In the 1970s, businessman and racing driver Chris Woodroffe came up with the idea of building a short oval track on the site of a former cement works. The Arena Essex Raceway was opened in 1978. Since then, the circuit has been renovated on several occasions. One such modification saw the original slate surface replaced with smooth and fast asphalt. TV and film crews are also regular guests at the Raceway: the oval has already provided the backdrop for shows like "Top Gear", advertisements and music videos.