Adrian Sutil of Force India F1 in action at Silverstone