GOOD­BYE TO ROCK­ING­HAM

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Brack: sec­ond in Indy­car 2001

Kenny Brack Run­ner-up, Indy­car at Rock­ing­ham, 2001

“I think Rock­ing­ham was unique in that it was like two larger cor­ners, Turn 4 and Turn 1, and then you had two shorter cor­ners that you came around on the back side, it was unique in the shape and the bank­ing too was dif­fer­ent. I mean, all tracks have dif­fer­ent bank­ing and dif­fer­ent cor­ners, but it was a spe­cific shape and the length I think was 1.2 miles, the whole thing about it was a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent than the oval tracks. But it ended up be­ing very in­ter­est­ing, a very chal­leng­ing track.

“It is ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing that the track won’t be around be­cause it’s been used for a lot of races, par­tic­u­larly road course rac­ing. It’s of course a great deal of his­tory that will dis­ap­pear and that’s sad for the rac­ing com­mu­nity.”

Ben Collins ASCAR cham­pion, 2003

“It re­ally was one heck of a cir­cuit. In ASCAR, we would be flat through Turn 1 and then Turn 2 would be tricky. Get that right, and you were flat through Turn 3 and then you would be on the rev lim­iter go­ing into Turn 4 – so that would be 180mph. We could bat­tle side-by-side, and that is some­thing that the Indy­cars couldn’t do be­cause the track was too tight.

“Ty­ing in the events with mu­sic con­certs was a mas­ter­stroke and fans re­ally took to the events. See­ing oval ac­tion live is some­thing else: fans could grab a beer and a hot dog, sit in the stands and watch the en­tire cir­cuit. It was al­most glad­i­a­to­rial. There was ac­cess for all the fans to the cars and driv­ers. It was a won­der­ful pe­riod of my his­tory.”

Jonny Adam Bri­tish GT driver

“I have good mem­o­ries of 2011 with An­drew Howard, it was my first year of Bri­tish GT and first year of GT rac­ing, we won with the DBRS9. I re­mem­ber it was ab­so­lutely mon­soon con­di­tions on the Sun­day, so it was a wet race and then the wiper failed af­ter 20 min­utes of An­drew’s stint!”

Lea­wood Su­per Sil­hou­ette cham­pion, 2007, Pick­up­truck racer, BTCC racer

“I ab­so­lutely loved Rock­ing­ham, although I had bit­ter­sweet mem­o­ries: I won the Sil­hou­ette se­ries which went there, but I also wrote off my Re­nault UK Clio Cup car and then my Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship [Toy­ota Aven­sis] in 2014.

“But it was the Pickup se­ries I did that was the best rac­ing I have done any­where. I think it was re­ally un­der­rated as a cat­e­gory. The edge-of-the-seat ac­tion, the speed, the tac­tics – and how you used the draft. It had it all, and of­ten you could be four abreast. There was noth­ing like it any­where else, and now Rock­ing­ham is go­ing, there will be noth­ing like it

Rob Austin Bri­tish­tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship driver

“I wouldn’t say I liked the place, but I cer­tainly had some good re­sults there. It was a track that had a bit of ev­ery­thing in terms of cor­ners, and it had the banked Turn 1, which was some­thing you couldn’t ex­pe­ri­ence at any other track. Hav­ing said that, I pre­ferred the old con­fig­u­ra­tion with the chi­cane on the in­side of Turn 1 where the cars used to take off – that was all about mind­less brav­ery! The rest of it had el­e­va­tion change and it was a real chal­lenge.

“I have a the­ory about great tracks: they all have trees. Think about it: Brands GP, the Nord­schleife, Le Mans – they all have trees! Maybe that is where Rock­ing­ham went wrong. They should have got plant­ing – that could have made the dif­fer­ence.”

Ben Collins (84) was a big star in the ASCAR cat­e­gory Adam’s first Bri­tish GT win

Trou­ble for Lea Wood Austin was a BTCC win­ner

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