Mitime Investment & Development Group, a subsidiary of Geely, China’s largest independent automobile manufacturer, has agreed to purchase Miller Motorsports Park from Utah’s Tooele County for $20 million.
The county took over ownership of MMP when the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies decided not to renew the lease for the 500-plus acres on which the racetrack and its related facilities sit.
Miller Motorsports Park hosted round six of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship on June 26-28 of this year.
Closure was not an option. “There are over 90 workers employed by the park itself,” said Shawn Milne, the county commissioner who led the efforts to find a new owner, “and hundreds of others that depend upon regular operations throughout the year.”
Best scenario was to sell the facility to someone with an understanding of motorsports and the knowledge to manage such an asset.
“From the beginning,” Milne said, “we have viewed the possibility of a new owner with a passion for racing and a long-term vision of continued investment as the best possible outcome for the facility and our community. That remained our driving force during consideration of all the proposals.”
Plans for Miller Motorsports Park proposed by Mitime include:
—Produce race vehicles for export to China’s growing motorsports market
—Develop a driver-training program for road, oval-track, and off-road racing**
Mitime was reportedly initially interested in purchasing MMP as a training facility for development of proposed raceways in China. The company has hired MMP designer and former GM Alan Wilson to build five tracks in that country.
“This opportunity couldn’t come at a better time for the world of racing and growth of motorsports in one the world’s fastest growing economies,” Wilson said. “This deal allows the facility to remain fully operational and to export the American racing model to China.”
According to Tooele County officials, Mitime’s proposal included economic factors that could generate a billion dollars for the region over the next 25 years.