Sprint Section VMCC
Press release. Brighton Speed Trials
It is with great regret that the VMCC Sprint Section Committee announce that they will not be running the motorcycles for the foreseeable future at the Brighton Speed Trials.
The VMCC Sprint Section committee has always taken its responsibility for its riders extremely seriously. This duty of care has always been at the forefront of any decision making. This responsibility has been tested and found to be exemplary and we are not prepared to compromise on safety at any cost.
This has not been an easy decision to reach and there are many factors that have led to this. It has to be remembered that motorcycles are at the invitation of B&HMC to compete at the Brighton Speed Trials and that the road/track is prepared by B&HMC with both cars and motorcycles in mind. Ultimately the track has to meet the high standards required of both MS UK for the cars and the ACU for the motorcycles and three wheelers.
The road layout of Madeira Drive is currently not conducive for two and three wheeled motor sport without additional safety features being installed to mitigate the issues concerned.
To explain, we feel that the vastly decorated road surface (with a myriad of different colours), the additional street furniture, traffic islands, the narrowing towards Concorde 2 (the finish line) and not forgetting the Sea Lanes development on the seaward side of Madeira Drive. All of which is presently mitigated against by way of Armco, tyre walls etc. These may be proportionally safe for cars but not for motor cycles, all be it a straight-line sprint. To further mitigate for the motorcycles it would incur significant cost. This would have to be borne by the VMCC Sprint Section which we could not afford or justify.
Since the last event in September 2019, we have spent considerable time and effort fighting to get the bikes back at Brighton, but the safety of our riders is uppermost. We understand that motorcycles at speed can pose a risk in itself, that is obvious, but when those risks are increased to a level we no longer find acceptable, we have to make an uncomfortable decision.
We expect there to be some harsh comments and we are sure some of our competitors will say "It's my life, I am prepared to take the risk" but it has to be recognised that the organisers have decisions to make too. In the worst case scenario, we would have to deal with the family, face the force of law and a Coroner, as well as our own consciences'. The Sprint Section committee are not prepared to send our members and friends down a track that we have concerns about and which, ultimately, we would have to legitimise in front of a jury.
This VMCC Sprint Section has had the honour of providing the motorcycle entry for the Brighton Speed Trails for about 40 years now, for which it is truly grateful. We would like to thank Frosts Cars for their continued support of this historic event, Brighton & Hove Motor Club for their kind and continued invitation to the VMCC Sprint Section to provide the motorcycle entry.
Finally, it goes without saying that if was not for the continued support from MS UK, the ACU and their various officers on the day including Clerks of the Course, track and paddock Marshals, Medics, Fire and Breakdown crews, Timekeepers as well as members of B&HMC for giving their time so freely this event would not happen. So to you all, we the VMCC Sprint Section thank you and wish Brighton & Hove Motor Club every success for the future.
Juan Manzano. Chair. ACU Clerk of the Course.
Andy Forward. Secretary. ACU Senior Technical Official.
Bob Anderson. Treasurer.
Jayne Standing. Committee member.
Steve Standing. Committee member