Tour Ireland: 12 – 15 May 2015
Our plans for Tour Ireland on are coming along very well indeed. The three-day event will be based in Llandudno, North Wales and we will go over to Ireland for 24 hours in the middle for some sensational closed-road stages, a stage and a race at Mondello Park and generally enjoy the craic of competing in Ireland. It will be run to our usual format of Regularity and Competition categories.
We will meet in Llandudno late on Tuesday 12 May to sign on and get documentation and scrutineering out of the way. That will mean the decks are clear for an early start on Wednesday, 13 May.
Our formal start will be on the Llandudno Promenade and we will go straight into the fabulous Great Orme Marine Drive as our first stage to set the tone and blow the cobwebs away. The response to the Great Orme stage last August was out-standing and many crews said it was a real highlight of the event.
After the Great Orme we have an easy run along the A55 and A5 to Holyhead for the high-speed ferry to Dun Laoghaire, just south of Dublin. We will have brunch during the two-hour journey so when we dock on the other side we can get cracking right away in the nearby Wicklow Hills where we have five terrific tarmac stages lined up on closed public roads. For those who have never competed on closed roads before, this has to be one of the best motor sport experiences available!
We will return in evening to our HQ hotel in Dun Laoghaire, which overlooks Dublin Bay, for Happy Hour, dinner and socialising in the best Irish style. We are fortunate that the Trial Drivers Club in Ireland have offered to put the Irish stages and road route together for us. We will most likely be joined by a group of Regularity crews for the Irish loop so we have an event within the event.
We will spend the Thursday morning at the nearby Mondello Park circuit where the action continues as they have offered us a stage which can be run while we are using the race track at the same time. It is then back to the dock in Dun Laoghaire for our Irish loop prize-giving before boarding the ferry back to Holyhead.
We will take lunch on the ferry en route so we are all set for a race at Trac Mon late on Thursday afternoon. We can settle back into our Llandudno HQ hotel that evening for dinner and more fun and games.
Our final day on Friday will consist of a lap of the glorious Snowdonia countryside, taking in the stages which worked so well for us on Tour Britannia in August. Not only will we have the contrast between the handling at Glan y Gors track, the high speed of Llanbedr airfield and the quirkiness of Nant Gwrtheyrn, but we have found another gem which is full of character as well. Our Finish and prize giving is back in Llandudno on Friday evening, 15 May.
As usual, everything is incorporated in our entry fee for a car and crew of two including the ferry crossings, except accommodation. We have been offered discount off the normal ferry rates and we are tying up a process so these prices can be extended to camp followers, support crews and the like. All are welcome.
Entries are open now and the entry form is available to be downloaded from our website. The fees can be paid in three tranches or a discount is available if it is paid in full in one hit.
We want to run one race grid of 30 cars in Competition and 15 cars in Regularity so we can maintain that personal element which has become Britannia’s trade mark. We have already received seven entries to date so Tour Ireland is hitting the right notes.
We are glad to say Motorsport Ireland, the equivalent to the MSA, is really enthusiastic about Tour Ireland as it is opening doors for a new type of event. The closed road special stages will no doubt be a major attraction, while we are very lucky to have the support from Motorsport Ireland and the Trial Drivers Club to make them happen. Their advice is that we should keep a low profile regarding publicising the stages, certainly until the PR work is done. Although the roads are extremely quiet we still need to get everyone likely to want to use the roads when we are there to buy into the process.
Tour Britannia: 2/3 October 2015
Our other major event for 2015 is our traditional Tour Britannia which we are going to centre in Surrey. Our key venue in October is the RAC’s Woodcote Park, which worked so well for us on Mini Britannia in May this year. They went to so much trouble to make us welcome and we were so fortunate to receive such great hospitality at this blue riband venue. However our plan is to expand Mini Britannia into a two-day event.
We will therefore meet for documentation on Thursday evening, 1 October 2015, which will leave us with Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October for two full days of on-the-road action.
Our next newsletter will give full details but please get the date in your diary for what promises to be another excellent event with some superb venues.
Andrew Brodie & Richard Payne came third in Regularity in this years Tour Britannia - here is their report:
The pair campaigned their ‘72 Citroen SM against various exotica including Aston DB42/4, Porsche 911's, E-type and a full rally spec Lancia Fulvia HF1600.
This sort of event is a must do. You don't need to thrash your car or be outstandingly quick, but you do need to be able to drive precisely and a little preparation goes a long way. Regularity requires you to drive difficult (say a country house driveway, with bridges, chicanes) and easy stages, arriving to time controls within a target time to the second, else penalties are accrued. Amazingly satisfying when you arrive on time!
Imagine lapping Oulton park, at a set speed, and doing two laps within the same time to the second. Sounds easy........ Or driving along country lanes at various low speeds, to find a hidden time control around the bend where again you must arrive on time. All this while navigating so you don't get lost! There is also a 'round the cones' special test with a wide time bracket available, and you can try to beat the Bogey time if you want (bet you won't be able to resist trying). Add some wonderful liaison sections on great roads and it is tremendous fun.
We had a pleasant scrutineering then an interesting look over the other competitors cars (including the racers) all of whom are friendly and quickly form a cadre. Then off we go, starting with a special test on a slippery Kart track at Oulton Park, followed by consistency on the main circuit in the very wet. Then our first error on a road regularity. We miss-communicated at a Y junction down a lane and turned at the first left only to immediately see the time control on the other branch of the Y. A quick reverse but still a 46 second penalty. Easy peasy.
Mostly no great worries for day two, starting with the wonderful Great Orme at a steady (!) 30 MPH. We do manage to read the somewhat mis-leading tulip at a cross-roads and go left. A U turn, a dash back, and we are back on rhythm and pick up no extra penalties. A nice consistency on the wonderful Trac Mon follows, where we lose count of the laps and exit early (but good consistency) and a spot of luck as the timekeepers do not notice. Extra laps count 3 minutes penalty, missed time controls 1:30. Then a brilliant run on another Kart track, where the last bit is so twisty you can't keep on time, but we are only late 4 secs. 4 secs-- ages. Except it is an instant when you are driving. We ace the cone special test and are 1 second slower than the fastest- the Lancia. Remind me to use the right gear.
Day three involves two road regularities, a well known Country House drive- under the very solid bridge and a 90 deg bend and through another gate and 90 deg, all at a metronomic 28 mph. Then an 8.3 mile run up and down Llanbedr runway with detours and chicanes, and invisible timing controls among other delights. One particularly exciting test being a very steep hill-climb round multiple hair-pins, from the sea up to the top of a Welsh hill at a required speed of 26mph.
Pictures - T B 2014
Steve Kilvington has images from Oulton Park, The Great Orme, Denbigh, Anglesey Circuit and Nant Gwrtheyrn now available online.
The website link is http://www.sbkmotorsport.com
Latest additions to the website (sidebars)
Tour Britannia Daily Report - Day to Day commentary
Results Tour Britannia 2014