Rockingham Motor Speedway is a bit of a weird circuit really – based in the middle of an industrial estate this concrete structure towers above everything else. It seems a bit of a blot on the landscape of Corby, but inside it’s actually (despite what people say!) quite a nice facility.
Sure, it is not the most photogenic circuit out there – empty grandstands and mostly concrete everywhere makes our job difficult but there are definitely some unique shots here that you can’t get at any other circuit on the Avon Tyres British GT Championship’s calendar.
Being a bowl shape also helps contain the noise from the local area and it also means the noise gets amplified for those within the circuit! When you stand trackside at Rockingham you feel like the cars are continuously circulated around you, it’s a really odd experience.
The pitlane at Rockingham is also very different to what we see elsewhere. At Silverstone for example you have the garages and then go straight into the pitlane, usually with a small area outside of the garage before entering the ‘fast lane’ where the cars will rumble along bouncing off the pit limiter until they reach the exit point. At Rockingham the garages are well back from the pitlane as it’s been built in a very American fashion.
The garages lead onto a ‘cold’ pit lane where the cars will get pushed around to the various access points to join into the ‘hot’ pitlane which is separated by a concrete wall. It’s quite a different pit lane to work with and certainly makes it interesting.
Then you wander up into the grandstands and you are presented with a view that you only really get in NASCAR or even most World Rallycross circuits. A unobstructed view of the entire circuit. For a spectator who actually wants to watch the race (rather than take photos) it’s pretty much perfect. Just sit in the grandstand be absorbed in the sound of the GT3 and GT4 cars blasting around the circuit and just watch. It’s almost impossible to miss anything!
So whilst Rockingham may be ‘concrete city’ it certainly adds some welcome variety to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship. It wouldn’t be the same if they missed it off the calendar!