Coventry MotoFest eyes WRX future

Tuesday 04 June 2024

Last weekend the ever-popular Coventry MotoFest celebrated its tenth anniversary – as well as the city’s extensive automotive heritage – with more than 200,000 visitors enjoying a feast of motoring and motorsport.

Hailed as Britain’s biggest and best car-themed urban festival, MotoFest 2024 not only marked its special milestone with a host of action-packed attractions, but its ambitious organisers also announced hopes to host a round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2025.

“MotoFest Coventry is hugely excited to have entered into advanced discussions with the FIA World Rallycross Championship promoter to stage a World RX round at our 2025 festival weekend,” confirmed James Noble, Director, MotoFest Coventry. “We have made no secret in the past of our determination to host competitive motorsport on Coventry Ring Road and having successfully delivered closed-road time trials, we are now driving forward with the next phase of that plan.”

There has been no street circuit in Britain since the final Birmingham Superprix back in 1990, but a feasibility study has determined that one could be constructed in the UK’s ‘Motor City’ to stage a rallycross event. A similar WRX extravaganza was a huge success in Hong Kong last November.

Kevin Hansen participated in that ground-breaking city-centre spectacle in the Far East and, through his connections with the E.ON Veloce Extreme E team, has been helping the organisers in Coventry. E.ON has its UK headquarters in the city and is Motofest’s title partner.

“Racing in downtown Hong Kong was honestly a jaw-dropping experience, for us as drivers but even more so for the thousands of fans feeling the close-up excitement of the most action-packed off-road racing series in the world – and we want to do that more!” enthused Hansen who was joined at the event by his fellow Extreme E driver Molly Taylor and Arne Dirks, Managing Director, Rallycross Promoter.

“Rallycross was born in Britain almost 60 years ago – this is the sport’s spiritual home – and bringing motor racing back to the country’s streets for the first time in decades is a hugely exciting prospect. I really hope that this time next year, we will be back here putting on an absolutely epic show!”
Paving the way for the future, last weekend’s free-to-attend MotoFest included an against-the-clock sprint on closed sections of the City Centre Ring Road overseen by the BARC’s Midlands Centre as well as an AutoSolo and Autotest organised by the Loughborough Car Club.

Saturday’s AutoSolo for standard or modified road legal cars and was a round of the BTRDA and East Midlands Championships. Sunday’s action was round 5 of the Motorsport UK British Autotest Championship and won by nine time champion Alastair Moffatt in his all-conquering Mini Special.