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Rockingham switches from motorsport to automotive logistics

The Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire, is to stop circuit activities from the end of the year as it focuses on becoming a leading automotive logistics hub.

City Auction Group celebrated three years at Rockingham in February

City Auction Group celebrated three years at Rockingham in February

It follows its acquisition by new owners Rockingham Automotive LLP (RAL), a UK investment partnership funded by Jersey investors who plan to redevelop the 250-acre site into a specialist in defleet, remarketing, refurbishment and storage services for the automotive industry.

Rockingham opened in 2001 on the site of a former British Steel quarry and is credited with bringing US-style banked oval racing to the UK as well as being the first banked oval constructed in Britain since the closure of Brooklands in 1939. However, it was hit by a downturn in motorsport and economic uncertainty in the following years. It was sold several times, with its last owner Bela Partnerships having gone into administration at the end of 2016. The venue has faced uncertainty since then and has since dropped off the schedules for the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and other championships for 2019.

Now, the circuit is to be closed from next year to “further develop Rockingham as a world-class automotive facility”, with the capacity to process more than 20,000 vehicles on site at any one time.

The site is already used by a number of automotive logistics firms including City Auction Group as well as Groupe CAT and GEFCO and will be focused on becoming one of the largest automotive facilities in the UK.

City Auction Group managing director Michael Tomalin welcomed the redevelopment and said the company would invest heavily in new facilities to provide “market-leading de-fleet and external operational services, alongside remarketing events”.

“Our ethos is to provide corporate clients with the full portfolio of de-fleet and remarketing at one major facility,” he continued.

“Our partnership with Groupe CAT UK, an award-winning provider of automotive logistics services who are also based at Rockingham, will supply us with specialist finished vehicle logistics for all our passenger cars and LCVs. We take great pride in the quality of vehicles we offer and this new partnership will enable us to strengthen our position as ‘best in class’.

“We work closely with manufacturers, leasing companies, financial institutions and daily rental organisations to improve and develop our services and the redevelopment of Rockingham as a major vehicle logistics hub will help to accelerate our growth.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.