BARC launches innovative ‘Open’ races for Sports and Saloon Cars

The British Automobile Racing Club is preparing to break new ground during this condensed 2020 season with the launch of an innovative set of Open Sports/Saloon Car races, the first of which are scheduled to take place at Mallory Park on August 31.

Races will be open to competitors who drive open/closed roof Sports & Saloon cars, regardless of what championship or racing club they compete in, providing they meet current Motorsport UK safety regulations.

Formatted to feature a 20-minute qualifying session and two 20-minute races over the course of a weekend, entries will be accepted with a pre declared lap time for the specific circuit upon which competitors have entered into.

A total of nine classes have been structured, with dedicated lap times already set for Mallory Park and the subsequent two other race meetings at Pembrey (October 3/4) and Thruxton (October 24/25), which have been added to the schedule due to high levels of interest already.

This format guarantees that everyone will be racing against those doing similar lap times, irrespective of the car they are driving, leading to much closer competition. Classes will be changed post-qualifying and post-race if competitors run two or more laps faster in a qualifying session or race than their nominated class allowance stipulates.

The origins of this format were first mooted to current BARC Group Chief Executive Ben Taylor by former Haymarket Director Derek Redfern a number of years ago. Now, with the demand to go racing greater than ever, the idea is set to be a reality with four races currently confirmed for the remainder of the year.

Commenting on the innovative format, Taylor said: “We are really excited to launch this brand new format of class racing, under a set of regulations we are calling ‘BARC Red’.

“We believe that it has the potential to deliver really exciting racing for the club competitor and allow pretty much any car to compete in our races, irrespective of engine size, power to weight ratio, experience of driver or their budget.

“It should bring more for variety to the grids as well, which have become a little bit one dimensional in recent years with the growth of the single marque series and events. There are loads of cars out there not currently competing, but the joy of this series is that there is no need for eligibility scrutineering – if your car is in line with the Blue Book, it is welcome to race.

“The word ‘Red’ is a nod to Derek, whose idea this was originally. He mentioned it to me at a meeting of the Motor Sports Council while I was working at the MSA and I thought it sounded interesting, but at the time it wasn’t something that was relevant to my role.

“Now I’m at the BARC, it seems to offer a great solution for the current climate and the challenging times we face – we are inevitably going to see the customer demanding more enjoyment for their money, so having fun, exciting racing will be essential.

“The clubs are also going to need to find ways to have full grids to keep costs down for drivers, so this is a way of making sure that all cars and all drivers are able to compete equally on a level playing field.”

For further information or an entry form for these races, please contact David Wheadon via