BRIT MOTORSPORT CRISIS
Two home-grown venues to close at the end of the year
No future bookings are being taken at Corby’s Rockingham Motor Speedway beyond December 31, 2018. The news, which broke after interested parties were told they would not have dates ringfenced in 2019, came after the state of the art venue was sold, two months after it was dumped from the BTCC calendar. A statement on the company’s Facebook said: ‘A sale of Rockingham Motor Speedway Ltd has now completed and as a result, there will be changes in business operations at the venue. We would reassure all customers that these changes will not impact any aspect of events scheduled to run during 2018, nor the opportunity to stage further events this year. A further statement will follow shortly.’
The site had been up for sale since the end of 2016 but the circuit has never been as successful as the original developers had hoped. In 2004, it hosted 50 Cent at its Days of Thunder event, drawing a crowd of 20,000. Being a venue capable of seating 52,000, this means its most popular event saw it less than half full.
It’s bad news for banger racing fans, too. Essex Arena, home to the infamous Firecracker Unlimited banger meeting that attracts competitors who vie to bring the rarest and most ‘interesting’ vehicles to the event and sees dozens of classics destroyed each year, is also to close at the end of 2018. The Firecracker was always seen by banger racing cognoscenti as the jewel in the crown of the arena. The final Firecracker is set for November 4, 2018.
‘Rockingham has not been as successful as hoped’
Practical Classics visited Rockingham in October 2017.