For anyone that hasn’t visited MotoFest Coventry, it’s a truly spectacular event. Christened ‘the urban festival of speed’ by 2017’s BARC Speed Champion Steve Riddle, its scale has expanded dramatically over recent years, seeing displays from leading automotive manufacturers, car clubs, motorcycle clubs, racing circuits and motorsport suppliers taking over the entire city centre. This is supported by a wealth or pop-up bars, street food vendors, merchandising stalls, artists and performers, plus an extensive programme of live entertainment that outclasses many music festivals. Topping the bill, Saturday saw The Rolling Stones pulling into town for a concert at the City’s Ricoh Arena, swelling crowds dramatically during the afternoon.
The circuit-based action takes place on a closed section of Coventry’s Ring Road, delivering a 1.98-mile course between Junction 6 and Junction 4. This is populated throughout each day by spectacular demonstration and parade laps combining vintage, historic, classic and contemporary production, racing and supercars with racing and street bikes from almost every era.
New for 2018, the Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry Sprint adds almost four hours of competitive action to the established programme, drawing speed and racing competitors, plus a selection of celebrity drivers, from across the UK. From midday, sighting and practice laps are followed mid-afternoon by timed runs, creating a true spectacle for over 130,000 visitors who attended during the weekend.
Day one and day two of the MotoFest Coventry Sprint were also Rounds 6 and 7 of the 2018 BARC Speed Championship. On Saturday, thirteen of our contenders took to the City’s Ring Road, with reigning champion Steve Riddle in the Renault Clio Cup dominating Class SB – Road Going Standard Production Cars 1400cc – 2000cc, with a best of 92.06 seconds.
In Class SC – Road Going Standard Production Cars Over 2000cc, Scott Hughes in the BMW M135i scored consistent times to record a win on 88.90 seconds. Unfortunately, Emma Hunt’s VW Golf was a little outgunned by Scott’s BMW, taking second with 100.83 seconds. However, Emma took the lead at representing the championship, not only starring in a live BBC News interview, but also hosting one of the Corporation’s on-board cameras during her runs on the Toyo Tires Coventry Sprint Circuit.
In Class 1A – Road Going Series Production Cars Up To 1400cc, Andrew Rollason’s Ford Ka took the class win on 103.12 seconds. Then, in 1C – Road Going Series Production Cars Over 2000cc, James Hunt‘s BMW E30 suffered turbo failure, with Jim putting in a T1 time of 103.05 seconds before retiring.
Class 3B – Modified Series Production Cars 1400cc – 2000cc, saw Callum Barney wheeling out the beautiful Ford Cortina GT and taking second with 98.03 seconds. Class 3C – Modified Series Production Cars Over 2000cc, witnessed the first outing for Oliver Worthington’s recently acquired Nissan S14, with Oliver taking second place with an excellent time of 86.58 seconds. Mike Stark’s Alfa Romeo 156 GTA followed in fourth place on 91.76 seconds, the car proving to be quite a handful through some of the chicanes. After a spin or two, Will Hunt’s Cosworth Sierra came in fifth, setting a best of 91.85 seconds.