The Brighton Speed Trials were held today along Madiera Drive in Brighton. Started in 1905, this makes it the longest-running motorsport event in the world. Brighton, UK. 11/09/2010
Ran under the umbrella of the MSA (Motor Sports Association), the Brighton Speed Trials, is held to be the oldest running motor race. The first race was held July 19–22, 1905 after Sir Harry Preston persuaded Brighton town council to tarmac the surface of the road adjacent to the beach between the Palace Pier and Black Rock in order to hold motor racing events. This stretch was renamed Madeira Drive in 1909 and the event is still held there, normally on the second Saturday of September each year.
The event is currently run as a quarter mile sprint for both cars and motorcycles. It is organised by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club, with the Sprint Section of the Vintage Motorcycle Club in charge of the Motorcycles. Entrants run individually, along the quarter mile course. The course length has varied over the years, generally becoming shorter to keep terminal speeds manageable as cars have got faster over the years. The speed trials are a unique event, where vintage and exotic classics meet the latest in street and racing cars. Public access is allowed to the paddock and startline 'funnel' allows visitors to get much closer to the action than at most events.
The number of entrants this year was down from normal, due to the poor weather conditions, with rain and wind dogging the course throughout the day. Traction was difficult off the line and one car spun along the course but with only minor damage to the car and no injuries sustained. Running this year among the mix of vintage through to modern vehicles was a Tesla electric car.