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”