Track history

Track History

Arena Essex Raceway is one of the leading tracks 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 was the brainchild of local businessman and racing driver, the late Chick Woodroffe, 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 fast Asphalt surface.

The Raceway Tavern is a 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 classes.

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 focused 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 more or less every other Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays from March 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 such as King of the Ring events - please see Other Events  for more details on these ventures.

The raceway has also been used as the location for TV film crews which have included Top Gear, BBCs The Magicians, BBC2's Fast and Fearless two part documentary as well as TV adverts and music videos. The venue may also be  hired for private/commercial functions/events.