Thursday, November 12, 2009

Circuit Carole Now...A Complex Management

Circuit Carole, located a stones throw from Charles de Gaulle airport is actually owned by the state, but under the guardianship of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis to allow access for motorcycles under secure conditions. It is the only circuit in France reserved specifically for bikes and is open to the amateur pilots everyday of the year except January 1st, May 1st, July 14th, December 25th and during officially scheduled races and events.  The circuit welcomes all two-wheeled vehicles, whether registered for the road or not, from 49,9 cm³ and up. 

In 1990, the department confided the management of this circuit to the SEMIPFA (Corporation of Mixed Economy of the Countries of France and Aulnoye) that manages public works and social lodging for the collective communities.  Since then, each year the department invests in a program of improvement of the welcome structures and security both for the competitive events as well as amateur use.  In addition to this work on the infrastructure, a program of learning, prevention and information and been put in place.  This was developed and organized in partnership with the FFM (French Federation of Motorcycling), the AFDM (Association of Formation Of The Motorcyclists) and professional riders to offer training for better piloting on the track and the street.  The circuit has also become available for businesses to host or organize events and for general training sessions.  In 1996, a motothèque was inaugurated offering an motorcycle information and documentation center.

Over the years pressure has grown for the business park next to the airport to expand. Even with the continued maintenance, the Circuit Carole has gradually deteriorated and in 2006 the government published a report saying that the circuit should be moved to a new venue somewhere else to allow the exhibition center to expand. The government concluded that the best place for this new circuit was near a small village called Thieux, on what is currently being used as farmland. The location is approximately three miles from the end of one of the runways of Charles de Gaulle and was originally reserved for a possible fifth runway had the airport desired to expand, but that plan has since been abandoned. At the time, the local mayor was quite open to the idea, as the site is more than a mile from the nearest house and with only 389 people in the commune, it is a pretty quiet place. Apart from the jets passing overhead.

The mayor had also talked about also including a 150-acre motorbike related business park. The government report concluded that funding for the idea could come a joint venture involving the government, the local government, local businesses, hotel chains, racing associations and so on. Additionally, the mayor talked about the idea of developing a 150-acre motorbike related business park just alongside. The proposed circuit would be 12 meters wide, 2.1-miles in length and include 40 pits and a paddock area. The track would be able to be divided into two independent circuits.

In early 2006, SEMIFPA confirmed that many heavy investments had been made by their organism and as such the decision to relocate was being delayed by at least five years, as such, the earliest point would be 2012.

Sources: FFMC 91 and