Chinese automaker buys Utah race track

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Pirelli World Challenge racers among those that race on track just purchased by Chinese automaker Geely | Utah Motorsports Campus photos

The former Miller Motorsports Park just west of Salt Lake City has been sold to Chinese automaker Geely, which also owns Volvo, the London Taxi Cab brand and is the largest private shareholder in Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz. The sale was announced Monday by Mitime Utah Investment, a Geely subsidiary.

A Geely official, William Lee, said the company plans to make the facility “bigger and better.” Geely also said in its announcement that it plans to build eight similar tracks in China, where it already has the Ningbo International Circuit and where a second track already is under construction. 

Geely operates the Chinese Formula 4 racing series and plans to enter the FIA World Touring Car Championship with its Lynk brand.

American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association competitors in action in Utah

The Utah Motorsports Campus, as the Miller track was relabeled, is a large facility — spanning 511 acres —  that can be used for racing and for vehicle testing and development.

“We are really excited about the future of UMC, and we have significant plans for the facility,” Willem Geyer, the facility’s chief executive, is quoted in the news release.

“We are studying the viability of adding various race tracks, entertainment venues and supporting infrastructure that will not only solidify our position as one of Utah’s major entertainment facilities but also ensure that UMC will be a profitable venture for the first time in its history.”

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The track was built on land leased from Tooele County by Larry Miller, a mega new-car dealership owner, and opened in 2006. It also was home of the Miller motorsports museum. The racing facility hosted Superbike, American Le Mans, Grand-Am, NASCAR West and many other racing events, including those for vintage racing cars.

The Miller family lease expired in 2015 and the family did not renew. Since then, the renamed track has operated under a management group that includes many former Miller staffers. 

The track hosted Travis Pastrana’s inaugural Nitro World Games in September.

Utah race track property spans more than 500 acres
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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

1 COMMENT

  1. Good day Mr Edsall,

    I bet I’m not the first to point this out, but Geely also owns Lotus, a brand that is well suited for a facility like this.
    Maybe we could see another iteration of the Lotus Driving Academy here in the United States.

    Thanks for your time,
    NGK

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