Pick­ups to race on Mal­lory oval

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS - STEPHEN LICK­O­R­ISH

Pickup Truck rac­ing is set to re­turn to the Mal­lory Park oval next year after Mo­tor­sport UK granted a li­cence for the cir­cuit to be used again.

Pick­ups last raced there in 2005, but the clo­sure of Rock­ing­ham prompted the se­ries to work with cir­cuit of­fi­cials to bring the oval back into com­pe­ti­tion.

Oval rac­ing has been an im­por­tant part of the Pickup cham­pi­onship, which was the only cat­e­gory to use the Rock­ing­ham oval in re­cent years. It now has two meet­ings sched­uled at Mal­lory next year and se­ries boss Sonny Howard hopes to add more in fu­ture sea­sons.

“With the demise of Rock­ing­ham, ev­ery­body said it would be the end of Pickup rac­ing but that is not the case,” said Howard. “After Rock­ing­ham [clos­ing] we want Pick­ups to still put on a show. We are go­ing back to rac­ing on the cir­cuits again and we’ve got six rounds with the Bri­tish Truck Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship. But I be­lieve the ic­ing on the cake is the re­turn to Mal­lory Park’s oval.

“Twenty-two years ago Pick­ups started rac­ing un­der Euro­car. It will keep that part of the se­ries go­ing and that’s im­por­tant – it makes Pick­ups unique.

“We’re go­ing to try to make those events into some­thing spe­cial and will work with Mal­lory Park to pro­mote the events, and we’re hop­ing to bring in other prod­ucts so it ends up be­ing a whole day [of en­ter­tain­ment]. It won’t just be a club­bie race meet­ing with trucks on the oval.”

Only the Pick­ups will be al­lowed to com­pete on the oval in 2019 and they won’t run anti-clock­wise as they did pre­vi­ously.

The Pick­ups will be one of three se­ries that Howard’s SHP con­cern will run next sea­son. The Bri­tish Au­to­mo­bile Rac­ing Club has handed SHP a three-year con­tract to op­er­ate the In­ter­mar­que cham­pi­onship, which Howard has re­named Su­per Sil­hou­ettes for 2019.

The fi­nal part of the so-called ‘Power of Three’ is a new se­ries for Us-style Sprint rac­ers, which Howard says was orig­i­nally de­signed with the Rock­ing­ham oval in mind but has now been adapted for reg­u­lar tracks.

Pick­ups last raced on Mal­lory Park oval in 2005

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