The motorsport industry has borne witness to some beautiful and iconic tracks, but they have also seen many such venues dropped by the events they were built for and used by other series or just dropped completely and redeveloped.
Whether it be because of financial or technical reasons, we have had to bid farewell to some racing royalty over the years.
The Kansas Speedway is best known for hosting two NASCAR race weekends every year but that wasn’t always the case. When the 1.5-mile tri-oval racetrack was opened in 2001, it was primarily used to host the IndyCar Series.
For almost a decade, the Kansas Speedway hosted the Indy Car series and in 2010 it was one of four race circuits owned by the International Speedway Corporation which were dropped from the selection. Three of these tracks were then picked up by NASCAR and have hosted the event ever since.
In 2010, the motorsports entertainment industry was facing tough economic times; NASCAR’s reported revenue was $177 million. But over a decade later, their revenue has almost doubled in size and motorsports in the US has never been as popular.
The Sepang International Circuit hosted its first ever F1 race, the Malaysia Grand Prix, in 1999 and continued until its end in 2017. No one would have been more disappointed to see the track excluded from the calendar than Ferrari, who won seven of the nineteen grands prix held here. It was also former Ferrari driver, Sebastian Vettel, who boasts the best winning record on the track with four wins.
The Rockingham Motor Speedway opened in 2001, becoming Britain’s only banked oval track at the time. It was seen as a way to replicate the American-style racing tracks and had a capacity of over 50,000 fans.
Initially the track hosted to CART (IndyCar) races in 2001 and 2002 but it proved too expensive for the US based series to return and local UK series, using the inner road course layout (much like Indianapolis Motor Speedway) to run major events like the BTCC, British GT Championship and the British Superbikes.
Sadly there wasn’t enough racing to make the venue pay for itself and in November 2018, before entering administration, the Northamptonshire circuit saw its final race. The facility was then purchased in 2021 for $80 million and is now home to an automotive dealer.