Second-ever Motofest plays host to a dazzling array of road and race cars, many of which took to the event's 1.5-mile street circuit
1 June 2015

An array of classic, racing and rally cars tackled the 1.5-mile temporary street circuit at Coventry's Motofest, which took place between 29 and 31 May.

Motofest festival director James Noble said:  "Motofest 2015 was bigger and better than ever this year, and with the sprint circuit, demonstration events and parades, static displays and live motorsport arena, it's a fantastic celebration of the city's motoring heritage."

British Touring Car Championship driver Rob Austin put his Audi A4 touring car through its paces, while seven teams from the Renault Clio Cup series were also in attendance, including Lichfield-based local driver Ant Whorton-Eales, who currently leads the Clio Cup championship.

A pan-European club called Slowly Sideways showcased a variety of Group B rally cars around the city's ring road. The Rover BRM gas turbine race car - the first gas turbine car to compete at the Le Mans 24-hour race - also appeared on Coventry's ring road. This marked the first time it has been run in more than 50 years, since it was road tested in the city back in the early 1960s.

Other highlights during the three-day motoring festival included the Falken Tyre UK drift team doing demonstration laps of the course, parades of classic Jaguar race cars, and displays of myriad privately owned classic cars. Several manufacturers, including Peugeot and Land Rover, were also in attendance, and there were many activities for the visiting public to get involved with.

Key to the event's appeal was the opportunity for visitors to get up close and personal with the cars, with few barriers or viewing restrictions. The closed section of the ring road also allowed the cars to be run, so they could be seen and heard in action.

The 1.5-mile long temporary street circuit took in a section of the ring road beginning just before the slip road on Junction 6, before heading all the way down to Junction 4 and then returning back to finish at Junction 6. The circuit’s official start line will begin at the slip road just before Junction 6, setting off into the new Friargate tunnel.

On the circuit, drivers negotiated chicanes before heading under Junction 5 toward the London Road before looping back on themselves back toward Junction 5, again negotiating chicanes before taking the finish line just before the new Friargate tunnel back at Junction 6.

A paddock was created on the ring road itself underneath Junction 8 at Holyhead Road, with a ‘turn around’ created by city engineers in the central reservation. The track also featured a series of crash barriers and marshal points, along with various viewing areas and spectator zones around the route.

The three-day festival, which is now in its second year, was free to attend.

Additional reporting by Lewis Kingston

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Comments
3

1 June 2015
I went along to this on Saturday, a great day out and very well organised; well done to all concerned. Quite bizarre to see a top-fuel dragster burning out on the Coventry ring-road! Free to walk around, and able to get up close to all manner of exotic cars, including the famous Jaguar XJ13 and the 1988 XJR-9 Silk Cut Le Mans cars.

1 June 2015
What this country used to have ! Such a choice of British cars that have been lost. I will NEVER forgive the management of Rover etc for letting all this go. I would still like to be able to buy a MG or Rover or Triumph or the other makes that have died. ....And I mean built in this country. If we had kept the industry going, maybe Exports would be in a better state. I know some names live on, but owned by other countries. It is a shame.....

1 June 2015
I notice that the metallic blue XJS has a rear hatch rather than a bootlid. I wonder who did the conversion? Was it Lynx, who produced the Eventer estate version, or someone else? I found some more images online of, possibly, the same car (without the personal plate). Unfortunately, I can't post the urls because the Autocar website thinks I'm posting spam! Anyway, if you Google "Jaguar XJS hatchback" you'll find them easily. It looks to be a very professional conversion job, and a lovely car.

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