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Information about the Club
Torbay Motor Club was originally formed in 1950, and currently has around 400 members from all over the Country, and exists to promote interest in motorsport throughout the Torbay and surrounding area. To this end it’s central committee and sub-committees organise and run several motorsport events throughout the year in and around Torbay.
In 1997 Torbay Motor Club was awarded the coveted title of “Club of The Year” by Bradstock Insurance and the RAC Motor Sports Association. After coming 3rd in 1996 it was a great honour for the membership to receive the ultimate accolade of number one Motor Club in the country for 1997. To add to this tremendous achievement the Club has been 1st for the past 5 seasons in the Association of South Western Motor Clubs Club Championship and has won the award for Best Road Rally in 1997 and 1998.
Club motorsport takes a great many forms and costs vary accordingly, but the club works to promote as broad a spectrum as possible in order to suit all tastes and budgets. Anyone wishing to have a bit of fun in their ordinary road car without fear of damaging it or themselves are equally well catered for, as are those who have a slightly more ambitious outlook.
The club is able to guide any budding competitor or spectator to their goal with all the necessary licences and information required, and a monthly magazine and a regularly updated website keeps members informed of both national and local motorsport activities, and enables members to be as involved as much as they want to be.
The club organises ten major events each year plus numerous smaller events (12 Car Navigation Rallies, Grass Roots Championship, Treasure Hunts etc). The two most well known events are the Oddicombe Hillclimbs held in April and October at Babbacombe Downs, Torquay and the Finlake Hillclimbs held in April, September and November at Finlake Holiday Park, Chudleigh. The Finlake venue is fast becoming one of the major Hillclimb venues in the South West, it has every facility that the competitor and spectator could wish for and at the beginning of 1998 was extended by 200 yards.
In 2000 the Club also joined in a partnership along with North Devon and Plymouth Motor Clubs and Dunkeswell Kart Racing Club to promote Sprinting at Dunkeswell Kart Circuit near Honiton.
3 Championship Sprint events are held their throughout the year.
In February the club also runs their own Torbay Classic Car Trial, which is a completely different event to the Hillclimb. This event is a series of muddy and or rocky sections of unsealed public highway, linked by lengths of ordinary public roads and covering a total distance of about 65 miles with the emphasis on reaching the other end of the unsealed roads, often up very steep and rutted sections without ceasing forward motion. Speed is the last thing that counts and often cars travel at under five miles an hour in order to negotiate particularly tricky sections of the course.
No self-respecting motor club could exist without organising the occasional rally and Torbay Motor Club runs one every November. The event is held on public roads and is of the navigational variety, and not the more widely known “Special Stage” type as per the Network Q Rally. Cars run singly against the clock and have to undergo a very complicated route using Ordnance Survey maps using a set of directions written in code. Because the public highway is used, the route is meticulously planned to take advantage of only 30mph to complete the route on time, and penalties are given for being early as well as late.
New for 1998 was the Powderham Historic Rally of Devon. Once again this is of road rally type but with the added excitement of special tests, which are timed to the second and held on private land. This event is held in March, and for the year 2000 is a round of four major championships.
In addition to these major events, the club runs several more novice type events in the shape of social nights, skittles nights, treasure hunts and the very popular Grass Roots Championship.
Everyone can find a level of competition that suits them, or simply join to assist as a marshal or to keep himself or herself aware of the local and national motorsport scene.
Chief MarshalPhil Harris
Competition SecretaryRoy Sims