Birmingham Wheels Park
Birmingham Wheels Park (formerly Wheels Adventure Park) is a dedicated motor sport park with short-track oval motor racing circuit and MSA approved kart circuit, based in the Bordesley Green area of Birmingham, England. It is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, and controlled by Birmingham City Council.
The circuit is a 330 metres (1,080 ft) oval, with spectator terracing surrounding two corners of the circuit along with the home stretch. Built with a cinder surface, after the Birmingham Brummies speedway team finished[when?], the track was red with tarmac. Today, run by Incarace, the circuit stages banger racing events. One of the most popular meetings is the annual Champion of Champions event, where the UK's top Unlimited National Banger drivers compete, from across the country.
Birmingham Wheels has a speed skating track which is a community based project and is supported and funded by the licensees and tenants of the venue. It encourages children to 'get off their computers and engage in active and wholesome exercise'.
There is a sensory garden on site for people to come and experience the smells and textures.
The site is the base for the current Community Payback Team for the central Birmingham area.
Motorsports hosted at the venueEdit
Many different classes of motor sport and training facilities are held on the site by the licensees and tenants of the park, these include;
The sport of drifting was first hosted at the venue in 2006 when Japanese professional drifters came to the UK and held events to promote the sport. Since then the city centre venue has hosted practice, training and competitive events hosted for local, national and international drivers. In 2012 Drift Allstars saw Irish drifter Alan Sinnot take 1st place podium from Australian driver Luke Fink after his tyre came off mid battle in front of a sell out crowd. Luke would later return to the UK and help create and host at Birmingham Wheels Raceway, what was at the time, the largest prize money event within the sport, The UK Drift Grand Slam. A new format of competition was born at the raceway, moving away from the traditional qualifying and top 32 battle, in order to help the grass roots drivers gain more experience and make for a more entertaining spectator event, Drift Knights now hosts events where drivers enter into a round robin competition in order to qualify for the top 32battles. Birmingham Wheels has been pivotal in the growth of the UK drift scene.
The drifting academy on site operated by Flatout Factory Ltd and branded as Prodrift Academy UK has been Birmingham's Number 1 Outdoor activity on TripAdvisor since 2014. Operating on several areas of the site the academy is widely regarded as the go to place in Europe for those wishing to pursue their entry to the fastest growing Motorsport in the UK and become professional drifting competitors, instructors or stunt drivers. Birmingham Wheels Park has been a gateway into the sport of drifting within the UK for many years.
Off Road KartingEdit
Walker Adams Off Road Karting is based at the venue and has 2 custom made off-road racing tracks, both 650 meters in size and having the ability to be combined to create a 1.3 km off-road track.
Walker Adams is also a developer and manufacturer of Off Road Buggies having created a range of their own vehicles designed for racing, leisure and road use. These are recognised by the Motor Sports Association for class racing and use the Ford EcoBoost engine in a variety of capacity options.
The 970 metres (3,180 ft) International Kart Circuit is where Nigel Mansell started his career. The Grand Prix Karting centre also features junior and practice circuits and runs events on the main circuit for companies, charities and groups and club members as well as enthusiasts.
Stock Car RacingEdit
The short circuit oval hosts many versions of Stock car racing on alternative Saturday evenings including rounds of the Brisca Formula 1 and Formula 2.
Filming - Television and AdvertsEdit
The site has been the location of several filming shoots including;
Future of the circuitsEdit
The future of the site was first thrown into doubt when in 2006 plans were unveiled for the City of Birmingham Stadium. The large stadium/casino complex (which would also have been the new home for nearby Birmingham City F.C) would have been built on the Wheels complex, including the Birmingham Wheels Oval circuit. However, with the government shelving the introduction of 'super casinos', the future for the circuits looked safe for a while.
The charitable trust that runs the site has around a 98-year lease, Birmingham City Council continue to attempt to remove the Birmingham Wheels Company in order to pursue the Bordesley Green and wider City Development plans.
There is a danger that this great facility could be lost although as of January 2013 Cllr Bob Beauchamp is still fighting hard to keep and grow the Park on behalf of residents and sports enthusiasts nationwide.
The short circuit oval has been recognised as a participation Sports venue and as such if this facility is removed from the people of Birmingham the local authority must provide an alternative venue of the same or better standard. The concern from the motorsport and local community is that although Birmingham City Council are aware of this, as of yet has been no talks about the long term future of the venue, the focus has been on the redevelopment of the site for factories to supply the Jaguar Land Rover supply chain. This is something that the community of users regularly accessing the site feel very strongly about with there being so many derelict sites in the city, there is a lack of understanding why removing a sporting facility is a priority for the council. When the lease was given to the parks operators the land had recently been converted from landfill. The West Coast Main Line that runs past the site once had boardings erected by the council to stop people entering the city from seeing the site, as the licensee's of the site developed the venue these were taken down.
- Hednesford Hills Raceway Incarace short circuit
- Company no. 1991870. Charity no. 701209
- "About Birmingham Wheels Park". Birmingham Wheels Park. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- Motorsport businesses at Nechells' Birmingham Wheels tracks protest over eviction fears Birmingham Mail 26 December 2012
- Birmingham Wheels Park official website
- Grand Prix Karting official website
- Prodrift Academy UK official website
- Walker Adams Off Road Karting official website
- Flatout Factory Ltd official website
- Incarace page