The following interview was published by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club
A word with the chairman We caught up with Claire Smith, Chairman of the newly formed 360 Motor Racing Club to ask her what its all about
So…what is 360 Motor Racing Club?
Well its nothing to do with an X box!. The 360 Motor Racing Club is a newly formed club within motorsport,, set up to organise, facilitate and operate a 6 hour endurance race in the uk.
There are plenty of endurance races why is this one different?
Its different because its aimed at the Clubman competitor,. the competitor who normally would get 20-40 minute races plus a bit of practice and qualifying will now get a chance to compete in an endurance race.
Is there a market for that type of entry in endurance racing?
We think there is and judging by the enquiries we have had and interested parties involved I think we are right. There are enough endurance races out there for bigger budget outfits, we want to bring the excitement of competing in an endurance race to the competitors who may have dreamed about doing such an event, but their budgets doesn’t stretch to the kind of fees associated with some of the endurance races out there. The good thing is with this event is that its not robbing Peter to pay Paul as such, we don’t think we are taking any grid away from anyone else, we are not diluting the market, we are carving a new niche in motorsport that it could well do with.
How did the event come about?
There is a web forum called ten-tenths motorsport, where people who love motorsport can air their views on the many different aspects of it, we get competitors and Marshals and race officials and genuine enthusiast from all over the world who regularly post threads on there. There was a thread that was posted, just as an idea about an “alternative six hour race” The thread gathered momentum and several of the key contributors, I being one, formed a forum to discuss the feasibility of actually making it work. The rest is history.
How did you get involved?
I subscribe to Ten Tenths and was following the thread with some interest. I had been involved with Masters setting up their organising club so had an idea of what was needed to actually organise an event such as this, I then decided to invest a bit of my time and some resource into setting up the foundation to make it happen, just before Christmas, I founded the company and set up the website, kept pushing it along , we then had a meeting in London and the committee thought that as I had done a good job so far, they wanted me to chair the club, which I am very proud of and thank them for their trust and support
You are all enthusiasts then? Bit of a tall order to put on a race event isn’t it?
Anyone who actually works or competes in motorsport is an enthusiast! The guys in Race Control, or out on the bank marshalling do not get paid for their time, (In fact, if you are a clerk, you have to subscribe for your licence!) The thing is, the key people who are driving this event have a wealth of knowledge within the industry, collectively we have over 150 years experience in putting events such as these on, also, two of us in the committee team have done this before with regard to starting up.
Well, mainly because of what happened with Donington. When we first looked at the idea, we chose Silverstone as a venue, but, because Donington had been put out of commission, it suddenly added huge pressure to the other circuits with every organising club in the land scrambling to get their meetings in a suitable venue. Silverstone was going to be having some development work done so we looked at Snetterton because, with the nature of this event, we needed to be able to get cars back to the paddock in the event of a breakdown etc, we can do that at Snetterton with a safety car.
What cars can compete?
Any Saloon or GT model manufactured between 1968 and 1986 upto a maximum of 3500 CC subject of course to the regulations and supplementary regulations. There are five classes with four classes being made up of various engine sizes and the fifth class being an invitation class for cars that may not fit the exact spec of the regs, but, are very much “in the spirit “ of the event
What Drivers can compete?
Any driver who has a valid National B Race licence can compete, providing they have not a “novice” status, that is, they have competed at least ten times. They will with registration automatically become a member of the 360 Motor Racing Club which they will need to be in order to compete.
Have you opened entry for it yet?
No, we have opened registration, whereby, we take a registration fee from the team . This registration fee will be deducted from the entry fee when entry opens, for full details though, go to www.360Motor-Racing-Club.com
What kind of response have you had?
I only have one word for that…AMAZING!. We cannot believe the response we have had, it is very promising
What can we look forward to at the event?
Well, apart from the excitement of the tortoise and hare type racing that could easily happen with the field we have, the fact that this race wont be won at the first corner (and if people are thinking that then its more likely that they would lose it at the first corner not win it) but we are currently talking to Radio Le man and its looking very likely that they will be covering the event and broadcasting it locally at the circuit and also to the world wide web!, we are very excited and pleased about that, we are also looking at some very special cars that are interested in entering but I cant give away too much at the moment,…..it will spoil the surprise!!! You will just have to trust us on that
Oh come on….what sort of interesting cars have you got?
All historic cars are interesting arnt they?. we have interest from someone with a Mk1 AVO Escort and me being from Essex just love them , some lovely GTi’s I think there is even an arrive and drive and I believe your editor who I met at race retro is coming with an Alfa?...
How do our readers find out more?
Go to www.360Motor-racing-club.com or e mail us on info@360Motor-Racing-Club.com or you can even e mail me direct on Claire.Smith@360Motor-Racing-Club.com
Is this just a one off event ?
We certainly hope not, we hope it will be a successful event and could become an annual thing. I certainly think that this could evolve and if so, we could well see maybe more than just an annual event or maybe a weekend event but I don’t really think we should run before we walk, its early days. Im just very happy with the team that we have got and the response so far. Its exciting stuff! Thanks Claire Smith
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