2003 Rockingham 500 announcement
Rockingham Motor Speedway and CART have agreed that for 2003, the CART Championship Series will not be hosted by the Northamptonshire circuit.
The races held in September 2001 and 2002 put Rockingham on the world motor sports map, added a new dimension to motor sport in Britain and created the two fastest races ever held in the United Kingdom. However for 2003 at least, CART and Rockingham have jointly agreed to remove the event scheduled for May 3/4, from the championship calendar. The situation will be reviewed later next year regarding a return of the series to Rockingham in the future.
"We have invested with CART in bringing the world's fastest motor racing to Britain, on our unique banked oval track, but have decided that a 2003 event would be fiscally unviable" said Ashley Pover, CEO of Rockingham. "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. 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" said Pover. "In the meantime Rockingham will focus on its highly successful national motor racing activities such as ASCAR, investing in British talent to provide great entertainment for British fans".
Those people who have already booked tickets for the 2003 event will have their money fully refunded and will receive priority booking status if a potential 2004 event goes ahead. They will also be given priority in booking for the events scheduled in Rockingham's 2003 calendar; which contains motor racing events for the ASCAR 'Days of Thunder' oval motor racing series as well as the British Superbike, Formula Three and GT racing championships.
Rockingham will continue to host the highly successful Johnny Herbert Rockingham Experience, Britain's fastest-growing corporate and leisure driving experience. There are also exciting plans afoot to diversify the activities at Rockingham to host a number of major concerts and non-motoring events, as well as longer-term plans to develop a motor sports technology business park and other leisure facilities at the location close to Corby, Northamptonshire, England.