BRIT MO­TOR­SPORT CRISIS

Two home-grown venues to close at the end of the year

Practical Classics (UK) - - CLASSIC WORLD -

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.

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