The future of Croft race circuit in Yorkshire is in doubt following a landmark ruling in which a judge awarded damages to three local residents after complaints about excessive noise.
The circuit’s operators, Croft Promosport Ltd, lodged an appeal against a High Court ruling in favour of the complainants. However, the appeal was rejected and the circuit was ordered to pay around £150,000 in damages and, most importantly, close to £1 million in legal costs.
Although the noise complaint centred on the use of the circuit for track days, a drastic cut in the number of noisy days permitted has already had an impact on this year’s racing schedule at Croft.
Now, owners of other venues are studying the verdict to see if it could open the floodgates for similar claims. Croft re-opened for racing in 1997 after only sporadic use for rallycross through the 1990s.
Although Croft is not a significant venue for historic racing, the ruling is sure to exert further pressure on silencing regulations, and the Masters Racing Series has been one of the first to react by extending the 105db noise limit to also cover Gentleman Drivers and Top Hat Saloons.