MOTORSPORT: Relive halcyon days at Syston Park Speed Trials this summer

Action from last year's Syston Park Speed Trials.
Action from last year's Syston Park Speed Trials.
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Petrolheads with a penchant for the vintage will be able to relive the halcyon days of motorsport when Syston Park opens its gates once again at the end of August.

Racing first began at Syston Park – situated between Belton and Barkston – when a hill climb was staged back in 1906, won by T. W. Mays.

Action from last year's Syston Park Speed Trials.

Action from last year's Syston Park Speed Trials.

In 1926, Syston Park created the first road race circuit in Britain. With Brooklands and Donington Park, it became one of the premier racing venues of its time, attracting crowds of 30,000; however, racing ceased in 1939.

Originally a motorcycle Grand Prix venue, Syston Park was used as a training ground for the TT and Manx Grand Prix.

Later, in its short history, it attracted cars such as ‘Bloody Mary’ and ERA R1, competing in the Oxford and Cambridge Inter-Varsity competitions.

Motorsport returns to the classic old venue with the Syston Park Vintage Speed Trials revival on Sunday, August 27, following two trial events in 2015 and 2016.

Back in the day, a vintage HRD motorcycle and rider ready to start Syston Park hill climb.

Back in the day, a vintage HRD motorcycle and rider ready to start Syston Park hill climb.

The meeting will re-capture the spirit of the original Syston events, with only pre-1939 cars and motorcycles running up the original half-mile hill climb.

Joint organiser Richard Powell said: “Some of the greatest pre-war racing drivers either raced here or were inspired by this track.

“The spirit of speed and the fascination that these guys had; there was a bit of devil-may-care attitude from them.

“They were so caught up in the fact that they could actually, on this private land, open up these pieces of machinery and for the first time do serious speeds on non-public roads.”

T. W. Mays wins the 12hp class inaugural hill climb at Syston Park in a Humber, accompanied by his son Raymond.

T. W. Mays wins the 12hp class inaugural hill climb at Syston Park in a Humber, accompanied by his son Raymond.

Gates will open from 8.30am with the action starting at 10am, including several Syston originals who raced there during the period, together with some other fabulous period machinery, from Grand Prix cars, works motorcycles from the TT, to eccentric aero-engined Edwardian specials.

Richard said: “We want to create something which is very much of the spirit of what went on here in the day. And, so, a sort of scratch event, concentrating on the cars and bikes – and very little else.”

Away from the track, there will be a classic car park and a traditional catering tent serving lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

To preserve the intimate feel of the event, organisers are limiting tickets and they are selling fast. Tickets must be pre-booked and are currently only available online, and will not be available on the day.

Richard said: “What we would like to do is is grow the event, slowly and organically, to create something which is, perhaps, a little bit anachronistic in today’s very sort of corporate event world.”

Visit www.systonpark
speedtrials.com for more information and to book tickets.