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Coventry MotoFest

Coventry MotoFest 2015: all you need to know

Coventry MotoFestCoventry MotoFest 2015 gets underway today (Friday 29 May) for a long weekend celebrating everything motoring.

2015 is the second year of the event and it already has a quite astounding list of attractions, including a bespoke city centre race course, BTCC and Renault Clio Cup demonstration runs, dozens of world-famous Coventry-themed heritage cars in action and gatherings of, literally, hundreds of modern and classic cars within Coventry’s infamous Monaco-style ring road.

Indeed, here’s why Coventry MotoFest 2015 is the Monaco of the Midlands…

Coventry MotoFest 2015: Monaco of the Midlands? Really?

Coventry Motofest sprint circuit plan

OK, so maybe Coventry lacks a little of the glamour of Monaco, but this isn’t stopping MotoFest 2015 organisers going all-out to put on an amazing show. The fact they’ve got the council to agree to the motoring spectacular itself is amazing – but they didn’t stop there.

See, Monaco is all about the racing – and this year, so too is MotoFest: because a special temporary ring road race course has been created especially for this event!

The 1.5-mile long circuit will run on a closed section of the Coventry Ring Road between Junction 4 and Junction 7; organisers have arranged for the closure on Saturday 30 May between 8am and 5pm.

Planned cars in action include BTCC racer Rob Austin in his Audi A4, Renault Clio Cup racers, Group B rallycar demonstrations, Jaguar Heritage and Jaguar Le Mans classics and even the BRM Rover Gas Turbine Car.

Darren Langeveld, MotoFest Race Director said the track “will provide one of the most distinctive and one-off race circuits you will see this year”.

And as if the idea of racing cars thundering through the centre of Coventry at flat-out speeds wasn’t enough, the organisers haven’t stopped there…

Coventry MotoFest 2015 Short Oval Action Arena

Falken Drift

The thing with motor racing, even flat-out motor racing on city centre ring roads normally either jammed with traffic or kept legal by police cars and speed cameras, is that it passes by rather quickly.

What you really need is a short oval arena to watch the action. Going to Coventry MotoFest 2015, you’re in luck…

The MotoFest Action Arena is a short oval circuit staged just off the ring road sprint course. Because it’s off the public roads, the council doesn’t have to worry about keeping traffic flowing through the city, so this can run on both Saturday 30 May and Sunday 31 May, between 10am and 6pm.

BTCC racer Rob Austin will be showing off his Audi A4 touring car there too, as with the Renault Clio Cup stars, other racers from the BARC series and the iconic Group B rally cars.

But MotoFest organisers have also secured the services of the Falken International Drift Team which made the recent Nurburgring 24 Hour race so exciting: believe us, if you like watching sideways cars and breathing in lots (and lots) of tyre smoke, it’s a must-see.

Likely to be similarly stylish are the Legends, the TVR Speed Championship cars and various other MotoFest invitational classes. Smartphones at the ready, be sure to visit the short oval circuit, located next to the Grosvenor Road military vehicle display between junctions 6 and 7 of the Coventry ring road.

But what else is going to be at MotoFest 2015?

Coventry MotoFest 2015 map

Coventry MotoFest 2015 map: click to enlarge

Coventry MotoFest organisers aim to once again turn Coventry city centre into a petrolhead’s dream, packed with vehicles from the past, present and future. It ran for the first time last year, when 70,000 fans indulged in 400 cars. This year, it’s going to be bigger still.

Within the ring road live action arena, a welter of special events will be held. The Top Gear Experience Racing Aces will be in action, there’ll be Scalextric, diecast cars, a French Connection vehicle display, the latest from Coventry University Transport Design Degree Show, a Land Rover experience showcase, cool exhibits from the Heritage Motor Centre and plenty more.

The Triumph 1300 and Dolomite’s 50th birthday will be celebrated alongside hundreds of other classic cars, some Ikea-themed family fun will keen the kids busy and street food stands will keep everyone fed. Don’t feel left out if you’re into two wheels either; there’s a display of classic bikes and scooters next to the Jaguar Heritage stand.

The MotoFest Jaguar world debut car

Jaguar FTYPE Bloodhound

Jaguar will even launch a brand new car at MotoFest 2015 – the F-Type R AWD Bloodhound SSC Rapid Response Vehicle, which celebrates the firm’s association with the world land speed record-chasing Bloodhounds SSC team.

Jaguar is a technical partner of Bloodhound SSC, and its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine powers the fuel pump for Bloodhound SSC’s rockets. It’s celebrating this over MotoFest with the one-off F-Type RRV, which will be one of the Jaguar cars supporting the 1,000mph attempt.

Set to run on the sprint course on both Saturday and Sunday, the special Jaguar wears a Jaguar Design custom livery and has been created by the firm’s Special Vehicle Operations division, located just up the road off the A45 in Coventry.

It’s a genuine home-grown machine then – as indeed is the Jaguar brand itself, which is why Jaguar Heritage will be out in force with a historic cavalcade.

Again set to run on Saturday and Sunday, the Jaguar classic car display will include a 1956 D-type Long Nose and 1966’s one-off XJ13 (and your writer himself is due to drive the XJ13 on Saturday – no pressure!).

Jaguar will also run a 1974 Group 44 E-type, 1976 Broadspeed XJ13 Coupe and the amazing 1988 Le Mans-winning XJR-9.

MotoFest 2015 housekeeping: where, when, how much?

Coventry MotoFest

Coventry MotoFest 2015 begins today (Friday 29 May) and runs until Sunday 31 May. It’s mostly contained within the Coventry ring road, taking over the city centre with special displays throughout.

Hundreds of classic cars from dozens of classic car clubs are going to be on show, and those owning a pre-1995 classic car are also involved to take it to Coventry on Saturday and Sunday, say the organisers: from 8am, go to the Broadgate and Salt Lane area of the city centre, heading for Little Park Street just off junction 5 (type CV1 2JZ into your sat nav).

Do note, though, parking is first come, first served.

And how much is it all? This is the best bit: it’s completely free. Simply turn up and indulge. The racing demonstrations are free, the exhibits are free, the classic displays are free. The only thing you’ll need to pay for is food and drink (A MotoFest feast, indeed) at the pop-up Ace Café. Ace.

Which roads are closed for MotoFest?

Coventry MotoFest 2015 road closures

Coventry ring road is fully closed between J4-J8 for the duration of MotoFest: see the blue-highlighted road sections within the red box above.

Other roads surrounding the ring road are also closed, or partly closed:

  • Grosvenor Road
  • Short Street
  • Westminster Road (Grosvenor Road to Warwick Road)
  • St Patrick Road (Friars Road to Cheylesmore Road)
  • Manor House Road (onto ring road)
  • Manor Road (Park Road to ring road)

Coventry MotoFest 2015: download a map

Coventry Motofest sprint circuit plan

Coventry MotoFest ring road race course revealed

Coventry Motofest sprint circuit plan

Coventry’s notorious ring road will be transformed into a unique race course this weekend as Coventry MotoFest 2015 gets underway.

A section of the ring road between junction 4 and junction 7 will be closed on Saturday 30 May to create a 1.5-mile racetrack, on which organisers will run a remarkable selection of demonstrations including a top-spec BTCC touring car!

Darren Langeveld, MotoFest Race Director said the sprint course “will provide one of the most distinctive and one-off race circuits you will see this year.

“It will provide the drivers taking part with a unique opportunity to run their cars in a urban setting and all those we have spoken to are really looking forward to it.

“For those attending MotoFest it represents a fantastic opportunity to see some world class race cars away from the traditional circuits and get close-up to the action.”

Coventry MotoFest 2015 ring road sprint course: in detail

The 1.5-mile long course begins just before the slip road at junction 6; setting off in a new Friargate tunnel, there are several chicanes along the way before the course dips beneath junction 5.

The course runs eastbound to junction 4, before again dipping under the ring road, looping round and returning back. The finish line is just before the Friargate tunnel at junction 6.

Coventry city engineers have created a brand new race paddock at junction 8 (there’s a turn around area in the central reservation!) and the entire course is lined with a series of crash barriers. Fully marshalled, there are defined spectator zones along the way (indicated by blue markings in the diagram above).

Bold plans to hold official time trial races on the sprint course have been shelved for 2015 though, after legislation from the Department for Transport failed to come through in time.

The Coventry MotoFest 2015 ring road sprint circuit will be live between 8am and 5pm on Saturday 30 May: check the MotoFest website, Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates on what’s running and when.

Jaguar F-TYPE Bloodhound SSC

Jaguar reveals F-Type R Bloodhound SSC special

Jaguar F-TYPE Bloodhound SSCJaguar will debut a new F-Type R AWD Bloodhound SSC Rapid Response Vehicle at Coventry MotoFest later this month.

The 550hp supercharged F-Type Coupe will be one of the support vehicles for the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record attempt – and actually shares an engine with Bloodhound SSC.

The 1,000mph target speed record car uses Jaguar’s 5.0-litre V8 to power its hydraulic services and power its rocket fuel oxidisers pump.

Created by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the special F-Type wears a Bloodhound SSC livery from Jaguar Design.

Jaguar is not revealing any more about the Bloodhound SSC support car at this stage though, preferring to save final details for a rare world debut in the heart of Coventry.

Coventry MotoFest 2015

Held on 30 and 31 May, Coventry MotoFest celebrates the city’s automotive heritage and will see hundreds of special cars being showcased – in action as well as on static display: organisers have, remarkably, arranged for the city’s famous ring road to be closed off for high-speed demonstrations over the weekend.

The Bloodhound SSC Jaguar F-Type R will thus be showcased in hot laps around the ring road during the MotoFest weekend.

Jaguar will also show cars from its heritage fleet (freshly back from Mille Miglia 2015), including:

  • 1938 SS 100
  • 1956 Jaguar D-type Long Nose
  • 1966 Jaguar XJ13
  • 1974 Jaguar E-type Group 44
  • 1976 Jaguar XJ12 Coupe Broadspeed
  • 1988 Jaguar XJR-9 Le Mans winner (in action!)

Motoring Research will be at MotoFest in force throughout the weekend, and may even get a few hot laps in some of the exhibits. Be sure to say hello if you’re there!

Coventry to become Monaco of the Midlands

Coventry to become Monaco of the Midlands

Coventry to become Monaco of the Midlands

A popular motoring event held in Coventry has been given the green light to hold motorsport time trials on the city’s ring road, following new regulations that came in earlier this year.

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