The green light has been given for the construction of a new racing circuit in the Canary Islands after a year's delay. The €23m Circuito de Tenerife in Atogo, near Granadilla, will be completed by 2018, with construction set to being in the next few months.
The project was announced with some fanfare in 2014 by the Cabildo of Tenerife (Government of Tenerife) and construction was originally slated to begin last year. However, delays with finalising the approval papers left the project stalled. However, Cabildo president Carlos Alonso signed the approval papers this week, allowing development to begin.
The track will be built near to Atogo, in an area called Los Duques, within the municipality of Granadilla de Abona, on farmland purchased specifically for the project by the Cabildo de Tenerife. The project is being funded privately by through the Milan-based Axia SRL company, with contracts already agreed with the concessions to build the whole facility agreed last year.
The 4.067 km multi-layout circuit has been designed by the GPO group, which has been responsible for a variety of Spanish circuits, included Barcelona-Catalunya, Navarra, Monteblanco and the short-lived Bilbao street course. In addition to the main circuit, the project will include an off-road course and other facilities for testing and driver training.
The main layout is designed to be capable of of being licenced up to F1 Testing standard, with up to eight shorter variations, several of which can run simultaneously. Speeds of up to 310 km/h have been calculated at the end of the main straight for Formula One cars.
Located on the consistently sunny south of the island and less than three kilometres from the airport Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur, the track's location is one of its major selling points. With 180° views of the sea to the south and volcanic mountains towering over it in the north, it is set to enjoy a spectacular backdrop.
At the original project launch in 2014, ex-F1 driver Mark Blundell gave his approval to the scheme, praising its design and location and describing it as a 'fantastic business opportunity'. The former Le Mans winner also became the first Briton to lap the facility in December 2014 - when he took to the wheel of a 4x4 to drive the layout marked out on the as-yet-undeveloped land.
"The circuit is at altitude and enjoys near-perfect weather all year round, so it's great for developing cars, tyres, engines or holding events," he said. "I can think of nothing better than to be here in December at a Goodwood-style event.
"The circuit's design is brilliant – it looks like Tenerife's going to stage some really positive, exciting racing."