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Cirencester Car Club

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In 1948 Jim Loveday and Bill Stallworthy were founder members of the Cirencester Motorcycle Club. They were instrumental in getting racing going at Chedworth Aerodrome for bikes and they held several races there in the period 1948-50. Amongst the famous riders who competed were the late George Brown on his Vincent machine.

In 1950 Sir David Gamble chaired a committee, which formed the present Cirencester Car Club and incorporated the Motorcycle Club. Other founder members were Bill Stallworthy, Don Heaven (Bridges Garage), Gordon Philips (son of the late S J Philips of Kemble, Gloucestershire), Herbert Franklin, John Lampitt, Tony Broxton (Cirencester Garages) and B Nelson.

The first major event was a 400-mile rally, which went to Aberystwyth and Chester before returning to Cirencester and this was in 1953. Over the next few years the Club concentrated on this annual rally and autotesting (a driving test against time). Jim Loveday, who is still a member, and the late Phil Smith competed in a Ford Zephyr in these rallies.

During the 1960s, several Members drove autocross cars and were very successful. Charlie Todd of Oaksey was amongst those, driving an Jaguar XK150. Alan Shaw in an MG Midget, Lou Roper in a Triumph Vitesse. This culminated in the Club running the Players’ Number Six Autocross series of races for a number of years.

During the 1970s, Lord Bathurst invited the Club to run stage rallies in the Cirencester Park. These were sponsored by Arkell's Brewery and were a great success with the top national drivers competing. This was followed by the RAC asking the Club to organise a major stage on the International RAC Rally (Now known as Rally GB).

Also in the 1970s, the Club ran many fine sprint meetings at Wroughton Aerodrome near Swindon and gained a reputation for good events. Included in these were the Cirbat Road Rally organised with the Bath Motor Club and production car trials.

Some of the Members, led by Jim Loveday became involved in circuit racing and competed at national level for quite some years. Amongst these were David Huck, Chris Merrick and Bunny Lees-Smith.

Rally marshalling and organisation was a strong interest, led by Don Lawrence and Paul Lawrence who were stalwarts of the club at that time.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Stage Rallies were run each year at Down Ampney and Kemble attracting entries from all over the country, with some of the finest drivers in the land competing in these Championship events. In 1987, the Club was permitted the use of RAF South Cerney Airfield and returned to running major sprint events.

In 1989, the Club supported Martin Saunders (the present Chairman) in his attempt at the Lombard RAC Rally, co-driving for London’s Barry Sugondo in a GRP A Toyota Corolla. This is the first time a Club member had represented the Club at World Championship level a feat he has since repeated some nine times.

In the 1990s, the Club continued to run occasional stage rallies at Kemble Airfield and Down Ampney venues, as well as sprints at the re-opened RAF Wroughton Airfield and RAF South Cerney.

In 2002, the Club celebrated its 50th anniversary with a grand day at the Royal Agricultural College and an Anniversary Run in the Cotswolds, attended by many former members.

Into the 21st Century and the Club continues with its grass roots Motorsports events (12 car navigational events, Summer Series Driving Tests, treasure hunts, scatters, touring assemblies, economy runs and social events) with members competing at all levels and most disciplines.

In 2006, The car club held its first "Motorsport Weekend", this will become a yearly event.[1]

References

Cirencester Car Club Wikipedia


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