Anyone involved in the British motorsport industry knows that it is one of this country's major success stories, but a new survey has shown just how impressive it really is.

The Motorsport Industry Association has just completed a review of the UK's Motorsport Valley Business Cluster. If that sounds like it makes for dry reading, it actually offers some fascinating insights. Consider the headline figure: in 2012, the UK motorsport engineering and services industry had a turnover of £9 billion. That's billion. Which is a lot of money generated by cars driving round in circles.

Particularly impressive is the increase since the MIA last completed a similar survey in 2000. That year, the turnover was £4.6 billion. In other words, the motorsport industry has nearly doubled its turnover in little more than a decade, despite a deep, long recession. Some other figures of note: the 4300 companies that are part of the motorsport industry employ 41,000 people, 87 per cent of firms export worldwide. There is a particular focus on R&D, with some firms spending more than 25 per cent of their annual turnover on development.