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Arena Essex Raceway is now the leading track in the country in terms of racing action and spectator comforts. But we didn’t get to this stage overnight, and the following is a brief history of the track since the 70’s up to date.
The Arena-Essex Raceway Complex was the brainchild of local businessman and racing driver, the late Chick Woodroffe and from the remains of an old cement works overspill site the new quarter mile circuit (438 yards to be exact) opened its doors to the public in torrential rain on Mayday 1978.
Over the years many improvements have been made with the original shale surface being replaced by a super smooth and fast Asphalt surface.
The Raceway Tavern is a luxurious bar and lounge area with a balcony overlooking the circuit for a superb view of all the racing and all around the spectator viewing area are numerous food and drink outlets and race related shops. Of the assorted Hot-Rod and Stock Car classes that race at Arena from all over the country and mainland Europe, the most popular form of racing is the Banger class which attracts anything between 50 and 150 competitors every meeting.
The motor racing side of the operation has run continuously since 1978, previously running every Sunday averaging 39 meetings. 2012 bought changes to the racing calendars, we have increased the raceday excitement by including additional formulas at each meeting and therefore extended the racing day by 1 hour, the first race now starts at 1pm for every meeting.Because we have focussed on bringing even greater excitement to both spectators and drivers alike for each raceday we have reduced the number of meetings during the course of a year.
The motor racing is now run every other Sunday (plus two Bank Holiday Sundays) and Bank Holiday Mondays from February through to November.Motorcycle Speedway was introduced in 1984 and runs on some Fridays and an occasional Saturday from March to October, the Raceway also hosts other events which include Rolling Thunder Shows, Pure Carma events and drift practice sessions.
The raceway has also been used as the location for TV film crews which have included Top Gear and BBCs The Magicians as well as TV adverts and music videos. The venue may also be hired for private/commercial functions/events.
01 June – National Bangers KIRS
15 June – National Bangers plus Lightning Rods
29 June – Chick Woodroffe Memorial Meeting
13 July – National Bangers plus Caravan Race
27 July – National Bangers KIRS (All Mk1 and Mk2 Granadas)
10 August – National Bangers Essex Championship
24 August – Rookie Bangers plus Super Bangers
25 August – Rawlins Transport Unlimited Big Van Bangers plus Junior Bangers
7 September – National Bangers World Final Wild Card plus Lightning Rods
21 September – 44th O.R.C. National Bangers World Championship Finals plus Ministox
5 October – Rookie Bangers ORANGE CAR DAY Skeefy Memorial plus Stock Rods
19 October – National Bangers KIRS (2L RWD 4 Man Team Racing)
2 November – The Unlimited Open Banger Meeting of the Year plus Robin Reliants and Gigantic Fireworks Display