The Guild of Motoring Writers Big Day Out makes its return to Castle Combe circuit in April (writes Simon Harris), and entries are now open for members to spend a day on track.
Entries for the event on Wednesday 17th 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 – although it is more than likely that we will be able to accommodate and welcome a number of guest drivers.
Entry forms can be obtained from committee member and organiser John Griffiths and must be completed and returned by 5th April (although the sooner the better!). The entry fee for Guild drivers on this strictly non-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.
Genesis Motor will also bring some test cars, and another car manufacturer has also expressed a strong interest in attending.
A voucher can be obtained free of charge when signing in at race control, entitling the holder to breakfast in the circuit cafe. At the end of the event, all participants are invited to tea at nearby Middlewick, home of Guild president Nick Mason.
As press cars will be available for driving independently of circuit sessions, it is also possible to accommodate Guild members wishing to attend solely to review the test vehicles. You must register to do this, although an attendance fee is not payable.
Indemnity forms will be signed on the day at Race Control. Only those who have completed disclaimers, whether drivers or passengers, will receive wristbands allowing them on track.
The total number of drivers allowed on the track throughout the day will be 60, split into a number of 15-minute driving slots, with up to 12 participants on the circuit at any one time.
It is likely 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: a Travelodge at the M5 services and Premier Inn, in Chippenham are both modestly priced. The Castle Hotel and Manor House Hotel, both in Castle Combe itself are more credit card-melting.
Please give an indication when returning your entry form if you are staying nearby and wish to meet other participants for dinner – we will try to put you in touch with each other nearer the time. We look forward to seeing many of you at this extremely popular annual event.