October 7, 2018

Rockingham Motor Speedway

07/05/18

Turning up to Rockingham Motor Speedway always has quite an impact on us, the facility is huge, and presented as if it has just been opened for the first time that week… This venue is under used and under appreciated, in the weeks following this event we learn that at the end of 2018 Rockingham Motor Speedway will be no more. Very sad news indeed.

So whilst the gates were still open, a diverse crowd were getting stuck in to burning rubber and having a riot.

The No Prep Nationals was on, if you don’t know what this is… Well it is a straight line drag racing event where the track surface is, you guessed it, not prepped for racing, meaning there will be very little grip other than that provided by the huge rubber that sits under some of these cars.

The second event running was a drift day, which we must admit we weren’t there to see, but had a wander over to¬† see if we could catch some action. Anywhere that there is tyre shredding action we are interested!

The machines taking part in the No Prep Nationals were of all shapes and sizes, the fact that there is no grip (that you would expect at the likes of Santa Pod Raceway) it somewhat leveled the playing field.

Big tyres, little tyres, big engines, little engines… As this is one of the few events that exists like this in the UK, everyone was having to get used to things. A few brake lock-ups at the top end and lots of smoking tyres and getting out of shape, but this was sure as hell fun to watch.

Whilst there were engines revving and action on the track, the car park was also filled with some rather interesting motors.

As the drag racing was being done on the pit road, rather than on the straight of the banked oval, viewing was a little restricted. There wasn’t a huge amount of people there but it was certainly enough of a struggle to get a good spot for viewing!

I guess the idea was that these events were testing the water to gauge interest before investing in making them bigger and better, a shame this will not be an option now.

Whilst the No Prep guys stopped for lunch we took a wander over the the drift zone… Any excuse to see more tyre shredding.

This was the firs time we had ever seen drifting in person and it was amazing how close you can get to the action, you could reach out and touch the cars as they scrape past the concrete walls and obliterate tyres right in your face! Mad, love it, instant adrenaline hit. It was very clear to see these guys were having a hell of a lot of fun.

Once again, a huge variety of cars all with a single mission in mind, destroy all tyres!!!! We had no idea what we were watching, it might have been a practice session, it might have been a competition round… Not a clue, but it was a good laugh that was for sure. Perhaps we will go out of our way to attend a full event at some point.

Back to the straight line stuff for a final session before kick out time… More tyre smoking, but this time not always intended as racers were still getting used to the grip levels on this surface. It was all quite exciting being a new experience and some of the lower powered cars were having a blast taking out some of the big muscle that was lining up to race them.

A great fun event, this could have grown in to something really interesting, what’s great is that the No Prep guys are now looking for a new venue so hopefully in 2019 we will be reporting on a new event with more of the same!

Good luck guys, we look forward to seeing more, but hopefully from a better vantage point next time…