It has been announced that Croft Circuit will not host rallying or rallycross events next season. This was a difficult decision and has understandably disappointed some people in the region.
The past 18 months have been very challenging for everyone. All businesses have had to make difficult decisions to plan a way out of the mess that Covid has caused. To put the reality into some sort of perspective, Croft Circuit lost 10 times more money in 2020 than it made in 2019.
We have invested £750,000 in a new track surface, which is now our biggest asset, and we have investment plans for other parts of the venue.
As some may be aware, I was in charge of Rally GB from 2014-2018 and the BRC from 2017-18, so I do know something of the challenges faced by rallying in terms of access to venues. I have also had these conversations with Motorsport UK.
But the reality is that the additional workload, the wear and tear on the venue and the financial return mean that the events simply don’t stack up. As a rally fan, that pains me. But Croft is a commercial venue, with a very small team and a very limited number of days usage each year. We have a responsibility to use those days to best effect for the business.
The BARC’s commitment to Croft Circuit is as strong as ever. The comments made about housing are simply non-starters – the BARC is not the landowner; we are a tenant to operate the venue as a motor racing circuit and we have a long-term lease as such.
We are sorry for the disappointment caused by these decisions, but they have been taken in the best interests of Croft Circuit and of maintaining a viable motorsport venue in the North East of England. As ever, we will keep these things under review and have not ruled out a future return.
BARC Chief Executive