City centre motor sport rebooted after 28 years, with MSA approval for time-trials during the 2018 Coventry Motofest
Competitive motor sport is to take place in a UK city centre for the first time in a generation when Motofest Coventry takes over the former heart of the British motor industry on 2-3 June.
The Midlands city that once bustled to the manufacture of Jaguar, Alvis, Triumph, Riley, Rover, Standard, Lea-Francis and many more is to stage time-trialling from a range of British Automobile Racing Club championships.
The MSA has agreed to grant a licence for the time-trials, which will take place on the free festival’s city-centre sprint circuit, carved out of Coventry’s ring road and developed in association with circuit designers Driven International. The move is possible only since the Motor Sports Association and Auto-Cycle Union were appointed the authorising bodies for closed-road motor sport events in April last year.
It is believed to be the first time such an event will have taken place since the Superprix roared around Birmingham in ’90. The decision also gives the green light to Motofest Coventry to host sprints, time trials and specialist road rally stages at future festivals. To launch the event and announce the news, organisers gathered together a selection of cars beside the ruins of St Michael’s cathedral, which was bombed in the Blitz. They included locally built Jaguar D-type and Project 7 and road-legal rally cars, which lapped the ring road in convoy.
James Noble, Motofest Coventry festival director, said: ‘Motofest Coventry is very excited and proud to be at the forefront of bringing competitive motor sport back to UK city centre roads. We have made no secret of our desire to host competitive motor sport on the Coventry Ring Road and we are now in a position to make it a reality.’
The time trials will be just one part of a two-day spectacular that floods the city with classic cars for demos, static displays and fringe events in what is said to be the UK’s largest free urban motor sport festival.