Rockingham Aims to Host NASCAR

Rockingham Motor Speedway boss Joe Dickinson has told Autosport-Atlas that selling the oval circuit will ensure it will be in a better position to host major international categories such as NASCAR in the future

Rockingham Aims to Host NASCAR

Corby Developments Ltd (CDL) has bought the site and plans to build more than 5,000 houses next to the track, but will lease the circuit back to its current management for at least five years.

The housing development - called Priors Hall - is to be integrated around the track with the aim of attracting homebuyers who are motor racing fans.

Dickinson said: "This place is built for major international motorsport and we want to see it return. This is a landmark agreement and makes that possible. We would welcome NASCAR and IRL if the economics were right.

"We are constantly in touch with NASCAR and their CEO Brian France has visited Rockingham. They are branching out to Mexico and Canada and are likely to expand to Europe in the future. We want to be in the right place to host a race should that happen.

"Realistically, we are not likely to see a Nextel Cup race at Rockingham within five years, but we have time to get the business right so we are in the right position to host any kind of international race in the long term."

However, the circuit will have to restrict its races to six events per season, with limited options for further weekends.

"What is important is that motor racing at Rockingham is assured," Dickinson added. "There will be less room for solo club dates, but now we will open up the track to club racing on the mornings of our SCSA oval events. What is the point of club races running to no spectators? Now they will have 30,000 watching them.

"The lease is only for five years but such is the commitment of CDL that they are funding a motor racing museum and a wet grip dynamic area. There will be a hotel and a new dual carriageway access road. We are also thinking about a quarter mile oval for hot rods and stock cars because we want to embrace the short oval racing heritage in this country.

"People who buy the houses will fully know the implications of the noise and won't be able to complain after they have moved in, so Rockingham is not under threat. It will be part of the unique selling point of the place."

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