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A new motorsport season gets underway

Monday 05 April 2021

Ahead of the new season, drivers have been building, rebuilding and preparing their machines for 2021, and with Spring in the air, engines began to reverberate, as motorsport got underway once again in the UK.

Pent-up enthusiasm was evident across the Easter bank holiday, with over 25 events taking place in England and Guernsey. Seven different disciplines showcased the wide variety of motorsport available, including Autosolo, Cross Country, Circuit Racing, Hill Climbing, Karting, Sprints and Trials.

Opening the weekend was the throaty roar of the Masters Historic Series at Donington, where famous cars from yesteryear battled it out for the first round of the championship, with tin-tops, sports cars and Formula One single seaters in action. Busy grids were also seen at Castle Combe for the Howard’s Day Race Meeting and for the 750 Motor Club meeting at Donington on Easter Monday – an event which saw the racing debut for YouTube star Jimmy Broadbent in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship.

The long circuit Superkarting brigade stretched their legs at Darley Moor Circuit, with many of the runners limbering up for the forthcoming British Superkart Championship – while short circuit karting saw its first return to racing, with wheel-to-wheel competition at Forest Edge circuit near Andover.

The sheer breadth of Motorsport UK permitted events was clear to see across the Easter weekend, as grassroots motorsport started to show vibrant green shoots after the restart.

From the circuits, to the fields of Devon and Buckinghamshire, as off-roading returned to the hills. The Experimental Pop-Up Trial organised by the Motor Cycling Club Ltd saw classic trials cars battle the challenging terrain in north west Devon, while over in Buckinghamshire, the mudslingers from the Anglian Rover Owners’ Club enjoyed a sun-kissed day in the fields, as three classes consisting of CCV, RTV and Tyro fought for honours at the Whaddon Tyro.

The Autosolo discipline is a fast-emerging sport, which enables Motorsport UK RS Clubman licence holders to compete in road-going cars, creating an exciting formula of low-cost competition with big smiles. Events were dotted around the country from the Cannock & District Car Club event held at Curborough Sprint Course to the South Oxon Car Club event in Kassam, Oxfordshire. The latter was featured in our Club Corner section of last month’s edition of Revolution and its rescheduled event from Christmas saw chilly conditions and a few snowflakes on Easter Monday instead!

Many competitors had the need for speed, as the Sprint discipline returned, with the Goodwood Road Racing Club Competition Section hosting an event for its members at the famous Goodwood circuit, while the first Hill Climb of the year took place in Guernsey, with drivers threading the eye of the needle up the Val des Terres hill in St Peter Port.

“It is brilliant to see motorsport back up and running again,” said Motorsport UK CEO Hugh Chambers. “After lockdown we are now beginning to see the gradual return of motorsport across the whole of the UK and it was great to see several disciplines return to competition, from the circuit racing at Donington, to the V8 Land Rovers at Cross Country Trials events. It was great to see the joy from the respective communities, as we have motorsport beginning to return again in England and Guernsey. We have more events and disciplines in the coming weeks in Jersey, Isle of Man and then Scotland, and we anticipate a return to motorsport in Northern Ireland and Wales by the end of May.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all of our officials, marshals, competitors, clubs, rescue and recovery crews and medical teams for their diligence, hard work and perseverance throughout the lockdown and contributing to the development of the latest guidance and protocols that have allowed the sport to restart. It is the community as a whole who will make sure this summer, we have a safe, fair and fun celebration of motorsport across all the different disciplines.”

Elsewhere… the opening event of the FIA Rally Star competition got underway this month, with the talent detection programme for the next FIA World Rally Champion, beginning with the first Digital, Rally at Home Challenge.

Using the WRC9 game, the 12-event Esports championship will shortlist the top emerging British talent before the UK final later this year. Sven Grube topped the GB timesheets with a run of 4:35.128 – a time that would put him 24th in the world. The competition uses an identical Ford Fiesta Rally3 on the same stage, with the same weather conditions for all competitors, and a tight battle at the head of the leaderboard was evident, as the top three participants were covered by just half a second, with Jamie Moone in second while Kacper Potyra took third.

The next round will take place between 10-15 April and budding drivers aged between 17-26 can still register to take part by visiting https://uk.fiarallystar.com/en