(All photos: Tenerife Cabildo)
Updated 21 August 2017: It’s a year since the last update on this story, and it’s a year in which hardly anything has happened to take things further with the new circuit. The problems appear to have been exclusively with the Italian end of the operation, both logistically and financially, and now the Tenerife Cabildo has taken control of the development by cancelling the contract with Onda Rossa, and putting the works back out to tender.
The Cabildo says that the BOC will soon publish details of both the termination of the first contract and its reissue for bids to take up the works. The same principle will apply whereby the operating company will recoup its investment of around €23m by running the track for some years after it opens.
The Cabildo says that it is absolutely committed to the motor racing circuit, and that the entire fault for the wasted year was with the developer who was in breach of the contract’s terms. Work will now proceed with as much haste as safety allows to ensure that this long-standing dream comes to fruition. Walter Sciacca will stay with the project as specialist consultant and Director of the Motor Circuit of Tenerife.
Updated 29 August 2016: And as scheduled, the official opening of the works for Tenerife’s new motor racing circuit was held today, with the formal laying of the first stone amongst a range of officials and dignitaries including Tenerife president Carlos Alonso, Cabildo sports councillor Cristo Pérez, Granadilla acting mayor and works councillor Juan Rodríguez Bello, and the administrator of Onda Rossa Riccardo Ferretti. Here are some photos, courtesy of the Tenerife Cabildo, of the stone-laying ceremony.
Updated 24 August: The Atogo circuit will be managed by Walter Sciacca, who has been welcomed by Tenerife president Carlos Alonso. Sciacca is CEO & Managing Director of Motorsport Professional Advice Ltd, and Circuit Director of Italy’s famous F1 racing track at Imola, known as the home of Ferrari. President Alonso stressed the importance of Tenerife’s new circuit being run by someone so widely respected and of such prestige in motor racing, and said that the Cabildo was convinced that it showed the track was an important and attractive project which was generating great expectation internationally, as well as in Tenerife itself.
Sciacca himself assured Alonso that he considered the role an important professional challenge in his career, with Tenerife “starting from scratch” in the construction of an installation that he is convinced will be a “tremendous success”. Works on the new circuit start next Monday.
Updated 7 August: And now Damon Hill has heard of it … !
Updated 5 August 2016: The Tenerife Cabildo said today that after modifications and the inevitable paperwork trail, works on the motor racing circuit will start on the 29th of this month. The works, which will cost over €23m, are expected to be completed within two years. As was already known, the concession granted to Onda Rossa will see the company manage the track for 35 years, extendable by a further 5.
Updated 29 May 2015: The final go-ahead was announced on 18 May, and yesterday, the details of the project were announced in a press conference given by Tenerife president Carlos Alonso, councillor for project development Eduardo Pintado, and Axia managing director Riccardo Ferretti.
President Alonso said that it had been a long time coming but as of 18 May it was full steam ahead. As said below, it will be funded by private money, and will generate both economic benefits and employment for Tenerife. Axia had already paid €1.2m as an aval, confirmed Alonso, a financial surety required as a norm from those carrying out public works for the Cabildo.
Axia boss Riccardo Ferretti explained that the company had a wealth of experience in major public works, including outside Italy, with projects in Tunisia, Morocco, Sweden and Romania. Ferretti confirmed that Axia would use local companies wherever possible, as well as local materials, which would produce a saving for the company as well as benefit the local economy. He said that he was “very excited” to be able to execute the project which had been so long awaited, and that over the next few months a technical survey would be carried out on the entire plot of some 1.3m square metres.
Project development councillor Eduardo Pintado has been promoting this project for years and is content beyond words that it is finally happening. There is a year and a half of hard work to come, he said, but it will be approached with enthusiasm and passion.
The project will see €21.4m put into the track itself, with a further €2.4m going into the north access to the circuit. A further quarter of a million Euros will be paid for land purchases already agreed. The full period of works will last 21 months. The administrative concession granted in return for the investment will see Onda Rossa (integrated by Kiti Trans and Axia) manage the site for 35 years, extendable by a further 5, which will see a further private investment of €5m in equipment and installations.
Update 18 May 2015: The Cabildo has awarded the contract for the construction of the motor racing track to Kiti Trans SLU, an Italian company which will carry out the works in the name of Onda Rossa SL, in participation with the Italian business Axia SRL. The contract for the works involves an investment of some €30m, paid for by the contractor in exchange for a 35-year management deal. As far as Tenerife is concerned directly, however, this project is now on the starting grid, with works forecast to be completed in 21 months.
Original post 29 October 2014: It’s been delayed for a very long time, and has overcome hurdles of every type, but now it’s on the starting grid. The Tenerife motor circuit has finally received the go-ahead from the Canarian government. Nothing now stands in the way of tenders to run the track. With the utmost backing of the Tenerife Cabildo, the Circuito de Tenerife in Atogo near Granadilla is underway. It will be overwhelmingly financed by private initiative but apparently interest is extremely high. The track will be able to provide facilities for all sorts of motor racing on up to nine track formations allowing for everything from carcross to motor cycling to Formula One. The project is forecast for 2017, and the Cabildo sees enormous tourism advantages for Tenerife from the circuit, not least because it is near the island’s main international airport and its principal tourism infrastructure.