Lydden Hill got no warning before GRC demise


The "home of rallycross", Lydden Hill Circuit, as seen from above
Credit: Matt Bristow

Lydden Hill received no warning of Global Rallycross’ demise ahead of the 2018 season, despite agreeing to host the championship’s season finale this year.

The US-based series collapsed over the off-season amid mounting debts and the exit of the supercars teams, but despite speculation reaching back as far as last season that 2018 wouldn’t go ahead, GRC gave no indication to the Kent track that it would be unable to continue this year.

“We did a deal with them but [we] didn’t know the background, where their troubles were, as far as we knew it was all running okay,” Lydden Hill owner Pat Doran told The Checkered Flag. “They did a deal with us, we wanted to run it and obviously their troubles over the last few years caught up with them as we got involved.”

“We were a bit in the dark,” he added. “They wouldn’t answer calls – you could say they were being rude, that’d be a good English word – so we actually had to call it off because we were getting no response.”

Despite the struggles faced by the series, Doran felt that the event – which would’ve included the addition of a 70-foot jump to the iconic circuit – would have been a success.

“It would’ve been a good event if they could have pulled it off, but they didn’t,” he said. “I don’t know the reason, I don’t now the politics, we’re an innocent party really. “

“You hear everything through the grapevine,” he said, alluding to the rumours of GRC’s demise which picked up pace following the 2017 season finale in Los Angeles. “American teams were talking to Liam, so we had a good idea what was going on, but then again you don’t know the backgrounds on bills being paid and who owes what. We didn’t have a clue, we were just always hearing through the grapevine.”

The double-header GRC season finale would’ve been Lydden Hill’s only major international rallycross event of 2018 following IMG’s decision to move the British round of the World Rallycross championship to Silverstone.