In the spotlight – 750 Motor Club

Thursday 29 April 2021

750 Motor Club Always a mainstay of the affordable club racing scene, the 750 Motor Club’s new fixed cost Foundation Programme hopes to attract yet more competitors into the sport. From arrive and drive packages (see Revolution September 2020) to the kind of all-inclusive car and-championship programmes offered by the likes of Radical, Caterham and Ginetta, the attraction of fixed-price motorsport is obvious, especially for those new to racing and wary of how much it could cost them.

These packages mean participants can budget for their racing according to what they can afford, with the reassurance that they are racing on equal terms and do not have to spend their way to the front of the grid. Affordability and accessibility have been guiding principles for the 750 Motor Club (750MC) since its formation in 1939 and have inspired its own twist on fixed-cost motorsport. Based around its new Tegiwa Type R Trophy, the club has developed what it describes as its ‘Foundation Package’, wrapping up the cost of a donor Honda Civic road car, preparation to championship regulations and all the associated entry costs for six double-header races across a full season.

All this comes at a price of £10,495, or £11,995 if you really are starting from scratch and need the necessary clothing, ARDS test and medical to go racing. If you are handy with the spanners and willing to prep the car yourself, it could be done cheaper than this, and the initial uptake has been so enthusiastic that 750MC is looking to implement similar programmes to open up other championships it runs. We spoke with the club’s James Winstanley to find out more.

“The Foundation Programme is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while,” he explains. “We had in mind a kind of club-level package like those offered by manufacturers in their own one-make series. They are great value for what they are but it’s still outside the budget of many people and we wanted to do something similar but with a 750MC mindset.”

Basing the series around the EP3 generation of Honda Civic Type R provides a solid basis, given the performance out of the box is a big step up from other hatchback-based single model championships, but the cars are still readily available and affordable to buy in the used market.

Created with build partner Tegiwa, the championship specification is based around the road car’s stock 200hp engine with modifications restricted to a control limited-slip differential, Yellow Speed dampers and uprated suspension components to ensure that the Type Rs are fast and fun without straying too far from the toughness and reliability Honda road cars are famous for.

All cars built for the championship have their power signed off on the same rolling road before delivery and are supplied with a baseline geometry set-up so competitors can rest assured that they have a competitive machine on the grid without having to lift a spanner or spend time testing, with everything from stickers to safety gear fitted and ready to go.

“The Type R Trophy is very much a mid-level club racing formula and it started a couple of years ago on a shared grid,” explains James. “We wanted a car you can build at home with relatively basic mechanical skills if you so wish.

We’ve always had a lot of EP3s racing with 750MC and it’s one of our most popular cars, and we’ve had some good support from teams. We’ve got three approved builders – Area Motorsport, Danny Hobson Racing and Motion Motorsport – who can supply a car ready built to the regulations.” James says that approximately 15 of the entrants in the Type R Trophy this year come from the Foundation Programme, with nearly half of that number either totally new to racing or existing licence holders taking their first steps into a proper championship. “We’re about good value racing and we like to see full grids,” affirms James.

“We did a few races as part of the Hot Hatch Championship with quite small grids but we knew we had this in the pipeline, so for this year we have over 30 cars signed up.” This is the latest in a long line of affordable circuit championships and events that have characterised the 750MC from its earliest days.

“It started off as a place for enthusiasts to meet up and talk all things Austin 7,” explains James, “and from there it soon turned to competition and the Austin 7 specials still race with us. Over the decades new things have come along, for example Hot Hatches or the Locost Championship, but the ethos has always been the home of affordable motorsport. We’ve always wanted to concentrate on the budget of going racing but the quality is still there – we don’t want to just be seen as the cheap option, and it’s all about the overall package.”

With demand already outstripping supply of cars and places in the championship, it looks like the Foundation Programme is opening the door to circuit racing for a whole new intake of drivers eager to take the step up from track days or speed events such as sprints or hill climbs. With proof of concept established, expect more of the same from 750MC in due course, and yet more options for the racer on a budget to realise their dreams of getting on the grid.

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