Geely Just Bought an American Race Track

The Chinese automaker with major investments in Volvo, Lotus, and Daimler now owns the Utah track formerly known as Miller Motorsports Park.

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UMC

The sprawling Utah road course originally developed by the late Larry Miller as Miller Motorsports Park has been purchased by the Chinese automobile manufacturer Geely, which has controlling interests in Volvo, Lotus, and a number of other brands.

It marks the first known acquisition of a major, non-private American motor racing facility by a foreign company, and completes a multi-year effort by Geely and its subsidiary Mitime to buy the property located on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.

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Built upon grounds leased from Tooele County, the Miller family declined to extend its 10-year contract in 2015, which led to the search for a new steward. It found an interested party in Mitime, which sought to buy the land and take control of the facility for use as a test track, and to continue holding motor racing events.

Tooele County chose to offer a short lease to Mitime, which brought in new management and oversight for the renamed Utah Motorsports Campus. After demonstrating its ability to successfully administer and maintain the property, the county offered Mitime’s parent company the opportunity to take ownership of the UMC.

“We are thrilled to finally consummate this agreement to purchase Utah Motorsports Campus,” said Mitime VP William Lee. “This facility is a perfect fit with our company’s other enterprises, and we are looking forward to making it bigger and better in the future.

“We very much appreciate the efforts of Tooele County to make this effort come to fruition, and we are humbled by the outstanding support we have received from the people of Utah since we began operating the facility.”

With full control of the 511-acre facility finally in hand, Geely says it will honor the existing contracts, sanctioning agreements, and tenant leases, but also made mention of possible changes in 2019.

UMC hosted a round of the Pirelli World Challenge series in 2018, Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Rallycross, and a few other events that drew attention to the track, but its position among rival circuits has remained rather low since Miller’s passing in 2009. UMC CEO Willem Geyer hopes Geely’s influence will elevate its status in the industry.

“We are really excited about the future of UMC, and we have significant plans for the facility,” he said. “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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