Revived speed trials see visitor numbers double

Some of the vintage machines lining up for their run up the hill at Syston at the weekend. Photo: Andrew Napier. EMN-170829-134925001
Some of the vintage machines lining up for their run up the hill at Syston at the weekend. Photo: Andrew Napier. EMN-170829-134925001

The revival of a Sleaford area pre-war motorsport venue saw visitor numbers double at its annual hill-climb event on Sunday.

The Syston Park Speed Trials are now in their third year on the site of Britain’s first road racing circuit.

Entrants on four and two wheels at the bottom of the hill for Syston Park Speed Trials. Photo: Andrew Napier. EMN-170829-134723001

Entrants on four and two wheels at the bottom of the hill for Syston Park Speed Trials. Photo: Andrew Napier. EMN-170829-134723001

The event was re-established by a group of enthusiasts led by Richard Powell and Will Bicknell.

Mr Powell said: “Some of the greatest pre-war racing drivers either raced here or were inspired by this track.”

In their research they found evidence that local legend Raymond Mays used it for testing.

Racing started at Syston Park, between Sleaford and Grantham, in 1906 with a hill climb and that is the revived format taken by the ticket-only event.

Mr Bicknell said: “We had a fantastic day, glorious weather and an amazing selection of cars - some that were originally here or would have been eligible to race here and a whole bunch of other stuff in the classic car park.”

They had 110 cars and motorbikes dating from 1906 to 1939 racing with another 100 vehicles on show ranging up to modern classics. Apart from a few breakdowns, everything went smoothly.

“Some of the drivers were really giving it some,” Will said. “Speed is not what it is all about, it is the sights, smells and atmosphere.”

He added: “Our first year was a private party and started off small, but it has grown to about double from last year. We are quite keen to keep it a relatively small, friendly event.”

Will believed they would continue to run it next year, saying: “We are just a group of volunteers, but came away really buzzing.”