Tuesday November 6th, 2001
Formula One cars are expected to test on the Rockingham motor speedway next year after plans to turn the track into a Formula One venue were given the provisional go-ahead by the FIA.
The Northamptonshire circuit is provisionally an oval, but it has an infield 'road' course that, with a few minor changes, will be available for Formula One use.
"Charlie Whiting (FIA official) has inspected the circuit and there are one or two minor items needing to be addressed," said circuit spokesman Jeff Carter. "We will have no problems meeting them, and we are looking at next year to start the tests."
Rival Northamptonshire circuit Silverstone, which hosts the British Grand Prix, is not believed to be under threat as a test or race venue. Rockingham was built mainly for American oval racing, and officials confirmed that despite the Formula One sideline, they are happy to concentrate on CART racing for the immediate future.
"We are not interested at the present time in running a Formula One race," Carter added. "There are too many compromises we would have to make. Silverstone has got Formula One and we have got CART. It puts Northamptonshire on the map and we are quite happy with that."
Published at 13:06:30 GMT