Cinch owner buys Rockingham Motor Speedway for £80 million

Rockingham Motor Speedway will begin a new life as a dedicated used car storage centre for the owner of Cinch and WeBuyAnyCar.

According to The Times, Constellation Automotive is purchasing the decommissioned racing track Midlands racing track, which was Europe’s quickest banked oval racing circuit, for £80m. It will convert the 200-acre site into a used car renovation centre and a training academy.

Cinch was launched in 2019 as a rival to Auto Trader, which promotes cars on behalf of dealers. However, during the height of the pandemic late last year, it diversified to sell directly to customers, using its own stock.

Following the success of Cazoo, a rival online car seller, which is valued at £5 billion, Cinch claims to be selling more than 45,000 vehicles per year.

The facility at Rockingham will repair more than 100,000 second-hand cars for sale every year, with the capacity to store more than half that at a time.

The news comes weeks after Cinch raised £1bn to fund expansion across Europe from investors including a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), hedge fund firm Neuberger Berman and funds managed by billionaire investor George Soros.

Opened in 2001, the Rockingham Motor Speedway was the first purpose-built oval built in the UK since Brooklands in 1907, conceived as an American-style high-speed oval test track.

However, despite hosting races from the Indycar-rivalling CART Champ Car World Series before launching its own stock car series, Ascar, the venue was shut for racing in November 2018 after being sold by its owners.