Last weekend’s thrilling Watergate Bay Sprint near Newquay has been hailed as the “biggest and best yet” as car enthusiasts and motorsport fans from across the region and beyond enjoyed an action-packed motorsport extravaganza on the North Cornwall coast [17/18 September].
From its origins as a Hillclimb in 2018, the unique closed-road event has grown in stature year-on-year and ran for the second time as a Sprint on Saturday and Sunday, with over 100 competitors each day tackling the 900-metre course which wound its way along the B3276 coast road between Newquay and Padstow.
Organised by a partnership between Devon and Cornwall motor clubs, Truro and District Motor Club, Newquay Auto Club, Plymouth Motor Club and Camel Vale Motor Club, the flagship event in South West Motorsport Month provided thousands of spectators who flocked to the venue with an exciting weekend of thrills, spill and fast-paced motor racing with the spectacular backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean watching over drivers and fans.
An extension of 80 metres from last year’s offering brought an additional twist for drivers and would once again start near Trevelgue, heading for Watergate Bay. A fast and flowing yet technical course would present a spectacular challenge for competitors from across the UK, who descended on the event to set their best time and bid for the class-based honours or the coveted time of the day.
From standard road cars with basic safety features to full-blowing racing cars, 110 cars and drivers each day battled it out in everything from an ex-Petter Solberg World Rally Championship Subaru Impreza WRC, to a Series 1 classic Morgan. Each entertaining a bumper crowd of spectators who flocked to the venue over the weekend, enjoying an impressive view of the course, range of displays, trade stands and access to the drivers and cars in the paddock.
The fight for the coveted Fastest Time of the Day Award would see Mevagissey’s Andy Williams secure the accolade on both days, hurling his impressive Westfield SE through the course in spectacular fashion to be unbeaten over the weekend.
Williams soon got to grips with the new length course, setting an impressive pace from the outset, but sealing Saturday’s win with a time of 28.34s on his third and final run of the day. The second day time also came on the final run, with 28.42s good enough to claim the trophy on Sunday.
Once again, local charities will benefit from the weekend, with profits being donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance and Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. Since 2018, Watergate Bay Motorsport has donated over £25,000 to good causes and organisers will announce this year’s addition to that total in the near future.
“This year has exceeded all our expectations and it’s been a fantastic weekend of motorsport for Cornwall and indeed the South West,” says Deputy Event Director Dave Brenton.
“As with any event of this size, there has been a huge effort to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible and the feedback from drivers and spectators has been amazing. We have a very unique offering here in Cornwall and it has captured the hearts and minds of car enthusiasts and excited spectators for miles around.“
“To see them flocking to Watergate Bay at a time when the tourist season draws to a close is great for the region and of course the Sprint. We continue to grow and develop, and we are proud to say this has been the biggest and best yet. We are very excited by what the future holds for Watergate Bay Sprint and would like to extend our thanks to all the sponsors and backers that have made the event possible”
The B3276 coast road between Newquay and Padstow will echo to the sound of race car engines this weekend as the impressive Watergate Bay Sprint [17/18 September] makes a welcome return to the North Cornwall coast.
The unique motorsport event, held near Watergate Bay will see an impressive array of cars and drivers from across the UK head for the popular closed-road offering, racing against the clock in a variety of machinery in a bid to take class honours or the coveted Fastest Time of the Day Award.
The bumper entry list of around 110 cars each day boasts everything from standard road cars to full-blown race cars as competitors take part in the now annual event which is organised and promoted by a partnership between Truro and District Motor Club, Plymouth Motor Club, Newquay Auto Club and Camel Vale Motor Club.
Once again, local charities will benefit from the weekend’s activities, as profits will be donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance and Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club with £27,000 already being donated to good causes since the inaugural event in 2018.
Running as a Hillclimb in 2018 and starting from Watergate Bay itself, the event was the first closed-road motorsport event to take advantage of the passing of parliamentary law in England, which enabled roads to close for competitive motorsport.
It would then switch to a Sprint in 2021, starting on the Newquay side of the B3276 at Trevelgue with cars tackling the road towards Watergate Bay offering a fast and flowing section mixed with a technical element that includes a tight ‘90-left’ turn before powering towards the finish.
In 2022, the course will see an extension to 900 metres, offering a new challenge to those returning for a second year and an exciting target for competitors making their debut at the venue.
Crowds flocked to the venue last September and organisers have once again ensured a superb viewing location, with access to the paddock included to enable fans to get up close to the cars and drivers.
A substantial trade display area offers plenty to see and do during the weekend discounted advanced tickets are available until Thursday 15th September at 11.45 pm. They cost £10 per day for adults saving up to £4 on the weekend gate price with those under fourteen going free. Tickets will still be available at the gate.
To purchase advanced tickets and find out more, click: HERE
The action will start from 9.30 am on each day and the spectator car park must be accessed by travelling along the B3276 from the Newquay Airport side – Watergate Bay. Car parking is available at a discounted rate of just £3.50 per day [cash only].
Road closure times are 06:00 to 18:00 on the 17th and 18th September.
Click HERE for a Diversion Map/Route.
More information can be found here:
You can catch up with all the latest news from the event on its social media feeds
The sensational Watergate Bay Sprint will return to the British motorsport calendar this September [17/18] as the breathtaking closed-road event announces further details on its 2022 offering.
The unique event, held near Watergate Bay, uses the B3276 coast road between Newquay and Padstow, with competitors from across the UK racing against the clock in a huge variety of motorsport machinery, in a bid to secure the coveted fastest time of the day and class-based honours.
And with entries opening on Sunday [24 July], the list is already bulging with cars and drivers all eager to sample this now annual event, with its stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and Cornwall’s picturesque offering an equally encouraging draw. A maximum of 220 competitors can take part in the two-day event, and at the time of writing, organisers have confirmed a reserve list is now being created.
Organised and promoted by a partnership between Truro and District Motor Club, Plymouth Motor Club, Newquay Auto Club and Camel Vale Motor Club, the thrilling weekend of high-speed action on the North Cornwall coast will see a new look this year as the event has been granted permission by the sport’s governing body, Motorsport UK, to increase the course length to 900 metres, up 80 metres from last year’s inaugural running of the Sprint course.
Running as a Hillclimb in 2018 and starting from Watergate Bay itself, the event was the first closed-road motorsport event to take advantage of the passing of parliamentary law in England, which enabled roads to close for motorsport.
It would then switch to a Sprint in 2021, starting on the Newquay side of the B3276 at Trevelgue and cars will tackle the road towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section mixed with a technical element that includes a tight ‘90-left’ turn before powering towards the finish.
Crowds flocked to the venue last September and organisers have once again ensured superb viewing along the course, with access to the paddock, display area and spectator area which will all be located together.
Access to the drivers and cars throughout the day is all possible and discounted advanced tickets are now on sale at £10 per day for adults, saving up to £4 on the weekend gate price with those under fourteen going free.
“We are extremely excited to see the response so far to this year’s Watergate Bay Sprint,” says Event Director Roger Hargreaves.
“Our aim undoubtedly is to build on our success from previous events and to have an almost full entry within a few hours of opening is very encouraging and means all those spectators who attend will be in for a real treat. It’s great to have closed-road motorsport in Cornwall and we continue to go from strength to strength. Of course, our beautiful region is well-known as a tourist destination but it is rapidly being known as a popular motorsport haven too and we can’t wait to see everyone at the Sprint in September”.
Watergate Sprint will also continue to donate profits to local charities, Cornwall Air Ambulance and Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, with £27,000 being donated to good causes since its inception in 2018.
To purchase advanced tickets and find out more, click: HERE
More information can be found here:
You can catch up with all the latest news from the event on its social media feeds:
The exciting Watergate Sprint near Newquay in Cornwall has been hailed as one of the best motorsport events of the year by spectators and competitors as over 100 cars blasted along the B3276 coast road last weekend (18/19 September) in a new-look to the unique closed-road event.
First run in 2018, the event has grown in stature year on year and had previously run as a Hillclimb, winding its way up the ascent from Watergate Bay. The Truro and District Motor Club, Newquay Auto Club and Plymouth Motor Club organised event was forced to change its format due to proposed works in the bay and the flagship event would see a new look for its 2021 return.
The all-new 820-metre course started near Trevelgue and headed towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section mixed with a technical element that included a tight ‘90-left’ turn before the finish, challenging even the most experienced competitors.
Drivers from across the UK flocked to the region in a wide variety of machines which included almost standard road cars, to fully modified racers, all eager to sample the new layout and stamp their mark at the top of the timesheets for their respective classes.
Spectators were able to take advantage of the new format as the new track offered unrivalled views of the entire course with bumper crowds flocking to the venue to witness the racing. The on-track action was scintillating all weekend and coupled with a range of displays, trade stands and access to the drivers and cars in the paddock, there was something to entertain the entire family.
The Sprint would mean that not only were class honours all to play for, but the coveted “Fastest Time of the Day” was also up for grabs, and it was a familiar name who took the accolade. Dorchester based Rodney Thorne thundered his powerful five-litre Pilbeam MP43 to the fastest time on both days of the event adding to his 2019 victory on the hillclimb layout.
Thorne grappled with the raucous machine to take a with a time of 24.71sec on Saturday and was equally never headed on the Sunday’s runs with a 24.87sec over the course, ensuring he remains the man to beat for next year’s event.
Class awards were given for both days, with some local drivers taking the honours. Liskeard’s Sam Perring taking the Rally Car class victory as Matt Ewer from St Austell scooped the Modified Production Car Class win.
The event wasn’t without its drama, however, as several drivers were caught out by the tricky course layout. Richard Travail’s BMW MINI came off the worst during the weekend after an impact with the protective bales was caused by a high-speed spin in the “s” bend, with just cosmetic damage to the car as the result.
Local charities will also be able to benefit from the weekend, with all profits being donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. With £11,000 being donated to date, organisers will announce this year’s addition to that total in the near future.
“We are delighted with how the weekend has gone and all the feedback we have had has been sensational,” says Deputy Event Director Dave Brenton.
“Despite having run the hillclimb for two years, we almost had to press the reset button and start from scratch, so it’s been a huge effort from the team to get the Sprint off the ground this year. We knew the competitors and fans would enjoy the new format, but everyone has been so very enthusiastic about the Sprint style of event. We have had many comments across the weekend from people that have said it’s been the best event they have done in some time. That of course is encouraging for the future.”
“We would like to extend our thanks to all the sponsors and backers that have made the event possible and look forward to seeing what 2022 holds.”
More information and full results (available shortly) can be found here:
https://www.watergatebaymotorsport.co.uk/spectators/You can catch up with all the latest news from the event on its social media feedshttp://www.twitter.com/watergatehill
The exciting Watergate Sprint closed-road motorsport weekend enjoyed a welcome boost this week as it was granted its track permit from the sport’s governing body, Motorsport UK.
The ground-breaking Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb which first ran in 2018, was forced to switch format this year, due to building works taking place in Watergate bay itself during September. Switching from its traditional Hillclimb, the event has been revamped in 2021, re-launching as Watergate Sprint.
Scheduled to take place on 18th and 19th September, the popular closed-road event will see competitors tackle the B3276 coast road between Newquay and Padstow, starting near Trevelgue, with an 820-metre course in store for the estimated 100 competitors on both days of the event.
Obtaining the fully ratified Track Licence from Motorsport UK has enabled organisers from the three promoting motor clubs, Truro and District Motor Club, Plymouth Motor Club and Newquay Auto Club to push ahead with plans for the event, with regulations now set to be released on July 18th with entries opening on the on 25th of the month.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Event Director Roger Hargreaves is positive about this year’s motorsport carnival weekend on the North Cornwall coast.
“It’s a major step forward for the organisers that we now have the full track licence from Motorsport UK, meaning we can really push ahead with the very first Watergate Sprint,” he says.
“They have fully approved the safety measures we have in place and also the layout of the track itself, so now we know exactly what we are working towards. We are now in a position to announce that regulations will be available on 18th July and we will be able to open entries on 25th July. We would encourage our competitors to enter early as we anticipate demand to be extremely high once again this year.”
The all-new course will start on the Newquay side of the B3276 coast road at Trevelgue and cars will tackle the road towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section mixed with a technical element that includes a tight 90-left turn before the finish. The paddock, trade and display area and spectator viewing will all be located together, offering the perfect motorsport weekend for fans and competitors.
Watergate Sprint will also continue to donate profits to local charities, Cornwall Air Ambulance and Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.
More information on the event will be released closer to the time.
Image: Livelight Photography
The ground-breaking Cornish motorsport event Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb will be re-vamped in 2021, re-launching as Watergate Sprint.
Scheduled to take place on 18th and 19th September, the popular closed-road event will see a new look for 2021 as it changes from the previous Hillclimb format to utilise a different section of the B3276 coast road between Padstow and Newquay.
With building works scheduled to take place in Watergate Bay itself during September, the lack of suitable start and car parking at the base of the course has meant that the traditional hillclimb format would not be able to go ahead as planned in 2021.
However, the forward-thinking organising team from the three promoting motor clubs, Truro and District Motor Club, Plymouth Motor Club and Newquay Auto Club moved quickly to seek an alternative format, creating the Watergate Sprint which will see the coastal road surrounding the traditional Boardmasters venue play host to around 100 cars and competitors tackling the new course against the clock.
First run in 2018, the Newquay based event became the first hillclimb in the country to take advantage of new legislation allowing public roads to be closed for motorsport. Attracting a bumper entry of over 100 drivers each year, the event has drawn significant interest from motoring fans and competitors across the UK, bringing many enthusiasts to the region as the traditional tourist season ends in the county. The event has also raised over £11,000 for Cornish charities.
Despite the format change, event organiser Roger Hargreaves believes Watergate Sprint will offer competitors and motorsport fans another fantastic weekend of action.
“Of course we are disappointed that we are unable to run the Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb again, especially as we were forced to cancel in 2020 due to COVID-19,” he says.
“We have dedicated a lot of energy into making this event happen for Cornwall over the years, it means a lot to the community and sport in the region. Whilst it was a blow to find out that the hillclimb may not happen, we were eager to find an alternative and we believe that we have come up with an event that offers something for everyone and are very excited to share our plans for September”.
In a mirror image of the Hillclimb, the course will start on the Newquay side of the B3276 coast road, at Trevelgue and cars will tackle the 820-metre sprint towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section of the road mixed with a technical element including a tight 90-left turn before the finish. The paddock, trade and display area and spectator viewing will all be located together offering the perfect motorsport weekend.
“Effectively we will run the event in exactly the same way as we ran the Hillclimb, but without the ‘hill’ element and so by definition, we have to call it a sprint” continues Hargreaves.
“We will be returning to the more traditional hillclimb format in 2022 but for this year, we are confident that it provides a great challenge for competitors as well as good viewing for spectators. That means we can continue being one of the biggest motorsport events in the South West. We would like to thank all our supporters and backers for their faith in the event and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Cornwall in September”.
Watergate Sprint will also continue to donate profits to local charities, which for 2021 have been named as Cornwall Air Ambulance and Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.
More information on the event will be released closer to the time.
Main image courtesy Livelight Photography