Updated: Feb 15
Everything you need to know about entering the Brighton Speed Trials (on a Motorcycle)
Each year, we get lots of people asking us “how do I enter” the annual National Brighton Speed Trials? held along Brighton’s famous Madeira Drive. So below, in a nutshell, is the answer...
“There’s no other car and motorcycle racing event quite like the Brighton Speed Trials...”
The Brighton Speed Trials is the world’s longest running Motorsport event and each year the Brighton and Hove Motor Club (who run the event) kindly invite the VMCC Sprint Section to select 70 or so motorcycles to represent the breadth of race and sprint machines throughout the decades.
“Who wouldn’t want to follow in the tyre tracks of legends like George Brown, Ernie Woods, George Brough and Francis Williams”
That means that we regularly present everything from a Vintage 1923 Zenith J.A.P that raced at Brooklands, through to much modified Classic 1970‘s Kawasaki Z1‘s up to state of the art Suzuki Hyabusa’s. If you want to see pictures of the breadth of bikes we select see our event gallery
Tips for getting a Brighton entry...
We need a way to make entries fair, so here is the way we make decisions. Priority is given first and foremost to class winners from the previous year’s event. They are guaranteed a place should they decide to enter. All previous riders are also offered the chance to submit an entry. In the years when we run other events, we also tend to prioritise entries from those who regularly sprint with the VMCC. Beyond that, if you have a machine of historical or public interest, you’re high on the list of people we’d like to see there.
“On a sunny day some 30,000 people line up to watch you race from the start line towards black rock”
A view of the 20 - 30,000 Strong brighton speed trials crowd on a sunny day
If this sounds a little picky, its only because the Speed Trials is a public event where we have an obligation to put on a good show of machines that appeal to the 20 to 30,000 people who come to watch and mingle among competitors in the open paddock.
We always try hard to have a mix of motorcycles though, so if you think you’ve got something interesting or a bit different, then do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!
1930‘s Rudge Sprinter Leaving the start line
“On 1 side you’ll have 60,000 eyes looking at your every move, on the other there’s nowt but the sea”
Finally, please do be aware that we’ll also take into consideration whether or not you’ve got some form of racing experience. Brighton may not be the fearsome Kilometer long track it once was (running dual lanes) but, there are risks associated with all motorsport.
Madeira Drive is a public highway 364 days of the year and even though the organisers take event specific safety measures, it’s not the place to be having your first ride!
We may ask riders who are unknown to us to provide evidence of previous sprinting or motorsport experience.
Alan Tinnion giving his Yamaha a little too much stick off the line!
Perhaps all that’s left to ask is why would you want to enter? Unlike other sprints, there’s barely any parking, the sprint paddock is about as far away from the start line as you can get and, on top of that, you’ll get just 3 goes up the 1/4 mile track!
So, is it worth traveling half way down or across the country for less than a mile of riding? - You bet it is, and it’s why we regularly have competitors from mainland Europe make the journey to Madeira Drive.
The Brighton Speed Trials is an event like no other, on one side you’ll have 60,000 eyes looking down on your every move (so you’ll be trying to avoid a bad start or a missed gear) and on the other you have nothing but the beach and the sea.
Couple that with the good weather we tend to get in early September and the history of Britain’s oldest motorsport event and you’ve got a thousand and one reasons why there’s often more people than we can accommodate entering.
George Brown and unknown rider - Brighton Speed Trials in the 1960’s
Which motorcycle rider wouldn’t want to follow in the tyre tracks of legends like George Brown, Ernie Woods, George Brough and Francis Williams.
A good days racing at Brighton is a joy that is unsurpassed for any sprinter.
There is one last piece of advice. Entries for the speed trials are opened (and indeed closed) in a short window of time between early June to late July each year. If you'd like to be notified when they become available, then visit the link below to register your interest.
REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN RIDING IN THE BRIGHTON SPED TRIALS: CLICK HERE
Alternatively, if you’d like to be sent physical entry forms, please send a large stamped addressed envelope to the following address:
Mr. Juan Manzano
Event Secretary Brighton Speed Trials
VMCC Sprint Section
C/O 31 Turners Avenue
For the reasons above, we can’t guarantee all entrants a ride but we really do try to be fair to all who want a ride.
We hope this article makes it somewhat clearer with regards to what it takes to actually enter the Brighton Speed Trials.
You may have to wait a year or so to get an entry accepted, but it will be worth the wait to ride in this one of a kind speed event.
Getting a car entry for the Brighton Speed Trials
PS: If you wish to enter a car - Please be aware that ALL 4 wheel entries are organised solely by our friends at Brighton & Hove Motor Club