Pembrey Circuit unveils revised provisional 2020 events schedule

Pembrey Circuit is set to play host to a blockbuster season of top-draw racing for the remainder of 2020 after unveiling a revised provisional schedule made up of eight events.

Having had to press pause on celebrating its 30th Anniversary in association with the British Automobile Racing Club due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the home of Welsh motorsport is primed to finally stage race meetings after already opening its doors for professional teams to test.

The Welsh lockdown has provided the venue with the opportunity to complete the build of its brand new garage complex, with further improvements having also been carried out in recent months too.

Working closely with the Welsh Government and Carmarthenshire County Council, the South Wales circuit will now aim to move from exclusive testing to playing host to race meetings.

All dates and events remain provisional and subject to change in line with the current and ever-evolving government guidelines. Spectators are currently not permitted to attend events at this moment in time.

Phil Davies, Pembrey Circuit Manager, said: “These have been trying months for everyone but I am proud that we have been able to persevere through this pandemic and come out the other side in a strong position.

“In recent weeks we have welcomed a host of professional teams for private testing and these have proven to be very successful with our own guidelines in place. Now we are looking forward to playing host to events.

“This hasn’t been the way we had planned to celebrate our 30th Anniversary but with our new garage complex finally built we are certain to make the best of it.”

Pembrey Circuit – Revised Provisional 2020 Calendar

August 8/9 – Toyo Tires BTRDA Rallycross Championship

August 29/30 – British Supermoto Championship

September 12/13 – British Automobile Racing Club

September 26/27 – Classic Motorcycle Racing Club

October 3/4 – BTRC British Truck Racing Championship

October 9/10/11 – NGRR Motorcycle Championships

October 17/18 – Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy

December 28 – Christmas Stages Rally

BARC begins to get back to work as head office partially re-opens

The British Automobile Racing Club will begin getting back to work from today (Monday 22nd June) with the partial re-opening of its head office at Thruxton Circuit, in particular the Competitions Department.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Club’s main office has been closed since late March with all administrative staff furloughed.

With a return to racing on the horizon, the Competitions Department has resumed work in order to prepare for race meetings – starting with those that are being held in July. The rest of the Club’s staff remain furloughed at this point.

Those wishing to enquire about events, whether a competitor or marshal, should contact David Wheadon or Paula Brown via the following means of communication:

David Wheadon – Competitions Secretary – 01264 882209 – dwheadon@barc.net

Paula Brown – Marshals Secretary – 01264 882210 – pbrown@barc.net

Ben Taylor, BARC Chief Executive, said: “It feels like a long time since we closed the doors and sent everyone home, but I would like to thank all our staff, members, competitors and supporters for their patience in recent months.

“We cannot wait to get started again and we are detecting that most people feel the same way, and are desperate to go racing.

“Obviously things will have changed in the meantime and there will be some noticeable changes to our operations and protocols, but we are confident that we can provide a safe and controlled environment for people to enjoy their motor sport at our events and venues.

“We would ask everyone to take particular care of themselves and those around them and ensure that when we do resume, we do so sensibly and responsibly for the safety and well-being of all.”

To view the post-lockdown revised events calendar for the remainder of the year, click here. Spectators are currently not permitted to attend events at this moment in time.

As has been the case throughout this pandemic, the well-being of staff, competitors, officials and all potential visitors to our venues and events remain at the forefront of our considerations at all times.

To that end, changes have been made to operations and protocols which will be communicated to all relevant parties in advance of any events moving forward. This situation will be kept constantly under review and may be subject to change at short notice.

All dates remain provisional and subject to change in line with the current and ever-evolving government guidelines.

British Automobile Racing Club offices still closed, but venues open for testing and track days

UPDATED: 11 June 2020

The BARC offices remain closed at this time in line with current government guidelines and all administrative staff are still furloughed. However, our venues are starting to re-open for professional team testing and for track days in line with the easing of lockdown measures.

We hope to return to racing as soon as Motorsport UK is prepared to issue event permits, which at the present time looks likely to be July 4/5, when we have a race meeting at Cadwell Park, followed by a meeting at Croft the following weekend. In order to prepare for the race meetings, the Competitions department staff are likely to return to work from Monday 22nd June.

The safety and well-being of staff, competitors, officials and all visitors to our venues and events will be at the forefront of our considerations at all times. To that end, there will be changes made to operations and protocols which will be communicated to all relevant parties in advance of any events.

This situation will be kept constantly under review and may be subject to change at short notice.

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31 March 2020

In line with government advice and with the health, safety and well-being of our staff and our customers in mind amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the British Automobile Racing Club has decided that the best option for everyone at this time is to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel or social interaction.

The best way to ensure that this happens is to close our headquarters and venues; they will remain closed until at least 30th April 2020 at which point we shall review the situation.

Motorsport UK has suspended all race meetings until the end of June 2020. Entries for postponed race meetings will be transferred to other events later in the season, while tickets for postponed events will be valid for the replacement date. If you are unable to make these news dates, either as a spectator or as a competitor, you will of course receive a full refund.

All BARC staff have been furloughed and as such are no longer able to continue working, even from home. As a result, we regret that we are unable to process any requests for refunds or transfers at this time.

All test days and driving experiences have been postponed during this period at all five venues operated by the Club; Croft, Gurston Down, Harewood, Pembrey and Thruxton. All experience activities will also be rescheduled once we are able to reopen.

In the meantime, we would like to thank everyone for their understanding at this difficult time and urge them to follow all official guidance to do what they can to keep themselves and others safe and well.

British Automobile Racing Club Statement: Coronavirus Update – 17.03.20

In line with the government’s public health advice and the direction of Motorsport UK, the British Automobile Racing Club is suspending all motor sport activity with immediate effect until the end of April 2020.

We understand that this will be a great disappointment to many people, including competitors, teams, officials, marshals, fans and our members. However, in the current climate, it is clear that this is the correct course of action.

We will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks and we look forward to a resumption of activities as soon as possible, at which time we will look to reschedule the events that have been postponed. All entries and payments received to date will be automatically carried over into future events.

In the meantime, we urge everyone across the wider motor sport community to follow all official guidance and do what they can to keep themselves and others safe and well.

Ben Taylor

BARC Group Chief Executive

British Automobile Racing Club Statement: Coronavirus Update – 13.03.20

Following the government’s announcements on Thursday 12th March 2020, we can confirm that the British Automobile Racing Club is continuing, in so far as is possible, with business as usual.

The situation is evolving rapidly and may of course change in the course of the next few days and weeks, depending on the advice of the experts, but for now we are preparing for our events to go ahead as planned.

In order to reassure our customers, we would like to stress that, regardless of what may be written in our Terms and Conditions, if we are forced by the authorities to cancel any race meetings or events, we guarantee to refund the entry fees of all competitors, just as we have committed to refund ticket buyers at any of our venues.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will be in touch immediately should the situation change.

The UK’s governing body, Motorsport UK, has issued its own statement on the outbreak HERE.

In the meantime, please stay safe and continue to plan for the coming season.

BARC honours 2019 champions at annual Championship Awards Evening

The British Automobile Racing Club rolled out the red carpet at the Chesford Grange Hotel this past Saturday (February 8th) for the annual Championship Awards Evening, honouring the champions of 2019.

In what has become one of the highlights events on the Club’s calendar every year, more than 200 guests descended on Kenilworth grounds for a momentous night of celebrations.

Swapping race suits and overalls and dinner jackets and ball gowns; drivers, marshals, officials and leading BARC figures were all in attendance.

Hosted by the superlative Alan Hyde, guests not only had the opportunity to look back on the year that was but also hear from BARC Chairman Tony Scott Andrews, BARC Group Chief Executive Ben Taylor and Motorsport UK Chief Executive Hugh Chambers.

Four-time British Touring Car Championship title-winner Colin Turkington headed the list of illustrious winners as he collected yet more silverware. The Northern Irishman’s all-conquering West Surrey Racing BMW 330i M Sport was also in attendance, taking pride of place next to the main stage.

Turkington’s machine wasn’t the only head-turner during the evening however as several other championship-winning vehicles were situated around the venue as well.

After clinching a maiden Legends Cars National Championship crown in the categories 25th Anniversary campaign, Miles Rudman showcased the car that powered him to glory. Neven Kirkpatrick did the same with his Super Mighty Minis Championship championship-winner.

Samuel Wilson’s Caterham Graduates car garnered plenty of attention throughout the night as well, whilst the Junior Saloon Car Championship once again rolled out an immaculate machine for their 2019 champion Scott McIntyre.

Whilst a majority of the awards saw drivers take centre stage, the BARC also played homage to its marshals. Virtue of completing the most volunteering days, Pam and Steve Green were awarded the coveted Sir Clive Bossom Trophy.

Elsewhere, Nick Allison picked up the BARC Marshal of the Year award for a second time. In addition, a total of £1610.00 was raised on the night for the BARC Marshals and Rescue Fund.

Alongside the customary awards, three secret accolades were also presented to unsuspecting winners.

James Hedley, Ginetta Junior victor, scooped The Peter Collins Trophy, which is awarded to the most promising newcomer competing in a BARC championship whilst Garry Whittaker claimed The Presidents Cup after producing an unbeatable season in the Kumho BMW Championship.

Legends Cars National Championship founder Phil Cooper was the final secret award recipient, handed The Gerry Marshall Trophy for epitomising the philosophy of motorsport over the past quarter of a century that Gerry once demonstrated.

Michael Groves: 1931-2020

It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that the British Automobile Racing Club announces the passing of former Council Member and Chairman, Michael Groves.

Born on April 9th 1931 in Richmond, Michael originally made a name for himself in business as a Chartered Surveyor; working across a spectrum of properties which included commercial and residential buildings, factories and offices.

In the realm of motorsport, Michael was a household name and is best known for his role as Chairman of the BARC for 30 years.

His love affair with motorsport began at an early age and he attended his first race meeting in September 1948 at Goodwood. Four years later he became a member of the Club, prompting him to further integrate himself within the sport by starting out as a flag marshal on the banks of Thruxton.

Marshalling and observing at both the Hampshire venue as well as Goodwood led to Michael being co-opted onto the BARC Council by Sidney Offord and Bill Paul, who were Chief Executive and Chairman respectively at the time.

Four years later he was appointed Chairman of the Club in 1979 after having previously served as Vice-Chairman for two years. Michael would go on to remain at the helm of the BARC for 30 years.

In addition, Michael was elected Chairman of the Thruxton Board in January 1979 and the Pembrey Board in June 1989. At the time of his passing, Michael was one of the Club’s last two remaining Vice-Presidents.

In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious BARC Gold Medal at the annual Championship Awards Evening for his unstinting contribution to the Club, which spanned more than three decades and ultimately ended in May of that year.

Everyone at the British Automobile Racing Club wishes to pass on its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Michael, of which there were many, as well as pay tribute to his efforts to help further the club for more than half a century.

Pembrey Circuit set to mark milestone anniversary by building for the future

Pembrey Circuit is set for a milestone year in 2020 as it celebrates its 30th Anniversary; and it will mark the occasion by underlining its commitment to the future with the build of a brand new garage complex.

Opening its doors in 1990, the British Automobile Racing Club’s Welsh venue has become a popular track for spectators and competitors alike amidst the UK racing landscape – continuing to go from strength-to-strength over the past three decades.

With several important track developments such as the implementation of a new circuit layout, revised rallycross configuration and improved spectator banking having taken place during the past three years, the addition of this latest infrastructure is likely to bolster Pembrey’s appeal even further.

Set to be situated down the pit lane next to the circuit’s control tower, the new complex will comprise 12 double garages with capacity for 24 cars and will benefit from a vast paddock space behind.

Work on the garages is set to begin in the coming weeks and is currently scheduled to be completed by April; finishing in time to kick off what is set to be a spectacular summer of motorsport around the picturesque circuit.

In addition to the new garage complex, Pembrey’s facilities around the venue have also been refurbished to further enhance the customer and competitor experience moving forward.

As part of the venue’s celebrations for its Pearl Anniversary this year, a new commemorative logo – based around the original design from the circuit’s inaugural year – has also been unveiled and will be used throughout 2020.

Boasting another bumper events calendar, the dawn of a new decade will see the likes of the British Truck Racing Championship, British Rallycross Championship and many more categories take centre stage over the coming months.

Providing the backdrop for a spirited trip down memory lane in late June and forming the centrepiece of Pembrey’s milestone year, the Historic Sports Car Club will make a welcome return to South Wales. Bringing the past back to life, a glittering array of sensational sportscars, flame-spitting saloons and evocative racing cars will thrill those in attendance whilst there will be plenty to see off track as well.

Phil Davies, Pembrey Circuit Manager, said: “Having been here since the very beginning, it fills me with immense pride that Pembrey is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year – and we couldn’t mark the milestone any better than by delivering another memorable year of racing, as well as building for the next 30 years.

“Over the past three decades we have hosted all sorts of events such as the British Touring Car Championship, British Superbike Championship and British Formula 3 – to name but a few – and all of them have played a pivotal role in our continual growth.

“With a new garage complex and some of the marque events we have, I’m confident that 2020 is going to be a special year for the venue and I’m looking forward to welcoming spectators and competitors alike in joining us as we celebrate.”

Ben Taylor, BARC Group Chief Executive, added: “Pembrey is a really important part of the UK motorsport scene and Phil and his team have provided excellent racing and a warm Welsh welcome for 30 years.

“There is still a huge amount of potential there and these new garages are the next stage in realising that. They will significantly improve the experience for people racing and testing at Pembrey this year.”

Pembrey Circuit will kick off its 2020 motorsport season in late-March. To view the full events calendar for the forthcoming campaign, click here.

BARC shows support for Racing Pride movement

The British Automobile Racing Club is delighted to announce its support of the Racing Pride movement.

Established in the summer of 2019 and developed in association with Stonewall UK, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, the movement aims to positively promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity within motorsport.

Before the initiative was launched,  no real focused effort had been made to raise visibility for LGBTQ+ participants within motor racing; be it drivers, mechanics, engineers, marshals, officials and any other roles.

By creating a network of driving ambassadors, commercial partners and supporters from across the motorsport and automotive industries, Racing Pride has brought changes to the sport across all levels – and the BARC now intends to help promote their values.

Racing Pride stickers will be made available to competitors at all BARC meetings who wish to show their personal support, whether as LGBTQ+ people themselves or as allies.

In addition, the BARC will also lend its backing to Racing Pride initiatives on social media, via the website and through its other communications channels.

Ben Taylor, BARC Group Chief Executive, said: “Motorsport is regularly held up as one of the most inclusive activities around, but the sport has perhaps become a bit complacent in that regard.

“No one should have to hide who they are and we are proud to reaffirm that the BARC welcomes everyone to its motorsport family, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or other discriminatory reasons.

“It does us all good to take a step back and ensure that we are doing everything we can to make a positive difference in this respect.”

Christopher Sharp, Racing Pride Co-Founder and Media Ambassador, continued: “I am very proud of our new partnership with the BARC, which arks another significant step for Racing Pride.

“We will now reach over 80 championships across UK motorsport in 2020 and it is fantastic to see an increasing number of organisations wishing to work with us and be part of our cause of LGBTQ+ inclusivity within the motorsport community.”

Josh Bennett, BARC Clerk of the Course and Racing Pride Industry Ambassador, added: “It is great to see two organisations which I am so passionate about coming together to promote inclusivity in motorsport and to see more organisations working with Racing Pride.”

Richard Morris, Racing Pride Co-Founder and Driver Ambassador, concluded: “It’s wonderful to see Britain’s most prestigious Clubs, such as the BARC, supporting the Racing Pride initiative and reaffirming their belief that motorsport can, and should, be for everyone.

“I really hope the BARC’s members will get behind this too and add their own support by running the stickers and helping to spread Racing Pride’s message. It makes all the difference for LGBTQ+ people within the sport, and in society more broadly, to have such visible support from allies as well as within the LGBTQ+ community itself.”

To find out more information about Racing Pride, head to http://racingpride.com/.

BARC North West Centre rescue team hones skills with SYNETIQ

The British Automobile Racing Club’s North West Centre has been preparing its Rescue Team for the forthcoming 2020 motorsport season, with a training day in conjunction with SYNETIQ allowing them to hone their skills.

Forming the technical rescue unit of the Club’s North West Centre, which supports major events such as the Formula 1 British Grand Prix and Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship in addition to BARC events, the one-day course proved to be pivotal.

Staged at SYNETIQ’s site at Winsford, the day provided an opportunity for the team to practice rapid extraction methods against the clock, making it as realistic as possible.

In addition, the day also allowed team members to get to grips with the latest incline cutter tool; aimed at improving capabilities even further.

SYNENTIQ’s relationship with the BARC North West Rescue outfit can be traced back to Car Transplants Ltd, which previously host training days before becoming part of the SYNETIQ in March 2019.

BARC HQ 2019 Christmas Closing Dates

The British Automobile Racing Club headquarters at Thruxton Circuit will be closed during the following dates over the Christmas and New Year periods.

From: Monday 23rd December 2019 at 17:00

To: Thursday 2nd January 2020 at 09:00

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible trackside throughout 2020; be it if you are officiating, marshalling, spectating or competing!

From everyone at the BARC and all of our venues around the country; we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Festive cheer comes early for all BARC Members

The British Automobile Racing Club is spreading some early festive cheer to all members this month courtesy of the annual Christmas Pack; which includes the latest issue of the Club’s magazine, a copy of the 2019 Season Review, a 2020 Wall Calendar and a Christmas Card.

A must-have for any motor racing fan, every member of the BARC will receive the pack through the post in time for the Christmas period, with essential reading ensuring that you’ll be able to get a motorsport fix amidst the festivities.

In what is the final issue of 2019, the Club magazine is jam-packed with all of the latest news, features and updates from our championships, venues and centres, as always.

Included is an outline of what Group Chief Executive Ben Taylor sees the future holding for the BARC, we look back on the career of Legends Championship Co-ordinator Phil Cooper and we catch up with record-equalling BTCC champion Colin Turkington.

With the dust having now settled on the 2019 season, Chris Ashby provides a comprehensive look back on the year that was via the annual BARC Season Review.

Providing a definitive guide to how the fortunes of each of the Club’s championships, series, events and venues played out during the past 12 months, the Season Review captures every pivotal moment.

Further festive treats are included in the Club’s annual December pack too with a Christmas Card that will be perfect for the mantelpiece and a striking 2020 Calendar both included as well.

If you’re not a member of the BARC then why not head to https://www.barc.net/membership/ to find out more information.