No Rockingham CART race for 2003

British oval circuit Rockingham Motor Speedway has announced that its Champ Car round for 2003 has been called off for financial reasons

No Rockingham CART race for 2003

The news comes as no surprise following warnings from the track bosses last week that the annual CART event was losing Rockingham too much money. New circuit chief Ashley Pover said that the oval's five-year contract with CART had to be re-negotiated if next year's race, scheduled for May 4, was to take place.

But a statement from Rockingham today confirmed that an agreement between the US-based series and the circuit bosses has not been reached.

Pover said: "We have invested with CART in bringing the world's fastest motor racing to Britain, on our unique banked oval track, but we have decided that a 2003 event would be fiscally unviable.

"We have currently less than five months to develop new marketing programmes and find sponsors. Frankly, we don't have the resources to make that work."

Pover added that Rockingham has left the door open to welcome back CART in 2004.

"If we were to plan towards a future date, such as mid-season 2004, that would give more time to achieve the targets, which makes a lot more sense. We've enjoyed hosting CART over the past couple of years and we hope that we can reach an agreement for the future."

The announcement will add fuel to stories that CART is planning a trio of European races next year at Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps and Estoril.

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