Sunday, 28 May 2017

Castle Combe Circuit invites you to Supercar Solstice, 24 June

Castle Combe Circuit invites you to

Supercar Solstice, 24 June

  • 24 June, Castle Combe Circuit
  • FULL Track Day Pass: £225 (+ booking fee)
  • Car Display Pass: £10 (+ booking fee)
  • General Admission Pass: £5 (+ booking fee)
Mid-summer: a time when temperatures rise, spirits soar and the most exotic cars finally come out of hibernation to play.
Castle Combe Circuit’s all-new track day event Supercar Solstice, held at the circuit on Saturday June 24, celebrates all things supercars at the very height of the summer season. In association with Bristol’s Queen Square Breakfast Club – the city’s monthly prestigious car meet – the circuit is set to play host to some of the world’s most exclusive four-wheeled wonders both on and off the track.
As well as the full-day, semi-open pit track day, there’ll also be an expansive display of intriguing sports and supercars in the Wiltshire circuit’s scenic grounds. With preferential parking for supercars, the circuit’s show paddocks are sure to be a sight for sore eyes!

Car Display Passes can be purchased for just £10 (+ booking fee) and admit the driver and passengers entry to the event, while a FULL Track Day Pass costs £225 (+ booking fee) and includes admission to the event, free passenger access along with a free bacon roll and tea/coffee!

If you’re not lucky enough to own a supercar, don’t fret: General Admission Passes are available at just £5 for adults.
Find Out More / Book Tickets

Oulton Park to host Round 2 of VSCC Formula Vintage Season

Oulton Park to host Round 2 of VSCC Formula Vintage Season

Following a triumphant opening event at Silverstone last month, we now look forward to Round 2 of ourFormula Vintage Race Season at the fantastic Oulton Park on Saturday 10 June.

The VSCC has enjoyed a long and celebrated history at the venue, dating back to the acclaimed events of the 1950s and 60s, and the Club are once again delighted to bring their unique brand of racing to the full ‘International’ configuration of the premier Cheshire circuit.

The day will see the Club’s historic Hawthorn Memorial Trophies featured, with the usual prestigious Trophy Races in honour of one of the great British Racing drivers.

An undoubted highlight at Oulton Park through the years, our Boulogne Trophy Race for Pre-1931 Vintage Racing Cars will surely be a headline act again with thrilling wheel-to-wheel action assured. Can anyone challenge the leading pair over the past couple seasons, in Tom Walker’s Hispano-Amilcar or Tony Lees, winner last year in the AC/GN ‘Cognac’? 

The day’s title feature is named in honour of Mike Hawthorn, Britain’s first F1 World Champion in 1958 for Ferrari, the golden era represented by our Pre-1961 Racing Cars.  As ever the Pre-war challenge will be led by three ERAs, including Nicholas Topliss in R4A, one of several previous winners of the Club’s illustrious Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy on the grid, the very same silverware won by Mike Hawthorn in 1951.  

Look to the Club’s celebrated Standard and Modified Pre-war Sports-Cars to set the standard once more with another capacity grid of original road-going machinery taking part. Having won last time out at Silverstone, Andrew Mitchell heads the entry in his HRG, alongside perennial podium challengers in Mark Brett’s Ballamy-Ford, the battling Frazer Nashes of husband/wife duo Simon and Jo Blakeney-Edwards and ‘ODM’ ambassador, John Guyatt in his Talbot-Lago.

Scheduled to open the afternoon’s racing programme, the Oulton Park Trophy pits the fastest of the Club’s Pre-war Sports-Cars head-to-head. Having lost out at Silverstone, Dougal Cawley is sure to have the bit between his teeth to return to the top of the Special Pre-war Sports-Cars standings in the all-action GN/Ford ‘Piglet’ but will face a stern test from the traditionally strong Riley entry.

Ever-popular All-Comers Scratch and Handicap formats will complete the exciting Pre-war programme whilst, to complement the day’s VSCC content, we also look forward to hosting special Invited grids for Classic Ferrari, the Fifties Sports Cars (FISCAR) Blaster Bates Trophy Race, F3 (500)s and another round of the AR Motorsport Morgan Challenge Series.

Aside from the exciting action on track, Formula Vintage will again offer the Spectator all that is great about attending a VSCC Race Meeting, with open access to the Paddock, where you can get up-close to the cars and drivers, onsite catering facilities – including a traditional Afternoon Tea style menu, Trade Stands, Classic and Vintage Car displays and much more ‘Vintage’ entertainment for the whole family.

The Club hosts another AutoSolo in the Paddock, the simple ‘Driving Tests’ competition for Pre-war cars sure to provide plenty of entertainment during the morning, finishing ahead of the afternoon’s Racing action, whilst the day also features the prestigious Cheshire Life Concours.

A stunning Spitfire replica will be at the heart of a military display, with the opportunity to sit inside the aircraft for a small charitable donation, and a fantastic assortment of period live music at the bandstand throughout the day, led by 8-piece band Max Debon & the Debonaires and the Backstep Boogie Club.

Our younger visitors will also enjoy Oulton Park’s motorsport-themed Adventure Playground with equipment for children of all ages from toddler to 14.

The VSCC also welcomes Tom Hardman Limited and Louis Latour Wine Agencies, who will be supporting our Live Timing Services/Drivers’ Club and podium presentations respectively throughout the 2017 Formula Vintage Race Season.

Advance Spectator tickets are available now with discounts available for Club Members (Children under 13 go free). Practice gets underway at 8.30am and racing commences after the Lunch Break at 12.45pm.

Having been campaigned at VSCC Meetings at Oulton Park for decades, the famous AC/GN ‘Cognac’
will return once more next month in the hands of current custodian, Tony Lees.

Photo: Mark Ballard

A world first as Salon Privé gets set to host two spectacular Concours within one event
Thursday 31st August – Saturday 2nd September | Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
A world first as Salon Privé gets set to host two spectacular Concours within one event
  • Salon Privé is the UK’s longest-standing, professionally-judged Concours event; now in its 12th year, organisers have added a second stand-alone Concours spectacular at Blenheim Palace
  • Chubb Insurance-sponsored Concours d’Elégance returns and includes a rare and stunning Horch 853A Special Roadster and a historic race-winning 1965 427 Cobra
  • Boodles Ladies’ Day returns as the most glamorous of days at Salon Privé, welcoming outfits and hats of all colours and styles
  • The all-new Concours Masters will follow the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance and provide an incredible ‘Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari’. Early entries include the oldest-surviving UK-based Ferrari
In a world first, the organisers of the prestigious UK-based motoring event, Salon Privé, are delighted to announce the addition of an all-new day of Concours celebrations to sit alongside the long-running and much-celebrated Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance. In so doing, Salon Privé is set to become the first of its kind to run two completely separate Concours celebrations within the same event.

Held in the stunning grounds of Blenheim Palace, one of the world’s finest UNESCO World Heritage sites, Salon Privé is set against an opulent and unrivalled backdrop. The renowned Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance is returning for 2017 on Thursday 31st August, bringing together the finest collections of rare cars and motorcycles to the lawns of the palace. The first of the two Concours celebrations, visitors will be drawn by early entries, which include an elegant and rare 1939 Horch 853A Special Roadster, entered fresh from a four-year restoration, as well as a competition-focused, race-winning 1965 AC 427 Cobra.

Boodles Ladies’ Day returns on Friday 1st September, a glamour-filled day of fine-dining, luxury brands, afternoon tea and champagne, making it one of the most extravagant days held at Blenheim Palace during the summer.
The Concours Masters, which will take place on Saturday 2nd September, is a brand new take on the traditional Concours. A new fixture for 2017, and designed to add an exciting dimension to the Salon Privé celebrations, each year will focus on the anniversary of an historic automotive marque or a particular coachbuilder. This year, Concours Masters will play homage to Ferrari with a ‘Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari’, featuring a timeline of 70 of the most iconic Ferraris ever produced, resulting in one of the finest displays of the Maranello marque ever brought together in the UK.

“It feels like yesterday that we were putting the finishing touches on the first Salon Privé Concours some 12 years ago. Whilst constantly innovating each year, we’ve also stayed true to the core ethos of Salon Privé – to celebrate the world’s best cars, collectors and manufacturers in a quintessentially British, garden party setting,” said Salon Privé Managing Director & Concours Chairman, Andrew Bagley.
“Salon Privé is forever evolving and being at Blenheim Palace has enabled us to introduce innovative ideas and concepts geared towards further enhancing the experience of Concours’ entrants and guests. Both the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance and Concours Masters ‘Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari’ are sure to attract significant international entries, ensuring visitors see some very rare models. We are choosing to push the boundaries of what can be delivered to our guests over three days, and we believe that Salon Privé now offers an unrivalled celebration of automotive culture, cementing its place at the forefront of the British motoring calendar.”
Further information on the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance and Concours Masters, as well as a full list of classes, which can be found here.
Tickets for Salon Privé 2017 are on sale now

Monday, 22 May 2017


Silverstone Classic


  • Fast track from Chris Evans Breakfast Show to racing at Silverstone Classic  
  • BBC Sport presenter Vassos Alexander passes his competition licence test
  • Stars from film, radio, music, sport and TV all gear up for this summer’s special Celebrity Challenge showdown
  • All tickets for the Classic must be purchased in advance
BBC Sport reporter Vassos Alexander is the latest high-profile personality from the world of media, showbiz and sport to be gearing up for a thrilling track debut in the star-studded Celebrity Challenge Trophy Race at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (28-30 July).
Though a regular reporter for BBC 5 Live at major sporting events such as The Olympics, Wimbledon and The Open, Alexander is best known to millions of radio listeners as the vivacious sports presenter on Chris Evans’ daily Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.

In his various professional reporting roles, Vassos has covered Formula One and interviewed many of the sport’s top guns – he even spent one British Grand Prix embedded in Jenson Button’s pit at Silverstone – however, he’s never competed before now. That’s an omission he’s poised to remedy at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival in late July. 
“I can’t wait; I’ve seen the sport from most angles and absolutely love it,” he enthused. “Who doesn’t watch a Grand Prix and think ‘I wish that was me’. I suppose that’s the same with all sports but motor racing especially so, because every time you drive your own car you can taste it and feel it. Sometimes I actually think ‘hey, look at me I’m Ayrton Senna, I’m Lewis Hamilton’! So, it’s going to be a huge treat to be racing at the Silverstone Classic, one of the great events on the UK’s summer calendar.”
Gearing up for his race debut, Alexander recently passed both his written and on-track driving tests at Silverstone Motorsport Academy – one of the country’s leading Association of Racing Drivers Schools (ARDS). Whizzing around Silverstone in one of the Academy’s bright yellow 150mph Megane RenaultSport 250s certainly put a huge smile on his face.
“That really whetted my appetite and got my competitive juices going,” he grinned. “There were some clearly faster Porsches on the circuit at the same time and I kept thinking for goodness sake let them past… but I really didn’t want to!”  
Come Saturday 29 July, Vassos will be one of the many famous faces, all racing competition-prepared Austin A30 and A35 saloons. Harking back to the late fifties, these nostalgic cars are well-known in classic racing circles and were introduced a few years ago by the Historic Racing Drivers Club (HRDC) as a cost-effective route into historic racing. More than 50 have now been built, guaranteeing this enormous grid – not to mention some dramatic fun for contestants and crowds.
Other luminaries lining up alongside Alexander on the star-studded grid include Olympic gold medalists Mark Hunter MBE, Jason Kenny CBE, Greg Searle MBE, Jonny Searle MBE and Amy Williams MBE, cricketer Mike Gatting, bike racing world champions Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer, Dragon’s Den TV star Theo Paphitis, former Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell, Wheeler Dealer’s Ant Anstead and adventurer Charley Boorman as well as a host of other well-known personalities from sport, film and television. All will be helping to raise funds and awareness for the Classic’s official charity partner Prostate Cancer UK.   
Fans wishing to see all these heroes in track action must purchase tickets in advance. Adult admission starts at £43 and weekend camping and hospitality upgrades are available. All tickets provide access to racing paddocks, trackside grandstand seating, live music concerts on both Friday and Saturday evenings featuring the Bootleg Beatles and Tony Hadley formerly of Spandau Ballet, vintage funfair rides, air shows and car club displays as well as a host of other family-friendly demonstrations, activities and entertainment.
Full ticket details and all the latest news is available on the official website: and via the event’s social media platforms.

Source: Silverstone Classic

Friday, 19 May 2017

With the season in full swing here at Castle Combe Circuit, don't miss the next Race & other upcoming events!

With the season in full swing here at Castle Combe Circuit, don't miss the next Race & other upcoming events!
May Bank Holiday Race Day 2017
There’s nothing like the unexpected to enliven proceedings, which is exactly what spectators at the Castle Combe circuit’s May Day Bank Holiday Monday meeting witnessed in the ‘Hot Hatch’ race.
Read More
Whitsun Race Day
Monday 29th May 2017
Featuring the Castle Combe Championships & Hot Hatch Challenge, Dave Allan Trophy, plus 750MC MR2's & BARC Max5's. If you've got a Honda or are part of a Honda Club, display your car with a Honda Car Pass for £10!
Pure Ford Success!
The first ever running of Pure Ford on Saturday 13th of May celebrated over 500 display cars and provided the ideal opportunity for Ford fans of all ages and tastes to gather & share their passion. It was hailed as a great success by all who attended and looks set to become a fixture of the UK’s blue oval calendar!
Upcoming Shows..

Introducing Jeremy Vaughan, Head of Motoring at the Royal Automobile Club

Introducing Jeremy Vaughan, Head of Motoring

at the Royal Automobile Club

Jeremy Vaughan recently joined the team at the Royal Automobile Club as Head of Motoring. He has more than 25 years of experience in media and events at Haymarket Media Group where he worked across the motoring department, publishing magazines such as Autosport, Classic & Sports Car, Autocar and F1 Racing before being seconded to Asia and Australia to lead Haymarket’s activities there.

Jeremy’s motoring events experience includes Haymarket’s Autosport International show with more recent experience gained at Brand Events who produce CarFest, London Classic Car Show and Ignition Festival, giving him a thorough understanding of the motoring events business in the UK.

In addition to motoring events and cross platform media, Jeremy has an in-depth knowledge of the motoring book market and was commercial director with Evro Publishing which published award-winning books on John Surtees, Brian Redman and Sir Stirling Moss OBE.

Jeremy has a passion for all things motoring and motorsport, having competed in historic rallying and even a round of the World Rally Championship in Australia. He is particularly excited about playing an active role in evolving the world’s longest-running motoring event while protecting the great traditions of the iconic Run.
Jeremy Vaughan, Head of Motoring, Royal Automobile Club
Early Bird period ends 26th May

The early bird period on entry fees comes to an end at 23:59 on Friday 26 May. If you haven’t yet entered but are still planning to, don’t miss the deadline in order to take advantage of early bird entry fees.

If you’re going to be taking part for the first time, don’t forget that the Hiscox First Timer’s Briefing has been added to the Run’s programme of events in recent years and will be held on Saturday 4 November from 17:30 to 18:00 at the Royal Automobile Club. To register your place at this informative session, please email 
The first cars leaving Hyde Park at the Veteran Car Run start line
Announcing the 2017 Motoring Forum as part of London Motor Week (Thursday 2 November)

The Royal Automobile Club and the Veteran Car Run Steering group are delighted to present the sixth Motoring Forum, taking place on Thursday 2 November in the Mountbatten Room at the Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse.
Kicking-off the Forum in 2017, esteemed expert of hydrogen technology, Professor Ad van Wijk, will talk about the future of motoring, Paul Niblett will discuss the evolution and development of the tyre, Dr Shaun Crofton will talk about safety helmets and material failures, while Nick Young will conduct a presentation on motor vehicle registrations from 1903 onwards. The event, as ever, is rounded off with the popular quiz, hosted by Veteran Car Run Steering Group member Daniel Ward.
A sumptuous buffet lunch in the Club’s stunning Mountbatten Room is included in the ticket price offering fabulous value at just £15. Places are limited so, to avoid disappointment, book your tickets now at
Motoring Forum 2016
Long-timers, don’t forget to contact us about Veteran Car Run Longevity Medals!

Don’t forget to let us know if you’re one of the few who have entered in fifty or more London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs; the Royal Automobile Club is presenting the gold ‘50 Year Longevity Medal’ at this year’s Hattingley Valley Participants’ Reception supported by Hagerty, scheduled for the evening of Saturday 4 November, at the Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse. 

Longevity Medals are also available for the many who have entered the Run for 10 times and 25 times, too. Application forms for all 3 levels of achievement are available via email to The cost of the 25 year and 10 year longevity medals is £26.00 (inc VAT) whereas the 50 year medals will be awarded courtesy of the Royal Automobile Club.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Longevity Medals
Special Offer: A chance to buy 2016 Run Pennants

Finishers’ pennants were provided by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain to those who completed the Run in 2016. The Club has a small stock of surplus pennants for sale for £5.50. If you would like to buy one, please visit the VCC website and complete the order form at: 2016 Pennant Run Application Form
2017 Route Alteration Update 

As highlighted in last month’s VCR Times, due to major roadworks in the Brixton area on parts of the normal A23 Veteran Car Run route out of London, we’ve been busy investigating a detour to this year’s Run in November.

Some of you may have seen an update from VCC Chairman, Adrian Goding, in the April issue of the VCC Gazette. The team, made up of VCR Steering Group members, officials of the VCC and representatives of both the promoters of the Run, the Royal Automobile Club, and organisers of the Run on behalf of the Club, Goose Live Events, made an early morning start from the Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse back in March to test drive a number of route options out of the City in veteran cars.

In Adrian’s words: “Last month an intrepid team set out from Pall Mall in a pair of Veterans at 7:00am to experiment with alternative westerly routes to Redhill. The morning gave really useful feedback on our options and, to ensure we all got truly into the spirit of Victorian motoring, the heavens opened to give us a thorough soaking!’

The team unanimously agreed on an alternative route for 2017 starting at The Oval, Kennington, progressing via Clapham Common on to Morden and then to Reigate - a stop on the original Emancipation Run in 1896 - and re-joining the previous Run route at Redhill. According to the authorities the Brixton roadworks will continue for at least 24 months. Therefore, a review a review of this alternative route, with participant feedback, will be made after this year’s Run.
The intrepid team exploring alternative routes out of London, for the 2017 Veteran Car Run

From the Archive

Royal Automobile Club Heritage Manager, Jane Holmes, shares an insight into the earliest days of motoring exhibitions from the Club's archive
The Edwardian automobile often arrived in a cloud of dust thrown up from the road surface. In a bid to abate the prevalence of dust on roads, experiments took place throughout the world to find a solution, with varying degrees of success.

In 1902, sections of the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, were surfaced with coal tar. Rather unfortunately, the heat of a sunny July in the South of France and the effects on other forms of transport, were not considered. Initially, horses slipped and fell, their stability greatly compromised by dust carried on carriage wheels from other untreated roads, which adhered to the newly tarred surface. This created another layer of debris for motorists to contend with instead of stabilising the original terrain as hoped. Eventually, the tarred sections also melted to form a paste. It was decided that further experiments should be undertaken somewhere less congested and the Touring Club of France donated 500Fr towards tar tests in a cooler climate.

Californians had slightly more success with their oil solution. The oil mixed well with dirt and gravel, which hardened to a smooth, asphalte-like surface. Pre-1902 experiments at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, were mixed, but it was generally acknowledged that oil on American roads was an improvement to sprinkling water only, which had to be distributed frequently.

Unrefined petroleum was the most popular dust retainer, but the quality of the product differed greatly. Crude petroleum did not ignite easily and it consolidated any ballast on the roads. The infrequency of application also made it appeal to cash strapped councils in England. In 1902, Hampton Wick District Council sent their representative Mr Pullman, to consult with the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland and the Automobile Club de France, to find a remedy for Surrey’s roads. Crude petroleum seemed to be the way forward, however, Club representatives omitted to tell Mr Pullman that it had one drawback…it stank for several hours until the odour fizzled out or the residents stopped noticing it. Surely, the healthiest roads could be found in Algeria where the mixture consisted of Naphtha and good quality olive oil.