The club racing series that starred and struggled during 2022

Off the back of a very successful 2021 season, rising inflation was always likely to put a dampener on club racing grid sizes this year. But there were still plenty of categories that continued to grow, even when others suffered declines

The club racing series that starred and struggled during 2022

This time last year, this feature was full of positive stories about clubs bouncing back from the COVID-19 uncertainty in spectacular style with impressive entry numbers for many. Then the club racing world was dealt another shockwave. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has contributed, along with other factors, to prices spiralling upwards and concern returning.

INSIGHT: The data that underlines how club racing thrived during 2021

And yet, so far, club racing has again proven to be pretty resilient. Despite the challenges faced in 2022, a remarkable 40% of all English series with comparable data (Scottish, Irish and Northern Irish categories are excluded from the comparison given the smaller number of competitors they have to draw from) either increased their average grid size this year or stayed at their 2021 figure. Considering last season’s numbers were so strong, that’s an even more impressive achievement.

Yes, it does mean that over half suffered a decline, but the number of series with an average entry of 10 or below also reduced from five to two. And there were some very impressive standout performers. Ten series (down from 16 last year) still attracted more than 35 cars per round on average, with the 750 Motor Club’s Club Enduro, the British Racing & Sports Car Club’s C1 Race Series and MotorSport Vision Racing’s Trackday Trophy among those leading the way.

There is a feeling that the true impact of rampant inflation may bite next year but, for now, here is a detailed look at how each of the main English clubs performed in 2022. And it’s clear to see that there was still plenty to celebrate from the efforts of the club staff, volunteers and officials, despite the somewhat depressing news headlines.

750 Motor Club

The newer 197 model was added to the 750MC's Clio championship this year and that helped boost entries

The newer 197 model was added to the 750MC's Clio championship this year and that helped boost entries

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Largest average grid: 43 (Club Enduro)
Smallest average grid: 16 (Ma7da and Sports 1000)
Biggest increase from 2021: Renault Clio Sport (+30%)
Biggest decline from 2021: Ma7da (-20%)
Club average grid size: 26 (-4%)

Last year, there was no disputing which of the major clubs weathered the coronavirus storm best. The 750 Motor Club’s range of low-cost series proved tremendously popular and it attracted a stunning 27 cars on average across its portfolio of categories. It still leads the way in 2022 but has been far from immune to the effects of the cost-of-living crisis on motorsport – its overall average has dipped slightly to 26 and the British Racing & Sports Car Club has significantly reduced its lead.

“Overall, we were quite satisfied with the season,” says 750MC competitions secretary Giles Groombridge. “At the start of the season, things were a little bit stronger. There was still an element of COVID bounceback and feelgood factor but, later, we did start to see a few grids tail off by a couple of entries here and there, which was to be expected given the economic conditions and a growing feeling of uncertainty.”

INSIGHT: Why club racing entry numbers matter

“Low-cost endurance racing is very popular and in vogue at the moment. You see that with C1s, Kas, and 116s are another example, albeit with a slightly quicker vehicle. Moving forward, the ability for drivers to share a relatively low-cost car is something that will probably be even more popular” Giles Groombridge

That trend is reflected by the data. Twelve of the club’s 22 series had slight decreases of up to 15%. But a couple of classes suffered slightly larger drops: Ma7da and the Alfa Romeo Championship.

“Ma7da did have a bit of a drop – they’re still relatively new and there’s still people beavering away in garages converting and building cars,” explains Groombridge, who is optimistic that numbers will increase in 2023. “The Alfas is a bit of a mystery because their numbers have grown quite significantly from where they were and this year they had a real drop back. Speaking to Andy Robinson, their coordinator, there’s a mix of individual personal circumstances so I’m hopeful they will do a bit better next year.”

Alfa Romeo Championship grids fell by almost 20% this year

Alfa Romeo Championship grids fell by almost 20% this year

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

But there were several categories that bucked the downward trend, including the Armed Forces Race Challenge, which was more significantly affected by the pandemic but was back to full strength this year. The 116 Trophy endurance contest also enjoyed a surge in popularity, rising by 27%.

“Low-cost endurance racing is very popular and in vogue at the moment,” adds Groombridge. “You see that with C1s, Kas, and 116s are another example, albeit with a slightly quicker vehicle. Moving forward, the ability for drivers to share a relatively low-cost car is something that will probably be even more popular.”

Also on the rise was the revamped Renault Clio Sport category. The 750MC took the decision to introduce the newer 197 model of the French hatchback alongside the 182s and that helped to boost numbers, up from 20 to 26.

“What was interesting was we didn’t see a drop-off in older cars,” says Groombridge. “That meant the grids were considerably improved and I think there’s a number of drivers building 197s for next year and, with 182s second-hand becoming very affordable entry-level race cars, that’s one I’m quite hopeful will hold up.”

That focus on affordability is set to be more important than ever next year, with Groombridge expecting a “challenging” season as the rising prices are really set to bite. But the 750MC seems well-placed to fight the tough economic conditions, and its 43-car average for Club Enduro again leading the way in terms of average entries for a single-grid series is a good example of that.

British Racing & Sports Car Club

The CityCar Cup was among the many BRSCC categories to grow this season

The CityCar Cup was among the many BRSCC categories to grow this season

Photo by: Richard Styles

Largest average grid: 43 (C1 Race Series)
Smallest average grid: 11 (Zeo Sports Proto)
Biggest increase from 2021: Caterham Seven 310R (+100%)
Biggest decline from 2021: ST-XR Challenge (-42%)
Club average grid size: 25 (+9%)

Across this feature, you will read much about clubs suffering slight decreases in entries this year as the cost-of-living crisis has struck. But there is one notable exception to the rule and that’s the British Racing & Sports Car Club. Unlike every other major organiser, which featured a decline in its overall average grid size, the BRSCC’s increased, climbing from 23 to 25. That’s quite some achievement in the current climate.

It’s therefore no wonder that club chairman Peter Daly describes 2022 as being “very positive”, only highlighting the Formula Ford Festival as an exception. The final was restricted to two racing laps as “the experienced guys who were running it unfortunately got caught out by the weather”. It was a rare dark point in an otherwise successful season. “We’ve probably had one of our best years in the last 10 years,” adds Daly.

“The door had stopped knocking for the BRSCC – we needed to get it knocking again, and it is now” Peter Daly

It’s not hard to see why. Thirteen of the club’s 21 series enjoyed an increased average number of entries or stayed the same, while just three declined by more than 10%. Daly believes there are numerous reasons for such popularity:

“We’ve listened to our customers and take feedback very seriously. We’ve also put together a new race hub, making it easier for customers to enter races. We’ve got fantastic coordinators and all of the office team have really dug deep – it’s the constant need to improve.”

One of the many grids to grow has been the CityCar Cup, which features specially modified Citroen C1s, Toyota Aygos and Peugeot 107s.

“It was launched just two years ago and we had a baptism of fire because a lot of the people joining it were novices and there was a lot of crashing and bashing,” says Daly. “Driving standards were reined in and we’ve seen the fruits of that.”

Also on the up has been Fiesta Junior, which further improved upon its 2019 nadir of averaging just five cars per round, rising to 15 this year. More of the new Mk7 machines are due to enter next season, so another boost is possible. “I was told by an ex-chairman of the BRSCC four years ago that Fiesta Junior was dead in the water,” admits Daly. “We’re about to see 10 new cars join that grid in 2023.”

ST-XR Challenge entries fell sharply this year but category is being revamped for 2023

ST-XR Challenge entries fell sharply this year but category is being revamped for 2023

Photo by: Richard Styles

Inevitably, not everything has been quite so positive, with Daly keen to address the dip in National Formula Ford 1600 entries, while ST-XR Challenge fields fell by over 40%. But that’s being rebranded as the ST150 Challenge next year, after XR entries dried up with the cars “getting too valuable to race”. As a result, the ST150s will no longer be eligible for the main Fiesta Championship.

And, on the surface, it may seem a blow for the club’s decades-long relationship with Caterham to end, but the BRSCC is instead looking forward to the huge amount of track time freed up by the Sevens’ departure. A raft of new series – either created by the club or moving from other organisers – will fill the void, with the Audi TT Racing Cup appearing to be a popular creation and the return of TCR UK to the club’s fold being a notable one.

“The door had stopped knocking for the BRSCC – we needed to get it knocking again, and it is now,” says Daly about the influx of existing series.

The BRSCC is also continuing to invest, with a third new rescue vehicle coming on stream, meaning it has spent £150,000 upgrading its fleet in the past three years. And that’s another example of how the club remains committed to providing the best service for its wealth of new customers.

British Automobile Racing Club

Britcar Trophy led the way in terms of grid sizes for the BARC on 36

Britcar Trophy led the way in terms of grid sizes for the BARC on 36

Photo by: Mick Walker

Largest average grid: 36 (Britcar Trophy)
Smallest average grid: 10 (Praga Cup)
Biggest increase from 2021: Ginetta GT Academy (+65%)
Biggest decline from 2021: CNC Heads Sports & Saloons, Ginetta Junior, Porsche Sprint Challenge GB (-15%)
Club average grid size: 23 (-4%)

The British Automobile Racing Club was one of the clubs to benefit the most from last year’s COVID-19 bounceback, enjoying significant increases in entries across many of its series. And it continued to be one of the best performers this year as well, with it enjoying more gains than most.

“Everybody seems to have had a good time, and I think that’s testament to the hard work the championship organisers do,” says group chief executive Ben Taylor. “We’ve also put more staff and resources behind the service we offer, and we’re adding another member to the team next year, which is a statement of intent.”

Britcar Trophy led the way in terms of entries, attracting a very impressive 36 cars on average, as Caterham Graduates and some of the Classic Touring Car divisions again proved popular. Aside from the Ginetta GT Academy, which flourished in its sophomore season, other notable improvers include the British Truck Racing (up 18%) and Kumho BMW (up 28%) series.

“We deliberately didn’t book the same level of exposure in 2022 and that turned out to be a really good decision. What it meant was we had slightly fewer race meetings but they were all full or largely full and that makes a massive difference to us as a business” Ben Taylor

“One of the highlights was that the British Truck Racing Championship has really kicked on,” says Taylor. “The interest in the series has increased and that’s helped by the promotional activity and Convoy truck show that goes with the events at Donington Park, Thruxton and Pembrey.”

Similarly, the increasing number of Cooper S Minis joining the Kumho BMW grid has helped bolster its numbers from a low of 15 in 2020 to averaging 23 this year. “Trevor Ford, who is the coordinator for that, has done a good job bringing the numbers back up again,” adds Taylor.

CNC Heads Sports & Saloon numbers were down, but only by 15%

CNC Heads Sports & Saloon numbers were down, but only by 15%

Photo by: Mick Walker

Numbers have fallen for some of the club’s other series but, remarkably, the largest reduction is a relatively small 15% (all other leading clubs have at least one decline of 20% or more) for the CNC Heads Sports & Saloons that left it with a still very respectable average of 23 cars. Taylor explains that this category is very different to the rest of its portfolio with it being operated by the North West Centre.

“I know they were disappointed with some of the numbers but they got a full grid of 37 at Oulton Park so it seems people were just making decisions about what they do and don’t do,” he says. Taylor therefore has no particular concerns about the series and says that the North West committee is “working very hard” to build the numbers back up next year.

Speaking of increasing numbers, the BARC is also planning to run more race meetings in 2023 than it did this season. The addition of the array of manufacturer-backed Caterham championships to its roster, along with Track Attack joining, means it needs more track time and these extra dates will be carefully managed.

“We ran slightly fewer race meetings this year,” states Taylor. “We dropped down to 23 in total [from 28, and excluding British Touring Car events] and that was caused by 2021 – we had a lot of track time that, coming out of COVID, everybody wanted to use. But we deliberately didn’t book the same level of exposure in 2022 and that turned out to be a really good decision. What it meant was we had slightly fewer race meetings but they were all full or largely full and that makes a massive difference to us as a business.”

Combined with investment in the tracks the BARC operates – for example, work is under way on a new hospitality building at Croft – Taylor is optimistic about the future despite the challenging economic conditions.

MotorSport Vision Racing

MSVT categories again proved popular as they introduced new drivers to the sport

MSVT categories again proved popular as they introduced new drivers to the sport

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Largest average grid: 37 (Trackday Trophy)
Smallest average grid: 9 (Z Cars)
Biggest increase from 2021: Sports 2000 (+25%)
Biggest decline from 2021: Porsche Club (-34%)
Club average grid size: 21 (-9%)

It was once again the MotorSport Vision Trackdays categories that led the way for MotorSport Vision Racing this year, with the low-cost entry-level divisions continuing to prove popular. Topping the table this time was the Trackday Trophy contest, attracting an impressive average grid size of 37 cars, just ahead of EnduroKa. Not only is it rewarding for organisers to see the packed fields, but it has extra importance in the wider picture given that many of the competitors are new to the sport.

“Trackday Trophy has a very different objective to other series – it has to be economically viable in its own right, but arguably its primary role is to bring new people into the sport, which it’s done on hundreds of occasions over the last decade,” says MSVR competitions manager Joe East.

“Stuart Garland [the series manager] is a really personable guy and makes himself available at all times. But he’s still able to maintain a tough line when needed, and this approach is a big part of why the series continues to turn out capacity grids.”

But Trackday Trophy and EnduroKa were not alone in attracting grids in the mid-thirties: the 420R class of the 7 Race Series and Sports 2000 were also successful, the latter’s numbers rising by a quarter.

“MSVR is very fortunate to work alongside great promoters, and their passion and commitment shines through more than ever in difficult times,” says East. “Sports 2000 decided to split its grids at some events in 2022 on a trial basis, allowing for increased capacity and classes to be separated, helping to improve the racing experience. This has been very successful and will be repeated in 2023 across more events.”

However, not all of the MSVR series enjoyed quite such strong years. While the GT Cup still averaged a very healthy 29 cars, this was a noticeable decline of 22% compared to last season. But East is confident that numbers will rebound.

“Premier categories like GT Cup will inevitably experience small ups and downs, but the dip in 2022 was pretty slight overall, and mostly driven by factors outside the control of Bute Motorsport [promoter],” he says. “For example, supply chain issues led to a shortage of critical parts, which caused a handful of withdrawals. I’m sure 2023 will be another strong year for them.”

Of more concern, perhaps, is that nine of the 24 MSVR series attracted fewer than 16 cars on average, Z Cars propping up the table on nine. But, with reassuring pragmatism, the majority of these less popular categories will be either amalgamated or scrapped next year.

The Radical SR1 Cup will form part of the revamped Radical Cup UK, Racing Saloons will morph into the fellow Project 8-promoted Snetterton Saloons, and Production GTI and Z Cars are set to share a grid on a full-time basis. With Turismo X also being axed, and renewed interest in the fledgling GB4 series, the signs are positive that MSVR’s overall average could improve in 2023.

Classic Sports Car Club

New Millennium numbers were up this year as CSCC series enjoyed contrasting fortunes

New Millennium numbers were up this year as CSCC series enjoyed contrasting fortunes

Photo by: Richard Styles

Largest average grid: 33 (Swinging Sixties Group 1)
Smallest average grid: 12 (Open Series)
Biggest increase from 2021: Turbo Tin Tops (+35%)
Biggest decline from 2021: Magnificent Sevens (-36%)
Club average grid size: 22 (-8%)

“Unpredictable” is how Classic Sports Car Club director David Smitheram describes the 2022 season. “We had an OK start and then it really tailed off and we had some pretty low lows, but it picked up again at the end.”

The club’s Turbo Tin Tops grid is a perfect example of this unpredictability. Its entries improved by 35% compared to last year, rising to 23 cars, but there was a huge fluctuation across the season. Thirty-five cars at Donington Park and 31 at Snetterton contrasted with those in the teens at Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park and Oulton Park. And it was far from alone in facing such variance.

“With New Millennium, there’s been a handful of drivers that have moved from classic to modern cars. The way the values have gone and the availability of parts has worn some drivers down. They still want to do their racing but have moved to more modern machinery” David Smitheram

The other notable improver was New Millennium – for post-2000 cars – which rose by a quarter. “With New Millennium, there’s been a handful of drivers that have moved from classic to modern cars,” Smitheram explains. “The way the values have gone and the availability of parts has worn some drivers down. They still want to do their racing but have moved to more modern machinery.”

But those improvements are mirrored by decreases elsewhere, with Magnificent Sevens entries notably down by 36%. Plans are afoot to change the regulations of this series next year, with the club planning a raft of tweaks across its portfolio based on an extensive driver survey.

The CSCC has also looked at the way it structures its calendar in a bid to avoid too many instances of categories sharing grids. “What we’ve tried to do in 2023 is, rather than lumping all series on a single day at Mallory Park then all series to a single day at Oulton Park, we’re alternating, which isn’t something we normally do,” says Smitheram. “We don’t then have that issue of combined grids.” Given the uncertain times we currently live in, unpredictability is to be expected but the CSCC is doing its best to try to mitigate that.

Castle Combe Racing Club

Mighty Minis joined the CCRC portfolio for 2022

Mighty Minis joined the CCRC portfolio for 2022

Photo by: Ollie Read

Largest average grid: 29 (Combe Hot Hatch Challenge)
Smallest average grid: 11 (Combe GT)
Biggest increase from 2021: No increases
Biggest decline from 2021: Combe GT (-21%)
Club average grid size: 19 (-14%)

This was a significant year for the Castle Combe Racing Club – for the first time since Hot Hatch was introduced in 2017, it added new series to its portfolio. Mighty Minis joined a third different organising club in the past eight years, while a new partnership was also formed with GT & Sports Car Cup organiser Automobiles Historiques.

“Castle Combe really lends itself to Minis and they circulated like a swarm of bees, swapping places like old jokes,” says club chairman Ken Davies. “They’ve been like nomads and we’ve had a great year with them.” Two rounds were held at Combe and the remaining four at other circuits around the UK, and Davies expects that format to continue next year.

But it hasn’t been the strongest of seasons for Combe’s homegrown categories. Hot Hatch continues to lead the way in terms of entries, but all four classes suffered reductions, Formula Ford numbers were slightly down but still provided some “very tightly contested” racing.

The most notable reduction came with the GTs – but, even with just a handful of cars on track, they were still able to keep the crowds entertained. “We didn’t have a wonderful grid of GTs, we really struggled, but the competitors we did have circulated more or less as one,” reflects Davies, who adds that efforts are under way to try to boost numbers for next year.

“There’s such a lot of GT racing in Britain and we know we’ve got a lot of competition. Single-venue championships aren’t everybody’s cup of tea but a lot of people do our series and travel the country. These things are cyclical but we’re trying to rejuvenate it a bit. The enthusiasm is there – we don’t want to give in lightly.” The series recently celebrated its 45th birthday and the club is clearly determined for it to reach its golden anniversary, despite the tough times.

Historic Sports Car Club

Formula Junior entries held firm as most other HSCC categories suffered a decline

Formula Junior entries held firm as most other HSCC categories suffered a decline

Photo by: Mick Walker

Largest average grid: 33 (Formula Junior)
Smallest average grid: 8 (Classic Formula 3)
Biggest increase from 2021: No increases
Biggest decline from 2021: Historic Touring Cars (-37%)
Club average grid size: 19 (-14%)

The fact none of the Historic Sports Car Club's categories enjoyed increased entries this year is a demonstration of how historic racing has been impacted by the worsening financial situation. But the HSCC is far from alone in suffering declines – numbers have also been down for the Historic Racing Drivers Club and Motor Racing Legends – and its CEO Andy Dee-Crowne believes the wide-ranging impacts of the Ukraine war are a significant factor, while also pointing out how the complicated post-Brexit border crossing process has hit entries from Europe.

But it’s far from all doom and gloom, and Historic Formula Junior entries have held firm. “Formula Junior represents what I consider to be old-fashioned club racing with a very strong competitor baseline,” reckons Dee-Crowne. “A lot of the reason is there’s no place for them to race [elsewhere]. But it’s also due to the camaraderie and whole ethos of how Formula Junior is put together; it’s more of a family, and the hard work of Duncan [Rabagliati] and Sarah [Mitrike, organisers].”

“The old-fashioned belief that clubs had a core membership that stays in the club and races in all of the events, that’s now gone to a certain degree” Andy Dee-Crowne

At the other end of the scale, it’s the opposite problem for Historic Touring Cars, with Dee-Crowne believing that a plethora of different places for competitors to race contributed to a 37% reduction in entries. “The old-fashioned belief that clubs had a core membership that stays in the club and races in all of the events, that’s now gone to a certain degree,” he adds. “If a driver’s not chasing a championship, you might consider running according to your budget rather than trying to do every round. You may consider your holidays and when you can race and where you want to race.”

The club also ran a couple of races for new Historic Modsports and Griffiths Haig Trophy (for drum-braked 1950s cars) categories and will continue to develop those next year. But, given the uncertainty, the focus is on consolidation for 2023.

MG Car Club

MG Trophy struggled for entries this year, its average grid size falling by nearly a quarter

MG Trophy struggled for entries this year, its average grid size falling by nearly a quarter

Photo by: Mick Walker

Largest average grid: 22 (Cockshoot Cup)
Smallest average grid: 15 (Triple-M)
Biggest increase from 2021: Metro Cup (+12%)
Biggest decline from 2021: MG Trophy (-24%)
Club average grid size: 18 (-10%)

The MG Car Club was delighted to be able to hold its full complement of six race meetings this year for the first time since 2018 after resurfacing work at Silverstone and then the pandemic restricted its calendar. But it was a mixed year for the club in terms of entries, with some increases being offset by declines.

The club opted to return to Cadwell Park after five years away, and race competitions secretary Mark Baulch noted the meeting enjoyed “strong interest because people wanted the opportunity to race there” – most notably the fantastic 29-car entry for the Cockshoot Cup. But there were only 12 cars on the MG Trophy grid, and that reduced to just eight for the Snetterton finale.

“We saw a little bit of a drop-off in numbers for various different reasons, including championships either being completely tied up or being between just a few people,” says Baulch, who is confident that many of the deserting Trophy competitors will return in 2023. Triple-header events are also being considered at two-day meetings next year in a bid to offer drivers travelling long distances better value for money.

Baulch is also optimistic about more MGFs joining the Cockshoot crowd in 2023 and a possible influx of ZSs for the MG Cup grid as the marque’s 100th birthday is celebrated next year. But the Metro Cup switching to the British Racing & Sports Car Club is undoubtedly a blow, and the growing difficulty of filling events of its own has led to an increased appearance at Equipe Classic Racing meetings next season.

Vintage Sports-Car Club

Nashes turned out en masse for VSCC's Cadwell Park opener

Nashes turned out en masse for VSCC's Cadwell Park opener

Photo by: Ollie Read

The Vintage Sports-Car Club broke with tradition this year when its season began at Cadwell Park rather than with its usual Silverstone ‘Spring Start’ fixture, and did not visit the Northamptonshire track until a baking hot day in July. The originally pencilled April date for Silverstone clashed with the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, leading to the reshuffled schedule – a factor that club secretary Tania Brown believes contributed to smaller entries for some events (although it does not run distinct series, reducing the ability to compare).

“We had our first meeting of the year at Cadwell Park and were blessed with some really nice weather there,” she says. “We had some really good racing but some of the grids were a little lower than we would’ve liked to see. At that time of year, at Easter, some people want to be off with their family.”

But there was nothing small about the 30-car field for the Frazer Nash race, which was a fitting celebration of the marque’s centenary. “The Frazer Nash club is pretty good at persuading people to come out and race,” adds Brown. “The Nashes always have good racing and are fun to watch.”

“It’s evolution not revolution. It’s a changing landscape for all of us in the historic motorsport world and we’re trying to work collaboratively with others” Tania Brown

Another highlight was the “fantastic” 24-strong Longcar race on a very wet day at Donington Park. “I don’t think anyone has seen a Bean racing before,” says Brown. “The race was brilliant but bonkers!”

This year also featured a momentous occasion for the club when post-war drum-braked sportscars from the early 1950s were eligible to compete for the first time. One race was held at Silverstone, in partnership with Fifties Sports Car Racing, and more are scheduled next year. Similarly, the cut-off was shifted from 1961 to 1966 for the single-seater contest at Silverstone. “It’s evolution not revolution,” explains Brown. “It’s a changing landscape for all of us in the historic motorsport world and we’re trying to work collaboratively with others.”

Brown also believes that the one-day events the club organises could prove popular in the tough economic climate since they minimise costly overnight stays. And a return to a more regular calendar, beginning at Silverstone in April, is now planned for 2023 – a tradition the club is optimistic will bring improved fortunes.

Others

Equipe Classic Racing began organising its own events this season

Equipe Classic Racing began organising its own events this season

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Largest average grid: 40 (Monoposto)
Smallest average grid: 12 (Ecurie Classic Racing)
Biggest increase from 2021: CMMCS Super Saloons & Tin Tops (+21%)
Biggest decline from 2021: Ecurie Classic Racing (-48%)

Away from the well-established clubs, 2022 represented a major season in the development of Equipe Classic Racing as it began organising its own events for the first time. Despite the tough climate, it’s pleased with how this initial campaign has gone, noting the extra freedom it has been given and how events have been “more relaxed” now that it has greater control. “It was a bit risky but it was 100% the right thing to do for us,” says Equipe partner Rob Cull. “Overall, we had a fantastic season.”

Entries for its three main series did tail off a little towards the end of the season and Cull is confident about next year. “Goodwood didn’t help us this year because we had so many of our drivers hoping to get into the MG race – that really hurt a couple of our races,” he explains. “When everyone is backing off, we’re pushing on. We’re upgrading our hospitality for next year. We’ve bought a new trailer and having a new awning fitted to it – we’re trying to keep adding value where we can.”

Among the other smaller organisers, Northern Saloons & Sports Cars went from strength to strength, including attracting 54 cars across two grids at its Croft finale. Monoposto also enjoyed healthy fields, while the Mini 7 Racing Club was as popular as ever. It was a mixed picture for the Classic and Modern Motorsport Club with its Southern Super Saloons & Tin Tops grid up, but Intermarque down. The Historic Racing Drivers Club’s grids were also generally down, but there were some fantastic fields at Silverstone.

TCR UK numbers were up this year, although not directly comparable to 2021 when it also featured Touring Car Trophy and VW Cup entries, but both it and the Civic Cup will be returning to the British Racing & Sports Car Club fold next year and it will be interesting to see what impact that has.

For a full breakdown of how each category's grid size has changed compared to last year, see this week's Autosport magazine

Monoposto enjoyed another strong season this year

Monoposto enjoyed another strong season this year

Photo by: Richard Styles

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How rocket O'Sullivan banished painful memories with GB3 glory

After missing out on the 2020 British F4 title in astonishing fashion, Zak O'Sullivan was determined to earn his first car racing title stepping up to the BRDC British F3 championship. While the series underwent a mid-year name change to GB3, the Carlin driver was imperious throughout and deservedly claimed the title in his rookie year

National
Dec 1, 2021