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Brighton Speed Trials, oldest motor sport event, is no more

WORDS: NATHAN CHADWICK | PHOTOS: BRIGHTON & HOVE MOTOR CLUB

The Brighton Speed Trials, widely regarded as the oldest-surviving motor sport event in the world, is no more after the organiser – the Brighton & Hove Motor Club – announced that the 2023 event was its last.

The club cites new road layouts, the closing of terraces, and the costs of providing adequate safety measures and security, as the reasons for the stoppage. It says the event had been running at a loss for several years, and despite the assistance of Brighton & Hove Council and Motorsport UK, it could not continue.

The event was first held on July 19-22, 1905, after local hotelier Sir Harry Preston convinced local authorities to build a motor-racing track in Brighton. The resulting track would be the first use of Tarmac in this manner. The format had changed several times over the years, but it brought high-powered motor sport to Brighton’s sea front in two- and four-wheeled form.

Famous names to have taken part over the years have included Jack Sears, Mike Hawthorn, Dorothy Levitt, Ken Tyrrell, Mike Pilbeam, Reg Parnell, Stirling Moss, Peter Collins and many more.

More details can be found here.