There’s no disputing the success loved by the 750 Motor Membership over the previous few years, with its mixture of inexpensive championships constantly proving standard with drivers. For 3 seasons in a row, it has topped Autosport’s common grid measurement charts among the many main nationwide racing organisers, giving a transparent indication of the way it’s pulling within the crowds. However, equally, the membership’s bosses are properly conscious of the necessity to frequently enhance and evolve, and a few of its newest initiatives can be highlighted at this week’s Autosport present.
Whereas lots of its classes flourished in 2023, that profitable theme was removed from common. One of many 750MC collection that struggled somewhat was Bikesports, which – because the title suggests – caters for bike-engined sports-prototype equipment, mainly Radicals and Mittells. And, given its numbers fell by 12% final yr to take a seat on the backside of the 750MC desk, the membership is working arduous to spice up its fortunes this time round.
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A brand new race weekend format has been devised for the championship, which is not going to solely improve its monitor time by 18% by transferring to a 15-minute qualifying session and two 25-minute races, but additionally the second of those contests will function a compulsory pitstop for all drivers, whereas the primary may have the highest eight qualifiers reversed on the grid. These strikes are designed to draw extra drivers and make the preventing on the entrance much more aggressive.
The collection can be showcased within the NEC halls this week on a satellite tv for pc stand to the principle 750MC show. Reigning champion Leon Morrell’s title-winning Radical SR3 can be in attendance, and Morrell can be available to speak about how you can become involved in Bikesports, which presents a extra inexpensive different to a few of the different prototype classes that exist. RJ Motorsport boss Josh Smith can also be as a result of convey considered one of his arrive-and-drive automobiles to display one other method of getting on the grid.
However the 750MC is taking a barely completely different strategy for its principal stand (positioned in Corridor 3, 3280). The membership has been a long-term fixture on the Autosport present, and this yr it’s trying to make use of the occasion as a store window, fairly actually, for the way individuals can begin upon their racing journey.
“You’d wish to get as many automobiles there as attainable, nevertheless it’s tough once you’ve bought 24 collection or championships,” admits the 750MC’s James Winstanley. “The concept was simply to try to do one thing a bit completely different.
“Final yr on the present we bought a few automobiles that had been on show and thought, coming into the brand new season, let’s see if we will promote just a few extra. So, on the principle stand, we’ve bought six automobiles on show and so they’re all on the market and, if somebody agrees to purchase one, we are going to give them two free race entry charges for 2024.”
Photograph by: Steve Jones
Leon Morrell received the Bikesports title in his Radical SR3 final season, which can be on show
The six automobiles will signify a broad cross-section of the equipment that may compete with the membership, with single-seaters and tin-tops as a result of be among the many automobiles that these attending the present should buy. The free entry charges are one other further incentive to position a deposit and are value round £800, so equate to a major saving.
This low cost is considered one of a number of offers the 750MC is providing for this yr, amongst them a variety of free race entries and merchandise for early-bird registrations to collection positioned within the first two weeks after they open on 22 January. Quite a few tyre reductions are additionally accessible from 750MC companions Polleysport and Darkside Developments for these signing up early. And this complete concentrate on affordability is an space the membership is eager to discover additional.
“One thing we’ve strived to do a bit extra over the past 5 to 10 years is attempting to be a bit extra open with prices,” explains Winstanley. “It’s not low cost, however the automobiles are extra inexpensive than individuals count on so we attempt to get these numbers on the market.
“It showcases what’s on the market. It additionally helps the house owners get the automobiles moved on and it helps us to get the automobiles again on the grid” James Winstanley
“A few the automobiles on the market can be £6,000, and some can be a bit costlier. It reveals individuals what you will get concerned for. The automobiles additionally usually maintain their worth fairly properly – we strive to make sure laws are secure so automobiles keep their worth. For us, it’s about getting individuals into racing.”
And Winstanley believes that having the vary of automobiles on the market on the stand not solely helps create pleasure for the season forward, but additionally brings quite a lot of advantages.
“It showcases what’s on the market,” he says. “It additionally helps the house owners get the automobiles moved on and it helps us to get the automobiles again on the grid. In addition to the automobiles on show, we’re printing a categorised paper, which may have extra automobiles on the market, and it’ll even have arrive-and-drive offers from groups as properly. It’s a member profit getting their categorised on the market in entrance of as many individuals as attainable. We’re actually trying ahead to it.”
A number of different automobiles that race with the membership may also be dotted across the NEC, with the BMW Automobile Membership, which operates a championship as a part of the 750MC’s portfolio, having its personal stand (Corridor 3A, 3A632). In the meantime, representatives of RLM Racing and Atomic Racing – the 2 corporations behind the MK Cup 200 machines that race as a part of the Sports activities 1000 grid – are as a result of be interviewed on the principle stage with the automotive additionally on show, all of which helps to advertise the 750MC’s standard model of membership motorsport because it seeks to take care of its place on the prime of the typical grid sizes desk.
Photograph by: Steve Jones
The 750MC is without doubt one of the hottest UK golf equipment however continues to be trying to enhance
The opposite main nationwide organisers bedecking the halls
The 750MC is much from the one principal nationwide racing organiser to have a presence at this yr’s Autosport present. One other key participant that has loved some terrific entry numbers in recent times is MotorSport Imaginative and prescient Trackdays, with its suite of classes aimed toward encouraging individuals to make the leap into racing.
Alongside its standard Trackday Championship, Trackday Trophy and EnduroKa divisions, there’s a newcomer among the many MSVT ranks for 2024 because it brings the famed Clio Cup title again to UK motorsport. A brand new collection is being run for the newest, fifth-generation Clios, and this is because of be highlighted on the MSVT stand (Corridor 3A, 3A604).
It could not have any fully new classes for 2024, however the Traditional Sports activities Automobile Membership has attracted a number of current collection to its portfolio for this yr, giving them a refresh. And you may hear extra in regards to the likes of the previous Kumho BMW collection, MG Trophy, Midget & Sprite Problem and Jaguar Problem (alongside extra established CSCC stalwarts) in Corridor 3 (stand 3552).
TCR UK is without doubt one of the championships that’s getting its personal bespoke stand on the present (Corridor 3, 3650) because the collection continues to enhance below the steering of Most Motorsport. In the meantime, the British Vehicle Racing Membership is because of make a return this yr (Corridor 3, 3450), and the BARC’s Hyundai Coupe Cup has bought its personal stand (Corridor 3, 3720). The British Motorsports Marshals Membership (Corridor 3, 3371) may also be available, giving particulars of how you can become involved within the sport as a volunteer.
And it’s not simply circuit racing that can be within the highlight. A lot of rallying organisers are additionally set to have a presence in Birmingham, with Motorsport UK highlighting the revamped British Rally Championship (Corridor 3, 3560). Others in attendance embrace British Historic Rally Championship organiser the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Membership (Corridor 3, 3725) and the Mini Rally Problem (Corridor 3, 3441).
Photograph by: Alpine
MSVT is operating a brand new collection for the newest, fifth-generation Clios