Circuits – Formula One can’t operate without them, whether they are the traditional or the new, permanent or a street circuit. But are tracks keep...
EXPERTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATION OF MOTORSPORT VENUES
ABOUT MRK1 CONSULTING
Mrk1 Consulting was established in 2013 to fill a gap in the market for business consultants experienced in the operation of motorsport venues. Historically, investors planning to build a race track, drag strip, vehicle testing facility, high speed oval or any other motoring activity venue, would either turn to traditional, generic business consultants for advice or they would simply go ahead without understanding the best practices in the industry or how to create a sustainable venue.
Using over twenty years of experience and the knowledge attained whilst operating tracks in multiple countries, we are able to guide clients through the challenges associated with planning, implementing, operating and sustaining a new motorsport venue. Mrk1 Consulting provides qualitative information and support, which in turn allows our clients to realize their goals. In addition, Mrk1 Consulting supports existing motorsport venues by analyzing and reviewing their operation enabling them to create a more sustainable and profitable business. Mrk1 Consulting has played a crucial role in the evolution of motorsport globally and making circuit ownership a realistic commercial opportunity.
Project FeasibilityA crucial part of any business planning process is the initial feasibility study. Is the proposed project sustainable? Does it meet the client’s goals, ideas and aspirations? Mrk1 Consulting works with clients at the earliest stages to establish what those aspirations are and then helps to develop a robust plan to achieve those goals. This process generates data and documentation to allow clients to make informed decisions. Our reports help to develop investment literature and also facilitate the process of government approvals and support. It is often at this stage that we work closely with our clients to identify suitable land for any development if this hasn’t already been done.
Tender Preparation & EvaluationFinding the right partners for any project is essential. Mrk1 Consulting assist clients in this process using years of experience and knowledge of the key suppliers and best practice in the industry. We prepare a full commercial tender for crucial components of the project such as track design and architectural services, master planning, homologation and detail design as well as suppliers of services or materials. The tender process includes management of site visits for bidders, preparation of support materials, processing all queries and clarifications and preparing the supporting contract paperwork. To finalize the process we carry out a complete commercial and technical evaluation of all bids allowing our clients to make an informed decision on which suppliers to utilize.
Project ManagementEfficient and effective project management is crucial to delivering a project on time and on budget. Mrk1 Consulting have been appointed on a number of major motorsport developments that have been constructed in record time and within budget. We are able to embed experienced members of the Mrk1 Consulting team within the client’s organization or support clients on either an ad-hoc or full time basis subject to the client’s specific requirements. During this phase of a development, we will represent our client’s interests using our knowledge and experience to ensure that the track designers, the construction companies and the suppliers perform within the framework of their contract. In addition, we also ensure complete compliance with the sports governing bodies and, where applicable, identify issues, minimize risk and work on solutions for any challenges that arise throughout this crucial period.
Circuit OperationsCircuit Operations were the initial foundation of Mrk1 Consulting and still remain our core service to this day. Arguably we have more experience of running circuits globally than any other organization having operated tracks in Europe, the Middle East and Central and South East Asia. Mrk1 Consulting offers a full turnkey track operations service from individual specialist staff placement to the deployment of an entire workforce. Typically we will work hand in hand with clients, whether from existing circuits or a new build track, to develop a solution that is sustainable, appropriate to their business model and maximizes the local resources available to them. Our world-class team includes personnel with vast experience in track operations, track administration, race organization, commercial sales, marketing and PR, sponsorship and long term business strategy. Collectively our circuits host in excess of 100 race events per season, catering for the needs of over 350,000 spectators as well as thousands of manufacturer, corporate and retail track events each year.
PrimRing – Vladivostok, Russia
Mrk1 Consulting was introduced to the PrimRing project by the track designers, Apex, who were looking to support their client with a circuit operations resource. Our remit was to assist PrimRing with the development of a clear commercial strategy for the initial phase of the project which was a CIK International karting circuit, drifting zone, MotoX course, Off Road Experience and numerous leisure rental properties as well as a children’s activity zone. Following the successful collaboration between Mrk1 Consulting and PrimRing, the venue has continued to grow each year with an increase in customers, spectators and events. Mrk1 Consulting was retained to further assist the client with government lobbying, raising further investment, development of an educational program in conjunction with the local university and refining the master plan for the site.
Chang International Circuit – Buriram, Thailand
Mrk1 Consulting was appointed to support CIC during the construction phase, monitoring the development of the site and trouble-shooting as construction progressed. In parallel to this, we were asked to develop a complete operational plan for the venue including budgets, structures, standard operating procedures, major incident plans and a commercial strategy. We were then asked to provide circuit management services to CIC and to deliver a comprehensive knowledge transfer program which included the identification, recruitment and training of all key local personnel. As well as the day-to-day running of the circuit and delivery of standard corporate and retail track events, the Mrk1 Consulting team successfully delivered rounds of the World Superbikes, Japanese Super GT, Thai Super Series, TCR International, GT Asia and Thai Superbikes.
Zhejiang Circuit – Shaoxing, China
Zhejiang Circuit (ZC) is China’s newest motorsport venue and has significantly raised the bar for motorsport in China. Located 200km south west of Shanghai in the city of Shaoxing, this beautiful Grade 2 circuit includes a luxurious private members' club (Z Club), stylish 52 room boutique hotel, a CIK world championship standard karting track and a range of commercial units. Mrk1 Consulting was appointed to provide operational management of the circuit and give on-going support with commercial strategy, race event development and future business planning. The Mrk1 Consulting team successfully identified, recruited and trained all circuit operations staff and is undertaking a comprehensive knowledge transfer program covering all track operation functions.
Canadian Motor Speedway – Niagara, Canada
The Canadian Motor Speedway (CMS) will be Canada’s first oval race circuit. This world-class development is located in Fort Erie, Niagara, close to the border with the United States. CMS will be the only high speed oval capable of hosting the hugely popular NASCAR championship in Canada. Mrk1 Consulting is a key strategic partner to CMS and we have been appointed to offer strategic advice on circuit operations and commercial development.
Baku City Circuit – Baku, Azerbaijan
A challenging street circuit and one of the latest to join the Formula One™ calendar, Baku City Circuit appointed Mrk1 Consulting to develop event operational plans and budgets and also identify and appoint key event partners such as marshal training providers, safety planners, security teams.
Mandalika International Street Circuit – Lombok, Indonesia
Mrk1 Consulting, in partnership with RoadGrip Motorsport Indonesia (RMI), has been instrumental in the development of the world’s first, purpose-built street circuit to host MotoGP™. The Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA) appointed Mrk1 to undertake the detailed design of the track as well as appointing Mrk1 staff in key roles on the project including Interim Chief Operating Officer. In addition, RMI & Mrk1 will provide the core operational team and event management services for a number of international events per year.
Laumes International Circuit
Mrk1 Consulting have been appointed as lead consultants on this incredible 790-hectare mixed use development, 75km from Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Our initial scope included understanding and refining the client requirements, developing the business plan in conjunction with their global real estate consultant, assistance in finding the right site for the development, creating the tender for master-planning and track design services. We have since been retained to oversee the commercial and operational development of the site for the client. This extraordinary sport centric development will include an FIA/FIM race circuit, CIK kart track, driver experience center and off-road course. In addition, to motorsport, there will also be a world class resort, equestrian center, tennis and soccer academies and a diverse range of water sports. As well as the leisure aspects of the development, there are further commercial and residential aspects making this project one of the most complete and comprehensive mixed use developments in the country.
Lake Torrent - Coalisland, Northern Island
Lake Torrent was the vision of a Northern Irish entrepreneur with a passion for motorcycle racing. Mrk1 was appointed to work with the client on evaluating the feasibility of the project, carry out operational reviews of the proposed designs and review the proposed site for the project.
Kuwait Motor Town - Kuwait
Kuwait Motor Town (KMT), Kuwait is the most comprehensive motorsport and driving facility in the Middle East. The venue includes an FIA Grade 1/FIM Grade A 5.6km race circuit with multiple configurations, challenging corners and over 15m of elevation change. In addition, KMT has an NHRA dragster track, CIK karting facility, FIM MotoX and FIA RallyX tracks, dynamic/handling course and off-road driving area. Mrk1 Consulting oversaw the final stages of development and the successful FIA Grade 1 homologation of the track. We ensured the venue was operationally ready prior to hosting the first three months of track activity which saw numerous events including manufacturer events, regional drag races, track attack sprints, KMT open track days, FIM MotoX competition and a 24hr karting race.
Founder & Managing Director
Mark’s motorsport career started with rallying, initially as a marshal, then a driver before moving on to manage major sponsors for the British Rally Championship and the UK round of the World Rally Championship. Mark transferred seamlessly from rallying events into a successful venue management career starting as General Manager for CSMA Motorplex and then Operations Manager for Brands Hatch. In 2004 Mark ventured overseas for the first time moving to the Bahrain International Circuit for the role of Operations Director. Mark was asked to establish a core operations team, budgets and procedures as well as to develop all corporate and retail products and introduce new sporting events. After almost 6 years in Bahrain Mark was then asked to help Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi prepare for its inaugural Formula One™ race in 2009. Following on from the enormously successful events in the Middle East, Mark’s services were then in demand from India where he was asked to oversee the final phase of design and then construction of the brand new Buddh International Circuit just outside of New Delhi. During this time Mark also introduced all of the operational planning components to allow Jaypee Sports to deliver India’s first ever Formula One™ Grand Prix. In 2010, Mark was coaxed back to Yas Marina Circuit as Operations Director with a specific remit to control spiraling costs, streamline the operation and recruit and train national staff to take over the operation of the venue. All tasks Mark excelled at and where he exceeded the board’s expectations. After over 20 years working for circuits and events, Mark had built up an enviable reputation and decided to use that experience and knowledge to establish Mrk1 Consulting. The primary focus of Mrk1 Consulting is to help guide new race facilities through the challenges that many businesses face during start up. In addition to this, Mrk1 Consulting works closely with a number of existing facilities looking to review their business model, address operational concerns, improve cost effectiveness and quality and increase long-term sustainability. Mark's knowledge of motorsport venues is second to none and his ability to meet and exceed the expectations of manufacturers, championships and the circuit owners has meant that Mrk1 Consulting’s services are in great demand.
Founder and Director
Suzie has a bachelor’s degree in hotel and catering management. She began her event management career working for a highly successful conference and events provider in the south of England. In 2004, Suzie returned home to Bahrain, where she was the natural choice for Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) when they were looking for someone to lead their events department. Joining BIC and helping to establish a core events team, she was instrumental in the delivery of hundreds of events annually including international and national race series, testing, product launches, media events, banquets and conferencing. As a result of her efficient management and world-class execution of these events BIC quickly established a reputation as a leading venue for all MICE events. Following on from the success at BIC, Suzie then put her event management and catering skills to great use when she was asked to help establish the catering operation for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009. Suzie co-founded Mrk1 Consulting in 2013 and continues to grow the business through her role as Marketing Director.
Gary Palmer has been a familiar face around British motorsport for over 25 years and his love for the sport is as strong today as it was back then. At the age of 19 he was a competitive racer quickly moving into international competition, the highlight of which was leading the Renault Clio V6 championship at the Monaco Grand Prix. He has actively competed in various championships around Europe. As a skilled driver, it was only natural that Gary found his instructing skills were in demand and very soon he was one of the most sought after and qualified instructors in Europe. Becoming a Grade A, ARDS race instructor led to him recruiting and training many of the new instructors as well as working for all of the European circuits and most, if not all, manufacturers. In 2016 Gary moved to Shaoxing, China as Mrk1 Consulting’s Circuit Manager at the Zhejiang Circuit. Gary has already recruited a large core team of Chinese national staff including a deputy circuit manager, instructors, marshals, mechanics and customer service personnel.
Tony’s motorsport career began at Brands Hatch where Tony was an integral part of the team. Having gained a broad range of experience at one of the UK’s busiest circuits, Tony was a natural choice when the Bahrain International Circuit were looking to train and develop their local staff. Tony remained at the Bahrain International Circuit for nearly 6 years where his duties included circuit management, track safety and the development and running of all corporate and retail driving activities including the identification and recruitment of over 45 regional instructors. Knowledge transfer is a key ingredient to the success of Mrk1 Consulting and this was where Tony excelled in Bahrain. After such a successful stint in Bahrain, Tony was once again a natural choice for the newest Middle Eastern track, Yas Marina Circuit. Tony was employed initially as Senior Instructor to set up one of the best race schools in the world and subsequently took over circuit management. In 2014, Tony was asked to lead the team during the construction and then operation of Thailand's first FIA Grade 1 and FIM Grade A race track – Chang International Circuit (CIC) in Buriram. CIC quickly established itself as one of the busiest and most commercially successful tracks in the world. Opening the track with the Japanese GT Championship event in 2014, CIC saw an incredible 110,000 spectators on race day. Since then the circuit has hosted the World Superbike Championship, World Touring Car Championship, TCR International, GT Asia, Asian Road Racing Championship and countless national events. Key to the success of Mrk1 Consulting’s management of CIC was the knowledge transfer programme used to identify, recruit, train and retain local staff. More recently Tony has been appointed as the Race Director for TCR International as well as carrying out the role of Race Director for World Superbikes, GT Asia, Thai Super Series and TCR Asia.
Charlie’s career in global motorsport advertising and sponsorship sales has spanned twenty years. Excelling at building lucrative relationships with influential decision makers, Charlie is well known within the industry as a commercially driven individual who continually delivers impressive results. As a passionate motorsport fan, Charlie has been well placed in managing the Formula 1™ Official Programmes since 2007. In this pivotal role Charlie liaises with the promoters and Formula One Management to ensure advertising and sponsorship targets are delivered and partner advertising needs are met. Charlie has also managed and sold commercial products for Moto GP™, WSBK™, Formula E™ and Race of Champions. Charlie’s experience within commercial sales enables him to fully understand how brands and opportunities can be matched and targets secured. Charlie also led the commercial sales on the British round of the World Rally Championship from 2009-2012. He maximised revenue through sponsorship, vending and trade space, giant screen and program advertising slots in addition to securing a number of partnership supply deals. Outside of Motorsport Charlie has been instrumental in revenue generation for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, the international dog show, Crufts, Cheltenham Race Course and the Game Fair, the largest country show in Europe.
Circuit and Motorsport
In addition to the core team, Mrk1 Consulting has an enviable database of freelance circuit and motorsport professionals for all of your racetrack needs. We are able to provide staff on either short or long term contracts covering: circuit managers, instructors, marshals, race officials, various trainers, rescue and recovery personnel, facility managers, project managers, senior management, venue managers, drag circuit operators, sales and marketing personnel, engineers and technicians.
GET IN TOUCH
PO Box 82039 Budaiya Kingdom of Bahrain