Thruxton race circuit hosted its 50th anniversary celebration weekend in style in June with the official opening of a new £2 million state-of-the-art hospitality facility.
Performing the inauguration honours were racing legend and 1992 Formula 1 World Champion, Nigel Mansell CBE, together with legendary motorsport commentator and journalist, Murray Walker OBE.
Thousands of motor racing fans turned out for the family-friendly festival held on June 2-3, which included racing and on-track action, static displays and car club reunions, as well as a a display by the Red Devils, a funfair, live music, overnight camping and a fireworks display.
The two-storey centre boasts multiple function and conference rooms, as well as exhibition space, hospitality suites, and on-site catering facilities capable of hosting over 400 guests. Ideally suited for hosting meetings, conferences, product launches and race-day hospitality, the centre has already attracted top names including McLaren and Ferrari.
Outside further exhibition space is also available, while the main circuit, paddock, 4×4 and skid pan can be hired for live demonstrations.
The circuit, near Andover, is home to the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) and Thruxton group managing director, Bill Coombs, says he believes the opening of the new centre marks a real turning point for future success.
“Six years ago we put in a turnaround recovery plan,” he said. “The circuit had been losing money for a long period of time and it was struggling. The number of race days is limited and the key issue was to find activities that would fill up more days in the week.
“We needed more corporate involvement and support from manufacturers but it was clear the facilities were inadequate and we had to do something to increase the standard of the venue.”
After consulting with manufacturers, plans were put in place for the new hospitality centre as well as other facilities, including a new wet grip area.
Supporting the project was Barclays, which provided overdraft funding in addition to day-to-day banking facilities.
Gill Cook, relationship director with Barclays’ Thames Valley Team, said: “They had had a couple of tough years and it was a case of sitting down and looking at the funding and facilities they needed.
“We could see their vision, the management team is fantastic, they talked to the car manufacturers about the type of facilities they needed and were able to tailor their plans to what was required.
“We have a strong relationship, Bill felt Barclays really understood the business; we were able to get the relevant teams on board and provide the support they required. I’m pleased to say the club is now doing well and has an exciting future ahead.”
Coombs is equally complimentary about the Barclays team, adding: “Gill has been fantastic. She has worked with us since 2012 and took the time to understand us. We’re not a regular business. Racing is very seasonal and very different, but Gill asked all the right questions and has been very supportive of our recovery plan.
“What we now have is a centre which puts us right up there, it is a fantastic facility and very different to anything that has been available before. The support from the motor industry and manufacturers has been excellent too and it is a very exciting time.
“We already have people queueing up to buy hospitality packages and have hosted events such as McLaren dealer training and demonstration days, so we are definitely moving forward with confidence and know we are on the right path.”
The anniversary festival weekend also gave motor racing enthusiasts the chance to get up close and personal with cars, including the unique six-wheeler built by Williams for the 1983 Formula 1 championships and Nigel Mansell’s championship-winning car from the 1992 season.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Barclays Bank PLC Group nor should they be taken as statements of policy or intent of the Barclays Bank PLC Group. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no responsibility for the veracity of information contained in the third party guides or articles and no warranties or undertakings of any kind, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information given. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no liability for the impact of any decisions made based on information contained and views expressed.
Barclays Bank PLC is registered in England (Company No. 1026167) with its registered office at 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register No. 122702) and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Barclays is a trading name and trade mark of Barclays PLC and its subsidiaries.