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The ten best motoring events of 2014

10 September 2014

The London to Brighton Mini Run – May 18 – London, Brighton

There are few names in motoring more quintessentially British than Mini. The iconic shape has been used by a number of manufacturers over the years and its spirit still lives on in BMW’s modern take on the original. The annual London to Brighton Mini Run is perhaps the biggest celebration of this absolute classic.

Spectators at the event, which is organised by the London & Surrey Mini Owners Club, can expect to see a convoy of more than 2,000 Minis travel from Crystal Palace Park in London through the countryside to Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront. The run itself is complemented by entertainment in the form of live music, food and activities at both ends of the route.
The London to Brighton Mini Run
Image: london-to-brighton.co.uk

The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Races – May 24 – June 6 – The Isle of Man

Often described as ‘the most dangerous motoring competition in the world’, the Isle of Man TT series is not for the faint-hearted. The action kicks off on Saturday May 24 with a number of qualifying laps taking place throughout the week. The days are split between different classes, with solo riders, sidecars, newcomers and pros given a chance to book their places in the main events. The second week is dedicated to the final contests and is brought to a close by the six-lap Senior TT Race on June 6.

Goodwood Festival of Speed – June 26 -29 – West Sussex

As its name suggests, the Festival of Speed (FoS) is a celebration of all things fast. At the centre of the event is a 1.16-mile hill climb, with drivers from around the world attempting to achieve the fastest times in different vehicles. The table is currently headed by German Nick Heidfeld, who, in 1999, took just 41.6 seconds to complete the run in a McLaren MP4-13. This year, however, rallying legend Sebastian Loeb will attempt to break the record in a custom-built Peugeot 208 T16. The climb itself will form just part of the three-day festival, with 150,000 people set to enjoy everything from supercar showcases to drag races.

British Formula 1 Grand Prix – July 3–6 – Northamptonshire

In terms of international attention and buzz, Formula 1 is perhaps the motoring world’s biggest showcase. The sport attracts millions of viewers throughout the 19-race season, with host cities spread across four continents. Since 1987, the British leg of the series has been held at the world-famous Silverstone track in Northamptonshire. It’s been six years since a Brit took the top spot on home soil, but Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to repeat his 2008 achievement when he takes to the asphalt in his Mercedes at the start of July. Pop group Kaiser Chiefs will also be taking to the stage to keep revellers occupied around the race itself.
British Formula 1 Grand Prix
Image: gochauffeur.co.uk

The Silverstone Classic – July 25-27 - Northamptonshire

Sticking with the theme of July and Northamptonshire, the Silverstone Classic will be held at the track later on in the month. The event is described by organisers as ‘the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival’, and it’s difficult to argue. Visitors can expect to see activities and displays involving cars and bikes from more than 80 years of motor sport, with a mix of classic rock bands and family entertainment completing the bill.

CarFest – August (multiple dates) – Hampshire/Cheshire

Launched by BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans in 2012, CarFest has grown significantly in the last couple of years. The event is split into two legs, with CarFest North taking place at Cheshire’s Oulton Park over the first three days of August and CarFest South set to take over Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire from August 22-24.

Both events have everything to keep petrol-heads, classic car enthusiasts and music fans entertained. Of course, the focus is on anything and everything with wheels and a motor, so expect to see hill climbs, showcases and displays involving vehicles from across the ages. Revellers will get to enjoy the work of musicians from across the ages too, as bluesman Seasick Steve and pop pioneers Erasure have been booked for both events.

Supercar Showdown – August 25 – Hampshire

Posters of supercars have filled the walls of teenage (and adult) bedrooms for decades. There’s something about over-the-top and almost unreachable nature of these vehicles that makes them irresistible for most people – however enthusiastic they are about motoring. This year, August’s bank holiday Monday (25th) will see the grounds of Beaulieu taken over by the obvious likes of Ferrari, Bugatti, McLaren and Lamborghini, as well as Pagani, Noble, TVR and Ford.

The grounds’ demonstration run will take centre stage as the cars are shown off in sight and sound to the crowds of spectators. The day will come to a close just after 3:00pm with a ‘best in show’ display at Palace House.
Supercar Showdown
Image: carguychronicles.com

2014 Moto GP British Grand Prix – August 29-31 – Northamptonshire

Just less than two months after the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Silverstone will once again welcome some of the world’s fastest racers, but this time they’ll be on two wheels instead of four. The Moto GP has been held at the Northamptonshire circuit since 2009 when it took over from Donington to begin its second stint as host; its first stretch was from 1977-1987. We’re only in the early stages of the season but newcomer Marc Marquez is already tussling with veteran Italian Valentino Rossi for glory – who knows where they’ll be when the British stage rolls around.

FIA European Drag Racing Championships (finals) – September 4-7 – Bedfordshire

The final stage of the adrenaline-fuelled FIA European Drag Racing Championships will take place at Bedford’s Santa Pod Raceway at the start of September. Expect a weekend of horsepower and roaring engines as almost 300 teams from across the continent go head to head on the straight. Both bikes and cars will be present, with some of the fastest vehicles reaching speeds as high as 300mph. The European contests will also run alongside the domestic competition, where the best drivers and riders from across the UK will battle it out for glory. This is perhaps about as fast and furious as the British motoring calendar gets.

The Goodwood Revival – September 12-14 - West Sussex

After a glorious few months of full-throttle action, what better way to wind down than with a weekend of motoring nostalgia? The Goodwood Revival offers just that, with cars and bikes from the 40s, 50s and 60s turning back the time on the famous West Sussex track as thousands of spectators look on. This year, guests will get to brush shoulders with an A-list cast from the racing world, with Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Derek Bell and Richard Attwood all set to appear.
Goodwood Revival
Image: theguardian.com

The organisers go all out every year to ensure the atmosphere is authentic as possible. Attendees are encouraged to get into the spirit, with fashion and music playing a big part of the proceedings. There isn’t a dress code as such, unless of course you want to enter the prestigious paddock area.

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