Scheme includes a 2.6-mile road course built into two excavated bowls

Consultant Ridge has landed a key role on a planned major motorsports complex in the Arizona desert.

The Oxfordshire-based SME – which has worked for several Formula 1 teams - will act as project manager, cost consultant and architect on a 2,360-acre racing complex half an hour’s drive
from Phoenix.

The scheme includes a 2.6-mile road course built into two excavated bowls, enabling spectators to see as much as possible from any seat. The complex will also include a driver experience centre, karting track and amenities including a private airport.

Ridge partner Guy Austin told Building the US developer behind the scheme, Danrick Builders, was aiming to deliver a circuit with “a European feel” and to make Arizona an international motorsports destination.

Ridge is working with British automotive design specialists Apex Circuit Design on the project, which is expected to break ground next year.

Danrick’s plan is to stage American domestic motorsport series, track days and corporate events, with the long-term aim of pulling in larger events such as the US Le Mans or Moto GP motorcycling.

Ridge has also been working on a 3.3km motor racing track and leisure complex in the Chinese city of Shaoxing, just outside Shanghai, which Austin said was nearing completion.

He added that the motorsport market was “going great guns” and that Ridge was still working with a number of F1 clients, but said that commercial sustainability, in F1 particularly, was an issue in terms of attracting sponsorship and participation. The less popular F1 struggles to attract 100,000 people to a grand prix race, while the US Indy 500 in Indianapolis, which Austin attended recently, attracted 400,000 people.