Rockingham plays on tradition

The Rockingham Motor Speedway, only the second banked oval track to be built in Britain, is now less than a year from completion

Rockingham plays on tradition

The track's management is confident it can re-introduce a tradition of oval racing in the UK, by drawing on Brooklands' history and more recent connotations of the banked speedway from America.

The programme of racing at Rockingham will range from historic racing, involving pre-World War 1 beasts, to the European version of US NASCAR stock cars, and even the possibility of a Champ Car event.

Christopher Tate, Rockingham's marketing director emphasised the role nostalgia will have in Britain's new speedway.

"As the first banked motor racing circuit in Britain since Brooklands, it is only right and proper that we offer the chance for machines that raced on that track, to again show their paces in their natural environment."

Brooklands was the first purpose built motor racing circuit, and was opened in 1907. The track never re-opened after the Second World War, and until now was the only banked oval built in Britain.

It was characterised by vast cars such as the 24-litre aero-engined Napier Railton, which Tate would like to see racing at Rockingham.

However, the oval will also host rounds of more modern championships such as ASCAR, the newly formed series for big-banger American V8 machinery, which aims to become Europe's equivalent to the high profile US NASCAR series for stock cars.

The jewel in the crown for Rockingham would be a CART championship event, a decision on which is still pending.

Rockingham will hear in the next few weeks whether it, or the East German Lausitzring will host the European round of the CART series in 2001.

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