Rock­ing­ham ‘wouldn’t sur­vive as a track’, says CEO

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Rock­ing­ham CEO Pe­ter Hard­man knew the venue “wouldn’t sur­vive as a track” when he took the job, adding that he was dis­ap­pointed with a small en­try list for its fi­nal ever race meet­ing.

The four-time Le Mans en­trant as­sumed his role at the cir­cuit five years ago, dur­ing which time it has made a profit for the first time in its 17-year his­tory.

Speak­ing at the Su­per Send-off, he told MN that the writ­ing was on the wall when he took over the dayto-day run­ning.

“I al­ways knew that it wasn’t go­ing to sur­vive as a track be­cause it’s not com­mer­cially vi­able,” he said. “It’s never made any money be­fore, although we have gone from a £250,000 loss the year I ar­rived to mak­ing a £450,000 profit this year.”

When the meet­ing was orig­i­nally an­nounced, it was hoped that both Indy and stock cars would fea­ture in de­mon­stra­tions – both hav­ing raced at the cir­cuit pre­vi­ously.

But nei­ther ma­te­ri­alised due to the short time­frame be­tween when the meet­ing was an­nounced two months prior, and the win­ter weather.

When asked if he was dis­ap­pointed at a di­min­ished en­try list [the sin­gle-seater grids fea­tured just eight cars], Hard­man added: “Yeah, we were try­ing to do a two-day race meet­ing but at this time of year a lot of peo­ple have wound down.

“It’s a bit of a shame but we can only do what we can do and it was planned late in the day. I’m sur­prised we got so many peo­ple out, in a way.”

The fi­nal race meet­ing ended with a fire­works dis­play set to the sound­track of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ play­ing on the cir­cuit PA sys­tem – the mu­sic hav­ing pre­ceded ASCAR races.

This week­end’s Rock­ing­ham Stages Rally and a track­day will con­clude the mo­tor­sport ac­tion to be held at the venue.

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