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Geely buys Utah Motorsports Campus

by Ronan Glon

Volvo's parent company wants to make the track better.

Chinese automaker Geely extended its buying spree by completing the purchase of the Utah Motorsports Campus. It plans on making the facility bigger and better in the coming years.

Located in Tooele, about 45 minutes west of Salt Lake City, the track is now owned by Geely subsidiary Mitime Utah Investments. That means it's under the same umbrella as Volvo, Lotus, Polestar, the London Taxi Company, and flying car firm Terrafugia, among others. Geely has been trying to buy the track since 2015 but legal issues stood in the way of the purchase until November 2018.

"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," said William Lee, the vice president of Mitime, in a statement.

Interestingly, Geely notes it plans on building 10 similarly-sized tracks across China. It opened the first one -- the Ningbo International Circuit -- in 2017 and is currently building the second one. What it plans to do with nearly a dozen race tracks remains up in the air. What's certain is that the Utah Motorsports Campus will remain open in the foreseeable future; Geely won't close it and use it as a private test tracks. Track officials will release the 2019 schedule in the coming weeks.

Salt Lake City businessman Larry H. Miller opened the Alan Wilson-designed track in 2006. It was known as the Miller Motorsports Park at the time of its inauguration. Miller -- who died in 2009 -- operated the track but leased the property from county officials. His family chose not to renew the lease when it expired in 2015, leaving the track in government hands.