‘Business as usual’ as Corby race venue is dumped out of tour

The main stand at Rockingham
The main stand at Rockingham

Bosses at Corby’s race car circuit Rockingham Motor Speedway say they are continuing business as usual after the venue lost its Blue Ribbon event.

The speedway has hosted a leg of the crowd-drawing British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the past 11 years and will do so again in August this year.

The inside of Rockingham Speedway

The inside of Rockingham Speedway

But TOCA, the body that organises the BTCC, this week announced its calendar for its 2019 events - and Rockingham was notable by its absence.

Instead, the racing tour will pay two visits to Thruxton in Hampshire next year.

But bosses at Rockingham said that they are confident that the calendar could still be altered to include them next year.

TOCA said that the possible sale of Rockingham means that they didn’t have enough clarity at the time of finalising the calendar to include the circuit.

No Caption ABCDE NNL-180614-132448005

No Caption ABCDE NNL-180614-132448005

The site has been up for sale since the end of 2016 after owners Bela Partnership went into administration. In March, Insider Media reported that there were two consortiums interested in bidding for the site.

Bela’s administration is due to end on October 24 - just a few months before the BTCC 2019 tour is due to begin.

A Rockingham spokeswoman said: “In relation to the TOCA decision to publish a 2019 BTCC calendar without Rockingham at this time, the status of the circuit has been unchanged for some time and we can assure all parties that it remains very much business as usual here at Rockingham.

“We do fully expect this to continue into 2019 and therefore very much hope we will become part of the BTCC 2019 calendar at a later date.”

Although the circuit has never been as successful as the original developers said it might be, the firm managed to cut its pre-tax losses from £1.2m to £448,418 last year.

In 2004, it hosted 50 Cent at its Days of Thunder event, drawing a crowd of 20,000.