TOUR BRITANNIA FINALISES ITS ROUTE
Tour Britannia (5-8 September) looks set to provide a feast of competitive action for the crews entered in the inaugural running of this all-new historic race tour. The event, which celebrates 100 years of British motor sport, includes no fewer than three races at some of the country's finest circuits, and 20 speed tests at magnificent English stately homes, hill climb and sprint venues.
"With a planned total of 23 competitive sections, every day will be full of action," said Tour Britannia's Sporting Director Fred Gallagher. "From the palatial grounds of Belvoir Castle to the Silverstone Historic Grand Prix Circuit, there will be wealth of driving opportunities for both the competition and touring-regularity crews. And, one of the most pleasing elements is the fact that virtually all the link sections are on quiet country roads, even in parts of England where you wouldn't imagine this possible; the entire driving experience will be a pleasure for all."
After technical and administrative checks at the event's central base in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 4 September, the action gets underway on Monday and takes in one race and six speed tests. Two timed sections through the wooded grounds of Belvoir Castle - the magnificent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland - kick off the action before the crews head to Cadwell Park, Britain's 'mini Nurburgring', for the first race of the event. After the complex twists and turns of one of the country's most challenging circuits, the route heads a few miles down the road to Manby Motorplex and then on to Swinderby for two blasts along the disused runways and perimeter tracks of these ex-RAF stations. For the crews in big engined cars, and the thunderous American machinery in particular, the opportunity to stretch the legs of the car will be unrivalled and a welcome contrast to the more technical tests earlier in the day.
Tuesday's action takes the crews to the home of British motor racing, Silverstone. After an eight-lap race on the National Circuit, the competitors make the short trip to Cornbury Park, the private home of Lord Rotherwick in the heart of the Cotswolds, for the first of two speed tests. Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and just minutes down the road, will then host lunch, before the crews return to Cornbury Park for a test of different configuration. A sprint over a section of Silverstone's South Circuit rounds off the day's competition with a late afternoon return to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Day three, on Wednesday, is awash with famous speed test venues and each will be run twice. Historic Shelsley Walsh, the illustrious Worcestershire hill climb that celebrates its centenary this year, opens the day before the crews move on to Loton Park. The beautiful grounds of Weston Park, which date back to the 11th century, will then host two more tests en route to the famous sprint venue at Curborough. The day closes at MIRA, the motor industry's test track, before returning to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Thursday's grand finale takes the crews from Stratford-upon-Avon back to Silverstone, where the Historic Grand Prix Circuit will play host to the climax of Tour Britannia. After the closing race of the event, a magnificent lunch will be hosted in the Jimmy Brown suite before the prize-giving in the prestigious BRDC Clubhouse overlooking the famous circuit.
Tour Britannia is hosted in Stratford-upon-Avon and takes place between 5-8 September 2005.