The recent confirmation that the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby will close and end all racing in 2019, will see the end of American-style oval racing in the UK.
The Rockingham Motor Speedway was opened in 2001 and was the first large oval track built in the UK since the historic Brooklands circuit in the early 1900s. Used first by the US based CART Indycar series and then used by the NASCAR inspired ASCAR series in the early 2000s.
Since the end of the ASCAR series in the late 2000s the Rockingham circuit has not heard the thunder of a pack of Stock Cars racing around the banked oval. Unfortunately, for this final race Alex had to swap his Euro NASCAR for a Citroën C1 racecar, producing less than 20% of the power of the NASCAR.
The C1 Challenge 3 Hours saw 35 identical Citroën C1 cars line up for the rolling start on the Rockingham oval. Alex lined up in 11th position, in the Pro-Drivers supported Citroën C1 as he would complete the first 45-minute stint for the team.
No stranger to a rolling start, both from his early karting days, and now in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series it was no surprise to see Alex make up a number of places on the first lap. Then as the laps ticked off, Alex moved through the field to come from his eleventh place starting position to second, and then take the lead of the race. A strong battle at the front of the race saw Alex swap places lap by lap with the second and third place cars, as the advantage of the slip stream benefitted the following drivers.
With 45 minutes of the race completed Alex was called in by the team to hand the car over to team mate Scott Jeffs. A fast pit stop saw the car rejoin the race in 3rd place and a strong drive from Scott meant that he pitted to hand the car to team mate Callum Cripps in P2.
Unfortunately, as Callum excited the pits an incident on track resulted in the safety car being deployed. This allowed the other lead and mid pack cars to pit and gain an almost “free” pit stop, as their relative time in the pits was a fraction of the Pro-Drivers car. All the good work of Alex and Scott was wiped out and the car tumbled down the order to 19th place, as the final driver, ex-BTCC driver Howard Fuller took over the car. A strong drive by Howard saw the car cross the line at the end of the race in a credible 10th place and a nice way to end possibly the driver’s last race at Rockingham.
“In its heyday the Rockingham oval would have been incredible with a full grid of NASCAR Stock Cars racing around it. I wish it was still hosting NASCAR races and the Euro Series could have raced here. However, having a last run around the oval and infield track has been great fun. Battling through the field at the start and then being able to get the Pro-Drivers Citroën C1 in to the race lead is a nice memory of my last race here”, commented Alex
The Pro-Drivers brand, which Alex was racing under, is one of the UK’s leading automotive agencies that specialise in events management and have on their books some of the top racing drivers in the UK and the world through their overseas offices.
As a key member of the Pro-Drivers team, Alex pulled together the Citroën C1 racing idea as a way to motivate the agencies drivers and provide a different way to promote and build client relationships.
The next outing of the Citroën C1 will be another legendary circuit, the famous Belgian circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in October, not far from the home of Alex’s NASCAR Team – Braxx Racing.
“Finding different ways to use motorsport to help promote products or organisations is at the heart of all ideas and the popular Citroën C1 Racing series was a different way of having a lot of fun and everyone who has so far involved in it hasn't stopped talking about it!”
If you would like to see if there might be ways to use Alex and motorsport to promote your brand or create or strengthen customer relationships get in touch with Alex via his web site www.alexsedgwickracing.com.
Whether, it is using Alex and NASCAR or even an idea like the Citroën C1 Team, there are so many different ways we can create new and innovative ways to create awareness, generate new customers and strengthen loyalty.