Motorsport shares are racing away

Shares in Brands Hatch Leisure yesterday raced to a sizeable premium on their first day of trading on the London stock market. Floated at 157p, the shares closed at 177.5p, valuing the company at pounds 38.8m.

Run by 29-year-old chief executive Nicola Foulston, Brands Hatch came to the market in order to raise pounds 9.3m to cut bank debt and provide finance for capital expenditure. Brands Hatch runs four motorsport circuits, including the eponymous track in Kent (right).

The circuit is used most weekends for a wide range of national and club, saloon and sports car races and for motor-cycle events, which can attract thousands of spectators.

During the week it is used for practice sessions and for car racing courses, and is available for activities such as go-carting and corporate hospitality. But its income-earning power is heavily concentrated on weekends.