Entries open for Guild Big Day Out 2023

The Guild of Motoring Writers Big Day Out makes its return to Castle Combe circuit next month (writes Simon Harris), and entries are now open for members to spend a day on track.

Entries for the event on Wednesday 26th April will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and are primarily for Guild members. Any guest drivers they wish to nominate will be placed on a reserve list to fill places left vacant by member-drivers.

Entry forms can be obtained from John Griffiths and must be completed and returned by 14th April. The entry fee for Guild drivers on this strictly no-profit event is £50, guest drivers £75 and passengers £15.

The event is sponsored once again by Suzuki GB, and we are grateful to Alun Parry for his continued support. A number of Suzuki cars will be available for testing on the roads in the area in downtime between drivers’ circuit slots. Honda will also bring three test cars to the event for road driving, and has kindly offered to pay for attendee breakfasts in the circuit café.

At the end of the event, all participants are invited to tea at nearby Middlewick, home of Guild president Nick Mason.

There is a need to streamline administration at the circuit on the day, with one of the most time-consuming problems being non-signing of the mandatory safety disclaimer forms required by the circuit.

Therefore, from this year Guild drivers should now ensure that they email copies of the disclaimer form attached alongside their entry forms to ANY guest drivers they wish to nominate and intending passengers. They should return the completed forms directly to John Griffiths.

Only those who have supplied completed disclaimers, whether drivers or passengers, will receive wristbands allowing them on track.

Castle Combe allows a maximum of 12 cars on track in any one session. To allow all participants to have adequate track time (2 x 15 mins in morning, 2 x 15 mins afternoon plus two ‘free’ sessions at end of play) the total number of drivers is limited to 60.

All participants should note that Guild members really do have first call on these places, and that only if driving slots remain vacant can Guild members’ guest drivers be accommodated. (Past experience, however, suggests that such places are likely to be available and guest drivers and passengers will be heartily welcomed.)

It is inevitable that some entrants may wish to make changes/substitutions as the day itself draws near. The admin team will do their utmost to accommodate, as in the past, but we do request they be minimised. Entrants may also enter more than one car, subject to spaces being available.

Final instructions will be issued immediately after the close of entries. They will cover timings, noise testing (under 100dB), the mandatory safety briefing, refreshment arrangements and other relevant details.

Please note that the circuit paddock will close at 6pm on the evening before the event and motorhomes/trailers are welcome to occupy it overnight, as per a normal pre-race meeting evening. At 6pm, however, the circuit gates will be locked, no ifs or buts.

Be advised that four hotels are within easy or relatively easy reach of the circuit: Travelodge (M5 services) and Premier Inn, Chippenham (both modestly priced); Castle Hotel and Manor House Hotel, both in Castle Combe itself (and more credit card-melting). Previously Chris Adamson has also organised a group dinner at the Premier Inn’s Brewers Fayre and this can be continued if there is enough demand. Please give an indication when returning your entry form.

We look forward to seeing many of you at this extremely popular annual event.