FOLLOWING the recent announcement that the popular Christmas Stages and Jack Frost rallies at Croft Circuit would not take place this winter, local enthusiasts took to social media to voice their disapproval of the decision.

In response to rumours about the reason for the move, British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) boss Ben Taylor, whose organisation owns the lease on the North Yorkshire track, issued a statement.

"It has been announced that Croft Circuit will not host rallying or rallycross events next season," he said. "This was a difficult decision and has understandably disappointed some people in the region.

"The past 18 months have been very challenging for everyone. All businesses have had to make difficult decisions to plan a way out of the mess that Covid has caused. To put the reality into some sort of perspective, Croft Circuit lost ten times more money in 2020 than it made in 2019.

"We have invested £750,000 in a new track surface, which is now our biggest asset, and we have investment plans for other parts of the venue.

"As some may be aware, I was in charge of Rally GB from 2014-2018 and the BRC from 2017-18, so I do know something of the challenges faced by rallying in terms of access to venues. I have also had these conversations with Motorsport UK.

"But the reality is that the additional workload, the wear and tear on the venue and the financial return mean that the events simply don’t stack up. As a rally fan, that pains me. But Croft is a commercial venue, with a very small team and a very limited number of days usage each year. We have a responsibility to use those days to best effect for the business.

"BARC’s commitment to Croft Circuit is as strong as ever. The comments made about housing are simply non-starters – the BARC is not the landowner; we are a tenant to operate the venue as a motor racing circuit and we have a long-term lease as such.

"We are sorry for the disappointment caused by these decisions, but they have been taken in the best interests of Croft Circuit and of maintaining a viable motorsport venue in the North-East. As ever, we will keep these things under review and have not ruled out a future return."

Meanwhile, it is now less than two months before the biggest motorsport event takes place in the region with Croft Circuit already gearing up to welcome the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship back, only this time with spectators.

Like most sporting events last year, the North Yorkshire track hosted the BTCC event behind closed doors due to government Covid restrictions.

Now with those restrictions easing, fans are expected back in their thousands when rounds 19, 20 and 21 take place on September 18 and 19. Demand for tickets is expected to be high, so Croft have placed advance purchase tickets on sale for the next couple of weeks only.

After the previous round at Brands Hatch at the end of June, it is former champion Ash Sutton who leads the standings in his Laser Tools-backed Infinity whereby he has scored points in every race this season. The season is now enjoying a break before battle resumes at Oulton Park later this month.

Irrespective of championship positions arriving at Croft, there is plenty of local interest including Senna Proctor, whose father Tony was a leading light at Croft Rallycross in the 1980s in his mighty Ford Capri, who was quickest at the recent official tyre tests at Oulton Park. The Yorkshireman from Driffield will be hoping he can challenge for a podium at Croft in his BTC Racing Honda Civic.

Newcastle-born Jason Plato is always assured of a warm welcome at Croft and will be hoping for a happy homecoming in the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra whilst a trio of Scots in the shape of Gordon Shedden, Rory Butcher and Aiden Moffitt will he hoping for success as they hop over the border.

In the supporting classes, there are some very good chances of success with local drivers and teams expected to be at the fore. Scorton driver Max Coates and Northallerton’s Ethan Hammerton will fancy their chances in the Quaife Mini Challenge whilst Teesside-based Redline Racing are front-runners with various drivers in the Porsche classes so should have some silverware to take home.

Tickets to the BTCC’s only north-eastern event of the year can be purchased in advance for a limited period priced at just £12 for Saturday entry (BTCC Qualifying), £28 for the Sunday (BTCC race day) or £38 for the full weekend. Accompanied children aged 12 and under are admitted free of charge, with tickets for 13-to-15-year-olds beginning at £3. All prices subject to a booking fee.

Advance ticket sales are available for all meetings, book online at or for further information, please contact Croft Circuit on 01325 721815 or

But before the BTCC comes to town, there are three important club meetings taking place in August and September including the unique Darlington & DMC-organised Battle of Britain meeting on August 21 and 22 which has been a staple of the Croft calendar since the 1960s. Advance tickets are available via the above means for these meetings too.