By on August 20, 2015

 

Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah (about 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City) has a new lease on life, Hot Rod is reporting. The racetrack will be purchased by Chinese carmaker Geely and renamed Utah Motorsports Campus. The facility could receive $50 million in upgrades to host more racing events in the future.

The track had been on the ropes after the Miller family, who took over after patriarch Larry H. Miller died in 2009, said they weren’t renewing the lease and walking away from the world-class racetrack. 

After Larry Miller opened the track in 2006, the facility hosted American Le Mans Series, World Superbike and Rolex Sports Car, although those races abandoned their events after 2011. Part of Miller’s own extensive collection of Shelby race cars, including four versions of the Ford GT40, are displayed at a museum at the track.

After Larry Miller’s death in 2009, the family expanded the track to include an off-road course that hosted Lucas Oil Off Road racing events, a zip line and other attractions, but none gained traction — or made the facility profitable.

As reported by Hot Rod, the track’s designer, Alan Wilson, who also designed Gingerman, piqued Geely’s interest in the track. Wilson was designing five tracks in China for Geely, when he mentioned that Miller in Utah would be up for sale. According to the report, Geely was among two potential buyers Tooele County Commissioners were considering for the property. Details of the sale were not made public.

It’s unclear if the Ford racing and performance school, which operates at the track, will continue under the track’s new ownership. (Polestar Performance School, anyone!?)

The losing bidder, Andrew Cartwright, told KUTV in Salt Lake City something about Chinese people coming to take our jobs. (He doesn’t sound bitter, at all.)

Instead of pumping up land for pie-in-the-sky development that’s fairly out of the way of a major metropolitan area, it appears the new owners of Utah Motorsports Park legitimately want to keep one of the nation’s best facilities running and bringing in faster cars to the track.

(Note for readers: I covered Miller Motorsports Park for years as an editor for the newspapers in Aaron Cole Miller MotorsportsSalt Lake City. I attended the performance school and raced at events there. All signs point to good news for a track that is too-often overlooked and sorely needed new ownership. I hope for good things for that track.)

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7 Comments on “Geely Buying Miller Motorsports Track in Utah, May Expand Facility...”


  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    First the 3-way chat between Mark, Bball and DW, now this bit of news to brighten up what was turning into a ho-hum afternoon; thank you very much!

  • avatar
    dartman
  • avatar
    wmba

    The self-indulgent track racing types may well applaud this, and I’m glad it’s saved.

    But for me, when they used to have TV coverage of races there, all the viewer saw was cars shuttling back and forth out there, somewhere. Highly useless trying to follow what was going on, because there were no “landmarks’ to judge even where the cars were on a lap. Exception was the front straight. It was like watching a giant parking lot race. Predictably, nothing will be done about it, because the owners will miss the obvious, they always do.

  • avatar
    caltemus

    Too bad Volvo just got out of motorsports, what with a track now at their disposal.

  • avatar
    Big Wheel

    I was just in Toole/SLC for business two weeks ago. Our group then went to MMP for a small corporate outing. We toured the car museum, & since the Shelby Cobra is one of my favorite cars, I was in heaven. There were at least a dozen Cobras, five GT40’s, & a Daytona coupe (one of six built). Fabulous.

    We then hit the go kart track for some racing, followed by a tour around the outside of the facility (500 acres), & then dinner in one of the buildings along a turn on the road course. Impressive place. Glad to see that it will remain open.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    @wmba: Exactly. It’s the world’s most boring and featureless track. Hills all around, yet somehow they managed to avoid any elevation change — WTF? In principle I guess I’m glad it’s getting saved, but really, it’s hard to care.

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