Auto Unio Laps of Donington – This time in full coluor

We have already put a black and white version of the Auto Union’s lap of Donington so we are now sharing a full colour version.

I think the black and white version better fits in with the vintage of the pre war circuit and I’m not sure about the pretend engineer to driver radio conversation either!

Pre War Donington Circuit – virtual lap by Auto Union GP Car

Computer generated video of the pre war Donington circuit.
The original Donington circuit had a lap distance of 3miles 220yds and some unique challenges to the drivers of the day.
This computer generated vidoe gives the taste of racing round this historic circuit in an all conquering Auto Union Type C – Enjoy!

Latest from Motorsport UK regarding Corona Virus – 27th May

Looks like the first steps towards opening up motorsport. On reading the small print I don’t believe it applies to our kind of event, Touring Assemblies, but it does indicate things are moving in the right direction.

Motorsport UK Opens Throttle on Restarting Motorsport from 4th July

Motorsport UK has announced that in anticipation of motorsport restarting in the UK from 4th July, it is inviting online permit applications from 1st June 2020.

Motorsport is currently suspended throughout the UK until 30th June 2020. Following ongoing positive dialogue with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and having set out its strategy and anticipated conditions for restarting motorsport disciplines, the governing body is now moving to its next phase of getting the sport back on track. Further details will be communicated following the next Motorsport UK Board meeting of 3rd June.

Any resumption of motorsport is contingent on event organisers demonstrating that they can plan in accordance with the recently published, “Getting Back on Track” guidelines of Motorsport UK, while respecting government guidance on social distancing.

Motorsport UK is also acutely aware that different devolved territories of the UK may be moving at different paces in easing restrictions; any application for an event permit will be subject to approval based on the prevailing government advice. The move is also contingent on governments continuing with measures to open up society and that further restrictions resultant of any additional waves of COVID-19 are not required.

David Richards, chairman of Motorsport UK, commented, “In March, Motorsport UK moved quickly and in line with government to suspend motorsport, while everyone’s priority was restricting the spread of this terrible disease and protecting the NHS. It is now right that, as government has set out plans to ease restrictions, we move in step and introduce the next stage of our phased restart. Unlike many sports, motorsport in the UK is an industry in itself, employing tens of thousands and contributing billions of pounds to the UK economy.”

“We always said that, when the conditions were right, we would take a responsible decision to resume motorsport in order to sustain the sport, jobs and the economy. We have explained our plans to government and are fortunate that motorsport takes place outdoors over large controlled spaces. Our plan is that, subject to government advice and ongoing lifting of restrictions, motorsport will resume from 4th July. We are making this announcement now as event organisers, venues, preparation specialists, the supply chain, volunteer Marshals, Officials and Competitors all need time to put in place their plans.”

There will be a number of caveats of granting event permits, including that event organisers commit that their events will be held behind closed doors, appropriate PPE requirements are met, and that each organiser must appoint a COVID-19 officer to ensure compliance with any relevant guidelines. Furthermore, there will be a limit on the number of permits issued for July to 50% of those in the corresponding month of 2019, in order that there are sufficient volunteer Official and Marshal resources available to support the restart in a safe and responsible manner. No national or British championship events will take place in July to reduce potential national and international travel (excludes FIA championships).

To find out more about Motorsport UK – visit

Drag Racing at Woodvale 1965

I know I have mentioned this before but Lancashire Automobile Club ran Drag race meetings at Woodvale in the mid 60’s.

This is a fantastic full colour film of the 1965 event. As a 15 year old I am somewhere in the crowb and loving every minute of it!


British and European Grand Prix May 13th 1950 – Film

It came as quite a shock to realise that May 13th celebrated something rather special in the motorsport world.
This video is rare BBC Newsreel footage of the British and European Grand Prix on 13 May 1950, designated as the first ever F1 World Championship race.
The race took place at Silverstone in the presence of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, and was dominated by the Alfa Romeo cars.
Please click on link below

3 rooftop test tracks that will blow your mind

Nigel Bentley has sent us this interesting article published by Hagerty Insurance. It is an interesting insight into motoring history is many ways but majors on the test tracks used by manufacturers to test run their cars.

Obviously with land confined within the sites of ever expanding factories the only way was up!

Click on link below to read the article.

These 3 rooftop test tracks will blow your mind

St Georges Day Event

We thought that with this Sunday being Drive it Day you may wish to relive the 2019 event.

This link takes you to the route information book from last years event which let’s you know where the event went to and places of interest along the way.  St Georges Day 2019 Route Information

These are a few pictures from the event.

Starting with your bacon butties from ‘the girls’.

Then waved away by our offical starter – Noah

Then onto Heskin Hall for some refreshments.

Then up over Rivington and the Anglezarke Reservoirs

To return via Wiswell to Blackburn Northern Sports


Where a woderful buffet, courtesy of the Club, awaited the entrants

Not forgetting memories of a wonderful day!

Many thanks to Mike Wood and Nigel Bentley for the pictures.

The Launch of the Austin 8

As part of the launch of the Austin 8, in 1938, this publicity film was produced.

This type of film was not unusual at the time and the idea was to present the car by setting a target – in this case to climb 25,000 feet in a day. The area chosen was the Lake District and the film is worth viewing for the scenery and a glimpse of life (and roads) pre war.

Please click on the link below and enjoy.

Running a Classic Car Run.

Running a Classic Car Run.

Sometimes when I talk to entrants they ask how much work goes into setting up an event. They seem surprised when I reply that our bigger events take roughly twelve months and the simpler events between se

ven and nine months.

Frankly I don’t think they really believe me and I don’t want to bore them too much by going into the details. So I hope the following will give a simple guide to running an event: –

  • To begin with we need to determine where we want to go and roughly what mileage is involved. For events like the Manchester to Blackpool or Coast to Coast we have a fairly good idea of the place but not the actual venues.
  • Next we need to find start and finish venues which can accommodate up to say 70 cars, meaning around 140+ entrants plus officials.
  • Then we need to talk to these venues and establish that they are willing to accommodate us and set out our needs – many hotels are tied up with weddings over a year in advance so we need to get in early!
  • Having established a start and finish there may be other bodies we need to get permissions from such as Lancaster City Council for use of the sea wall or Blackpool Corporation for the use of Stanley Park.
  • Local authorities will need agreements signing and forms filling in including acceptable Risk Assessments for our activities.
  • Other non-motoring activities can clash preventing use of venues or putting time constraints on our event. These can include things like a Park Run on the sea wall in Morecambe. We have to be clear by 9.00am to avoid 300+ runners coming down the prom or something as simple as the opening time for a restaurant or pub we are using.
  • A weird one which can arise is consulting tide tables – yes tide tables! Roads along the coast can be inundated and closed at high spring tides. Classic owners don’t like driving through salt water.
  • OK now we know where the start and finish are plus any time constraints now we can start on a route.
  • Using good old fashioned maps, we try to give an enjoyable and scenic route avoiding mayor town centres and potential problem areas whilst staying within a reasonable mileage and assuming an average speed of below 30mph (a constraint necessary to get permission to hold the event from Motorsport UK and the police).
  • This gives us an idea of where rest halts and lunch breaks need to be situated by calculating the time of the route and breaking it up into reasonable sections.
  • This then leads us to locating suitable comfort and lunch stops along the proposed route. Then we try to find places in the general area of the ideal location which can accommodate us. Obviously there aren’t pubs located everywhere that are willing or able to accept us but by searching and ringing we do locate places that will work.
  • Now we know the locations of theses stops we can modify the route to go to these places.
  • All in all, this may take several months of phone calls and e mails but we now have a provisional route.
  • We know the date and route so now we can look for other events which may clash along the way such as Appleby Horse Fair or a major event in Blackpool using the Promenade or other events potentially leading to road blocks or closures.
  • This may lead to further modifications of the route.
  • Once satisfied we have a viable route we must contact all the Motorsport UK Route Liaison Officers responsible for the areas we pass through and let them have copies of the route for their approval. For example, the Coast to Coast may pass through up to four RLO areas!
  • The RLO are aware of ‘Black Spots’ where there are potential problems and agreements have been made that motoring events will not pass through. They are also aware of other events and there is a six weeks’ rule that we are not allowed to use a road which other clubs are using both 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after our event to prevent overuse and public complaints. That is why we need to get in early to be at the top of the list. Hopefully we can get the provisional route to the RLO and approved at least 6 months before the event.
  • The RLO comments may lead to a need to revise the provisional route again and re submit. Hopefully this does not adversely affect the start, finish or other stopping points or we will have to go through that loop again.
  • During this process we can start on the regulations, entry forms etc.
  • We now need to determine the number of officials and marshals we need and can start talking to relevant volunteers to pre warn them of the event and give them an idea of potential locations dates, timings etc.
  • With the provisional route agreed we can start to prepare the Route Book. In the ‘old days’ we drove the route noting every junction and condition of the road and potential issues. This may lead to a re-route which would have to go back to the RLO. Today we use Google Maps to do much the same but that doesn’t remove the need to drive the route at some point!
  • Now we can apply to Motorsport UK for a permit – called a Certificate of Exemption. Such permits from a recognised organisation are required to comply with the Road Traffic Act for all events with more than 12 cars. Failing to do this could leave the club open to legal action and invalidate the insurance of the entrants.
  • Having got the certificate, we can finalise the regulations entry forms and start on other paperwork such as the Final Instructions as well as organising Rally Plates.
  • The Entries Secretary can now start sending out the Regulations and Entry forms as well as publicising the event.
  • With the Route Book prepared we can do the first run through to check the route. This is more than checking the mileages we need to ensure that any road signs match those in the route book and are in place. Also the actual road is observed. Has the surface broken up and become too rough, is there an unsafe pull out onto a major road? Has there been a physical change a new roundabout for example or a change in priorities?
  • This in turn may lead to a change in route which has to go back to the RLO for approval.
  • At this point a quick check is needed to ensure all the locations on the event are still open and ready for our arrival. Pub managers seem to change regularly and often the new incumbent is unaware of our event and the arrangements we made with the previous manager.
  • Work can now start on the Route Information Book which tells entrants about places of interest they pass through on their journey.
  • By visiting the County Councils web sites we can determine any planned road closures affecting the route. You can’t do this to early as they often don’t get put on the web site until a month or so before the works! This again may lead to a re-route which has to go back to the RLO.
  • When the route is finally ‘set in concrete’ we can write to all the police forces affected by the event with route maps timings etc.
  • The final version of the Route Book with all mileages and any changes incorporated can now be produced.
  • The type and amount of any equipment needed for the event can now be determined. Things like Control Boards, arrows banners etc.
  • By now entries should be rolling in and we get an idea of numbers which need to be relayed to all the venues in particular those providing food and refreshments. We can also order the Rally Plates ensuring we have enough for both entrants and officials.
  • With a couple of weeks to go to the event a final run through is required. It is surprising how often things change. We have had collapsed bridges, new traffic lights, new roundabouts and long term road closures all affecting the events
  • Marshals now need to receive firm details of their locations and duties.
  • With a week to go Final Instructions for entrants, marshals and officials need to be sent out.
  • In the week up to the event a wary eye needs to be kept on weather reports and potential flooding on the route. Where necessary deviations to avoid flooding will need preparing to hand out at the start.
  • On the day of the event the officials at the start need to be there early to sign on and prepare for the entrants to arrive. As a final check a Course Car leaves the start to run the route some 30 minutes before the first entrant leaves.
  • The course car has ‘arrows’ to mark any last minute detours and ensures the marshals are in position and signs the marshals on.
  • All that’s left is to welcome the entrants to the finish an oh and start on next years’ event.

Chris Lee

Vice President