Mallory Park circuit to reopen in March, but no racing expected yet

Mallory Park will be officially reopened at the start of March, but organisers do not expect the circuit to host car racing this year

Mallory Park circuit to reopen in March, but no racing expected yet

New circuit operator Real Motorsport Limited is holding a free-to-attend open day on March 1, which will include car and bike displays.

There will also be celebrity guests and a collection for military charity 353, but no on-track action.

The first car test will run the following Wednesday (March 5), and testing will alternate between cars and motorcycles for the remainder of the year.

Eddie Roberts and Stuart Hicken, who took charge of the day-to-day running of Mallory at the start of December, had hoped to be hosting races by early Spring despite the last-minute nature of their deal.

However, while they have successfully put in place a calendar of at least five confirmed motorcycle racing events, it was too late for them to earn a late reprieve onto 2014 car racing calendars.

Co-operator Eddie Roberts said it was unlikely the circuit would host any car race meetings in 2014, but other activities would help the facility survive while they worked on a long-term plan.

Cycling and 4x4 activities will take place at the circuit, however AUTOSPORT understands that rallycross and motocross is unlikely to form part of its future.

"The calendar is coming together but we have no car racing events," he said. "That's not through choice. The clubs have been talking to us but it was just too late.

"There's lots going on. At the moment it doesn't include much car activity, but we're working on it. We have space, so if someone wants to put something in place we could."

RML has worked closely with Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council since taking over, and is believed to have agreed in principle a new, more expansive arrangement that will allow it to host around 120 'noisy days' in the future, compared to 96 under the previous agreement.

Council chief executive Steve Atkinson stopped short of confirming a new policy but admitted the negotiations had proceeded in a positive manner.

"We remain in discussion with RML about a framework for activity and frequency for 2014, pending receipt of independent legal advice," he said in a statement released to AUTOSPORT.

"We expect to conclude those initial discussions very soon and will review the situation when we secure the legal advice.

"I am pleased at the prospect of racing returning to the venue and have been greatly reassured by RML's constructive approach to taking early action on noise assessment and management, as well as promoting other quiet uses of the venue."

AUTOSPORT says
Scott Mitchell, editorial assistant (@ScottMitchell89)

Do not be put off by the lack of car racing on Mallory Park's belated 2014 calendar, because these are encouraging times for the Leicestershire circuit.

There was a genuine fear as last year drew to a close that Mallory wouldn't just be quiet this season - it would be devoid of any action altogether.

While Wednesday test days and a smattering of motorcycle races do not scream excitement, it is a genuinely positive development. Eddie Roberts and Stuart Hicken have worked incredibly hard to create a viable plan for 2014 - in Roberts's own words: "This year is about making it work."

It was always going to be tough, if not impossible, to shoehorn Mallory onto the racing calendar of even a single organising club, so the lack of competitive car action comes as no surprise.

There is a long way to go before Mallory is back where it belongs as a motorsport venue, but it is to Roberts' and Hicken's serious credit that the 'noisy day' usage policy is likely to grow, rather than shrink.

Especially when you consider that the suggested reduction of the original 96-day limit was one of the reasons the previous regime was brought to its knees.

But with almost a full year to plan for a proper renaissance, the current compromise is far from cruel.

Yes, off-road racing might not have much of a future under Mallory's new stewardship, and we will have to wait a bit longer for car racing to return to The Friendly Circuit, but it seems like a small price to pay for the preservation of a much-loved venue.

shares
comments
David Cameron to look into Dunlop Motorsport factory closure

Previous article

David Cameron to look into Dunlop Motorsport factory closure

Next article

Mallory Park set for early racing return as July meeting planned

Mallory Park set for early racing return as July meeting planned
Load comments

About this article

Series National
Author Scott Mitchell
How the GT Cup is thriving despite the pandemic Plus

How the GT Cup is thriving despite the pandemic

The GT Cup has attracted a stunning array of drivers and machinery for its opening event at Donington Park this weekend. The fact we're in the middle of a pandemic makes that entry all the more remarkable, but there's plenty of reasons why the series is proving popular

National
Apr 9, 2021
What Autosport’s looking forward to in national motorsport this year Plus

What Autosport’s looking forward to in national motorsport this year

With COVID-19 restrictions gradually being lifted and national motorsport finally returning this weekend, focus and anticipation has switched to the year ahead. Here are Autosport's picks for what should be some of the best events and rivalries of 2021

National
Apr 3, 2021
How 2020's newest national series and championships fared Plus

How 2020's newest national series and championships fared

To the credit of organisers, some new national UK series and championships were still able to successfully launch last year, even with the world in the grip of a pandemic. Here's how Autosport has ranked them

National
Feb 14, 2021
The new national series and championships in 2021 Plus

The new national series and championships in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic may still mean there is uncertainty across the globe, but that hasn't stopped new series and championships from being introduced into UK motorsport this season. Autosport takes a look at the newest additions

National
Feb 10, 2021
The verdict on how COVID impacted club racing in 2020 Plus

The verdict on how COVID impacted club racing in 2020

It was a season like no other but, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were some positives on the club motorsport scene last year as entry numbers largely remained stable, while some series boasted impressive growth

National
Feb 7, 2021
How a Porsche King became 2020's breakout star Plus

How a Porsche King became 2020's breakout star

Few drivers in 2020 could lay claim to a season as exceptional as Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Harry King. Beating the British Touring Car Championship's best to win Autosport's National Driver of the Year was the ideal recognition of his feat

National
Feb 1, 2021
The Formula Vee maverick who has reached the top Plus

The Formula Vee maverick who has reached the top

For a second consecutive year, a self-built machine has won the Formula Vee championship. But James Harridge's 'Maverick' comes from the very humblest of origins - with some parts even salvaged from a skip

National
Jan 24, 2021
The greatest club racing characters Plus

The greatest club racing characters

From legendary drinking habits to dramatic driving styles, there has been no shortage of cult-hero figures over the past 70 years in national motorsport. Here's an extended version of the original list that appeared in Autosport's 70th anniversary bookazine

National
Jan 5, 2021