The Watergate Bay Sprint returns for 2022 with hundreds of cars competing against the clock for the best time. With 220 race entries selling out within a day of opening, and a list of reserves waiting, this year's event is set to be thrilling weekend of high-speed action. Spectators can buy tickets and watch the action, whilst getting up close to the race cars and soaking up the festival style action.
The event first ran in 2018 and has grown year on year. Last year, the course started near Trevelgue tackling the road towards Watergate Bay, with a fast and flowing section mixed with a technical element including a tight 90-left turn before the finish.
This year sees the course increase to 900 metres, up 80 metres from last year’s inaugural running of the Sprint course.
Hailed as one of the best motorsport events of the year by spectators and competitors as over 100 cars blasted along the B3267 coast road
With spectators taking advantage of views of the entire course, bumper crowds flocked to the venue to witness the racing.
Class honours and the coveted "Fasted Time of the Day" were both up for grabs. Undefeated champion from the 2019 event, Dorchester based Roney Thorne thundered his five-litre Pilbeam MP43 to the fastest time on both days. He again remains the man to beat for next year's event.
Local drivers took the honours including Liskeard's Sam Perring with the Rally Car class victory, and Matt Ewer from St Austell scooped the Modified Production Car Class win.
Several drivers were caught out by the tricky course layout. Richard Travail's BMW MINI came off the worst after impact with the protective bales during a high-speed spin in the "s" bend, with just cosmetic damage to the car as a result.
We knew the competitors and fans would enjoy the new format, but everyone has been so very enthusiastic about the Sprint style of event. We have had many comments across the weekend from people that have said it's been the best event they have done in some time. That of course is encouraging for the future
All profits were donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Watergate Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. With £11,000 being donated to date, organisers will announce this year's addition to that total in the near future.
Deputy Event Director, Dave Brenton shares his thanks to all the sponsors and backers who make the event possible. Full results can be found below.
Coupled with stunning weather in the county, spectators headed to the motorsport extravaganza in their droves.
This year's fastest lap time was from Dorchester based Rodney Thorne who thundered his powerful five-litre Pilbeam MP43 to the fastest time on both days. A time of 31.27sec on Saturday and going slightly better on Sunday with a 30.63sec, ensuring he will be the man to beat for next year’s event.
Jointly organised by Newquay Auto Club, Plymouth Motor Club and Truro and District Motor Club, the Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb in 2018 was the first hillclimb to take place since the passing of a Parliamentary law enabled timed motorsport events to take place on closed public roads.
This year the race will have some exciting changes. Thanks to approval from Motorsport UK, the governing body for the sport in the country, the challenging course will wind 850 metres along the B3276 coast road between Padstow and Newquay, an extension of 130 metres from its original length.
There will be a wide range of cars competing throughout the weekend, divided into 12 classes. Standard road going cars to highly modified racers and rally cars.
Spectators will be able to get a better view of the action thanks to a change in the location of the paddock and trade areas. Motorsport fans will be able to see much more of the hill and have full access to the paddock.
Last year, there was success for local crews on both days with Tavistock’s Doug Bennett taking the opening fastest time on the Saturday event in his powerful Sylva Striker kit-car, whilst Chard-based Stewart Lillington took his Radical SR4 kit-car, to the quickest run on Sunday.
The event will also be the figurehead of Cornwall Motorsport Month which takes place throughout September. The county has a rich heritage of motorsport activities throughout the year. The campaign is supported by Motorsport UK and Visit Cornwall and has been created to highlight the region as a prime destination for both tourism and motorsport.
The inaugural running of the Watergate Bay Hillclimb took place in 2018 and was dubbed a huge success after attracting a capacity entry and raising over £6,000 for the local charities Cornwall Air Ambulance and Cornwall Food Foundation. The event also donated on 2019.
Full list of entries can be found here.