Re-scheduled owing to treacherous conditions prior to the original April 7th race date, blessedly warm sunshine greeted the competitors for the much-anticipated re-run of an event that original took place in 1946 and 1947! So on Saturday June 9th dozens of competitors both old and new brought along a variety of pre- and post 1960s machinery for what sponsor and co-organiser Jeremy Holden rightly referred to as a ‘grand old scramble’ on private land at Bringsty, just off the A44 outside Bromyard.
The course itself was a challenging mixture of tight, dusty off-camber corners, fast, open straights, steep hills and boggy water-splashes, all-in-all a mile long with plenty of opportunities for spectators to get up close and personal to the action, which along with ample catering and plenty of parking made it very much a great family day out.
The programme itself was divided into heats for three different classes, namely Pre- 1960, Pre-74 and Twinshocks and saw some very close racing amongst entrants from both far and wide including 21 year-old Alastair Garness (nephew of Clerk of the Course, Julian), Marcus Doughty, Andy Carter, Vincent Hale, John Britton and the ultimate winner of the Grand Prix itself, Richard Williams on Ken Bayliss’s 1967 BSA 350.
For fans of ‘grand old scramblers’ the machinery in action included several iterations of Tribsa, Jawa Metisses, BSAs, Nortons, a Tri-Greeves, some fiery Maico and Husqvarna 2-strokes and even a couple of recently restored Suzuki PEs – with the glorious aroma of Castrol-R only adding to the heady nostalgic atmosphere.
Jeremy Holden rounded off the day by, ‘thanking everyone who made this event possible, and very much looking forward to seeing its return next year.’
The original Bringsty GP was launched in 1946 when the local Herefordshire economy and people in general were trying to recover from the battering of WW2. Owing to rationed petrol and the fact that new machines and tyres were unavailable, the entrants were all mounted on older ‘bikes, indeed whatever competitors could lay their hands on, and there was a special prize in the 15 lap final for ‘the best performance on road tyres’!
This year’s event was run over much the same land, now privately owned, on which the original 1-1/4 miles course took place and was held in conjunction with the Cotswold Youth MotoX Club and Bromyard Speed Festival.