Twenty unmissable events in 2020
This month we welcome in a new year and with it an entirely new decade, but in 2020 one thing stays the same: the British motorsport calendar is stuffed full of unmissable events, from club-level racing to world championship rallying. Dan Prosser is your guide to the 20 motorsport gatherings that deserve a spot in your diary in 2020.
British Touring Car Championship, Donington Park – March 28-29
For the first time since 2005, Leicestershire’s Donington Park will host the BTCC season opener, taking over from Brands Hatch. The Kent venue, which has staged the first round of the season every year since 2011, switches to a mid-April date. The 2020 season could be a very significant one indeed for Colin Turkington: with four BTCC titles to his name already, one more will make him the most successful driver of all time in the series. Andrew Jordan, champion in 2013, partners Turkington in the works BMW squad.
Sandown Sprint, Isle of Wight – March 28-29
Taking full advantage of the new closed-roads regulations, the Isle of Wight Car Club will stage a sprint for the first time in March on the promenade of the seaside town of Sandown. The event is expected to draw competitors and spectators to the Isle of Wight from the mainland, providing a welcome boost to local tourism.
British GT and British F3, Oulton Park – April 11-13
The Easter weekend has become the traditional curtain-raiser for the British GT and British F3 championships, and in 2020 both will get underway at Oulton Park (while the rest of us gorge on chocolate eggs). The Cheshire circuit, one of the most picturesque in Britain, will provide a spectacular backdrop for the country’s fastest GT3 and Formula 3 categories.
British Rallycross Championship, Lydden Hill – April 12-13
Lydden Hill in Kent is the birthplace of rallycross, so it’s fitting that the British Rallycross Championship will once again get underway there in April. The natural bowl-shape of the one-mile circuit gives spectators an almost uninterrupted view of the entire track. Lydden Hill takes over the promotion and organisation of the British series for 2020, too.
British Rally Championship, Tendring and Clacton Rally – April 25-26
The Tendring and Clacton Rally was first run in 2018 but already it’s been handed a slot on the BRC calendar for 2020 (round three of six). The Essex event takes advantage of the new closed-roads regulations – campaigned for over many years by Motorsport UK – to bring high-level rallying to the tarmac lanes of the southeast of England. Within very each reach of London, the rally is already very popular with local motorsport enthusiasts. Britain’s Matt Edwards will be aiming for a hat-trick of BRC titles this season having won the championship in both 2018 and 2019.
Jim Clark Rally, Kelso – May 29-31
The Jim Clark Rally returned to the motorsport calendar towards the end of last year, but in 2020 it switches back to its traditional springtime date. Competitors adore the Scottish Borders event for its mix of fiddly lanes that demand millimetric precision and high-speed sections that reward a committed driving style.
Historic Rally Festival, Weston Park – June 6-7
The first event of its kind, the Historic Rally Festival at Weston Park in Telford will be a high-octane celebration of the thrilling speed and excitement of Group B rallying. The two-day festival will include a live rally stage complete with water splash, plus plenty of activities to keep families entertained.
British Superkart Racing Club, Oulton Park – June 20
Superkart racing is such a thrilling form of motorsport that we’ve given the cover of this issue of Revolution over to it. To appreciate the sheer ferocity of these 150mph rocket ships, you really need to spectate in person – and there’s no better place to do so than at the stunning Oulton Park circuit.
Super Scramble, Bicester Motion – June 21
Bicester Motion’s Scramble events have become some of the most popular car meets of the entire calendar in very short order. The venue, which will become the new home of Motorsport UK this coming summer, is on the site of a former Royal Air Force base and provides a unique backdrop against which to display iconic road and racing cars.
Goodwood Festival of Speed, West Sussex – July 9-12
The Goodwood Festival of Speed has established itself as one of Britain’s blue riband events for motorsport enthusiasts and car fanatics alike. In fact, with more than 200,000 visitors in 2019, the Festival of Speed is also the United Kingdom’s biggest motor show. Stars from the worlds of F1, rallying and endurance racing will once again be out in force.
British F1 Grand Prix, Silverstone – July 17-19
Silverstone’s new deal with F1 rights holder Liberty Media ensures the world’s most prestigious motor racing category will return to the United Kingdom for the next five years at least. Lewis Hamilton, winner of the British Grand Prix five times in the last six years, will be hoping to reinforce his record as the event’s most successful ever driver.
Silverstone Classic – July 31-August 2
With high-profile events like the Goodwood Members’ Meeting and the Revival, plus the Silverstone Classic, Britain has become a worldwide hub for historic motor racing. In 2020 the Silverstone event will be celebrating its 30th anniversary with the same mix of on-track action and family fun away from it. Throughout the weekend there’ll be more than 20 races and circuit demonstrations, with competition from the FIA Masters Historic Formula One series, as well as historic touring, GT and sports car grids. Discounted early-bird tickets will be available until the end of March.
Kartmasters British Kart Grand Prix, PF International – July 31-August 2
Kartmasters will mark its 25th anniversary as it returns to PF International in Lincolnshire this summer. The event is the biggest one-off kart meeting of the year and many previous winners have gone on to enjoy professional careers in racing, including current F1 stars George Russell and Alexander Albon.
W Series, Brands Hatch – August 22-23
After a stellar first season, W Series promises to be even bigger and better in 2020. Two of the eight rounds will be support races to FIA Formula One Grands Prix, which will help to ensure the female-only championship reaches an even greater audience. Champion in 2019, Britain’s Jamie Chadwick will be hoping to retain her title in 2020, while in the likes of Sarah Moore, Alice Powell and Abbie Eaton, there’ll be plenty more homegrown talent for the Brands Hatch audience to cheer on. The championship will again run alongside the German touring car series, DTM, at the Kent circuit.
World Endurance Championship, 6 Hours of Silverstone – September 4-5
The 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship will get underway at Silverstone in September with a new and very promising set of technical regulations. The top-spec LMP1 cars that have competed in the WEC since it was inaugurated in 2012 will be replaced by a new class of Hypercars, which are derived from showroom models. The new category promises to breathe new life into endurance racing.
European Drag Racing Championship, Santa Pod – September 10-13
The final round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship is also the jewel in the crown of Santa Pod’s annual calendar. As many as 250 of Europe’s finest drag racing teams will descend on the Northamptonshire venue, bringing with them 300mph Top Fuel machines and 8000bhp Funny Cars.
Isle of Man Festival of Motoring – September 18-20
Running for the first time this year, the Isle of Man Festival of Motoring is a weekend-long event that will combine unforgettable driving experiences with a tour of the island’s most famous attractions. It will take in a hillclimb, plus a guided lap of the iconic TT motorcycle racing circuit.
Autumn Festival of Speed, Prescott Speed Hill Climb – October 3-4
The Autumn Festival of Speed brings the curtain down on Prescott’s busy season. An unmissable gathering of classic sports cars from across the ages, the event will attract vintage models from Aston Martin, Bugatti, Morgan and more to the 82-year-old Gloucestershire venue.
World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB – October 29-November 1
Wales Rally GB organisers will be aiming to build on the success of 2019’s event, which switched to a Llandudno base on the north coast of Wales and incorporated a ceremonial start on Liverpool’s historic waterfront. In 2020 the rally will be held four weeks later in the calendar than it was the year before, meaning the autumnal weather last time out will likely make way for more wintry conditions – how it should be for Wales Rally GB. Britain’s round of the WRC will be the penultimate event of the season, meaning the championship could well be decided in the forests of Conwy and Gwynedd.
Race of Remembrance, Anglesey Circuit – November 6-8
On the face of it, the Race of Remembrance is just a club-level meeting at the windswept and invariably chilly Anglesey Circuit right at the end of the season. There is no great prize on the line, but over the years it has attracted household names and motorsport superstars alike: Sir Chris Hoy competed in the race in 2016, while four-time Indycar champion Dario Franchitti made his first appearance last year. The Race of Remembrance serves the dual purpose of drawing attention to armed forces charity Mission Motorsport and the essential work it does, while also helping with the recovery of dozens of injured or wounded servicemen and women.