Champcar racing could return to Brands Hatch after a 25-year break following the cancellation of the Rockingham 500 planned for May 2003.
Rockingham’s new CEO Ashley Pover has canned the oval event just two years into a multi-year contract, citing the fact that the circuit lost money on both its CART races and cannot afford to run the ’03 edition. Pover’s main aim is to stop Rockingham operating at a loss and staff cuts have already been implemented.
“We have invested with CART in bringing the world’s fastest motor racing to Britain… but have decided that a 2003 event would be fiscally unviable,” said Pover.
With CART bosses keen to run a mini-European tour during May, while the rival IRL series prepares for the Indy 500, a return to Brands Hatch is being mooted and Octagon bosses have confirmed that initial discussions have taken place. Spa and Estoril are the other European venues thought to be in contention for a ChampCar race.
The last time Brands hosted such a race was back in 1978, when the Indycars ran on the 1.2-mile club circuit during a two-race British sojourn. Speculation suggests that a 2003 race could be held on the 2.6-mile grand prix circuit, although work would be needed to bring safety standards up to the requisite level.