Ex-Top Gear presenter to stage motoring festival at 'incredibly testing' circuit (From The Advertiser Series)
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Ex-Top Gear presenter to stage motoring festival at 'incredibly testing' circuit
6:00am Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
FESTIVAL PROPOSAL: TV Presenter Steve Berry with a gathering of classic and sports cars and motorbikes at Oliver’s Mount, in Scarborough, to launch next September’s car festival
ENGLAND’s last remaining street motor racing circuit is set to host the North’s only motoring festival.
Former Top Gear presenter Steve Berry said the two-day East Coast Classic, on September 20 and 21 next year, would see cars ranging from a £300,000 Noble M600 supercar to a 1960s Ford Escort being driven around Oliver’s Mount, in Scarborough.
Mr Berry said he decided to stage the festival in North Yorkshire after falling in love with the “narrow, undulating and incredibly challenging” circuit and also to offer a chance to motoring fans in the region to attend a high quality event without having to travel hundreds of miles.
The 2.4-mile circuit, which Mr Berry describes as “narrow, undulating and incredibly challenging”, remains well known as a motorcycling track, but has not featured a major car race since a Formula Three event in 1956.
The festival will have a ‘What Makes Britain Great’ theme, and has received support from car manufacturers Vauxhall, Bentley and Jaguar, who sent new cars including the XFR-s, to a launch party for the rally.
He said the event had also been backed by Scarborough Borough Council and that the tree-lined circuit would be closed to other traffic on both days.
Mr Berry said he hoped to attract thousands of motoring fans to the circuit, which crowds of about 58,000 have lined in the past, as he attempts to recreate the atmosphere of Goodwood Festival of Speed, in Sussex.
He said: “Oliver’s Mount is a hidden gem, which the modern world hasn’t touched. The only place like it is the Isle of Man TT course.
“You could drive a 1950s car on this course and if somebody took your picture, you could be in the 1950s.
Mr Berry said the details of the festival had not been finalised, but he aimed to ensure several hours of the event would be devoted to enabling drivers of any car or ability to test themselves on the circuit.
He said: “I am urging people not to just come and watch, but to come and drive on the circuit.”
It is also hoped to mark the 50th anniversary of Mods and Rockers holding rallies at Scarborough and clashing at seaside resorts, by staging a 1960s-theme party and concert during the festival.
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