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The Birkett Six-Hour Relay Race

The UK's largest annual motor race will return for its 70th anniversary running on October 24th 2020. Offering six hours of unbeatable racing on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in a relay format, the Birkett usually sees a capacity grids of 70 teams and more than 300 cars and drivers, so don't miss out this year - entry packs will be available in June/July.

The last bastion of British motorsport; and the traditional close to the club racing season, this unique event has a concept and a tradition all of its own. 'The Birkett' is a the iconic end of season fun to many but also a challenge to the competitive instincts of many racing drivers and the strategic wiles of a few team managers.

Dating back to 1951, the race was the brainchild of one of the 750 Motor Club’s founder members – Holland 'Holly' Birkett. Following his death the event was subsequently renamed in honour of the Club President. 2019 will represent the 68th anniversary of the six-hour race event and, just to confuse things, the 69th Birkett event – the 50th anniversary was celebrated with an extra one–off 12 Hour Birkett race.

The race is held today on the full Silverstone GP circuit and as a result can accommodate up to 70 teams of between three and six drivers and between three and six cars competing in a unique relay race format. Each team has to lap the circuit as many times as they can within the six hours, with only one of their team cars running at any one time. As one comes into the pit lane, the next can be dispatched out onto the circuit. Entry is restricted to anything closed wheel (exc. some historics) this means an eclectic mix of vehicles can be on track, everything from 1960’s MG Midgets to BMW M3s, Smart cars, TCR cars, Austin A30s, hordes of Caterham derivatives and modern sports racing cars such as Radicals and Spires.

The event is really two events in one. In addition to trying to win outright 'Scratch Victory' by recording the highest number of laps there is also the more hotly contested 'Handicap 'Victory', which in theory could be won by any of the teams. Each team is credited with a certain number of credit laps, presumed to have been run before the race started. The results are then calculated from the credit laps and the actual laps covered by each team in the six hours to see who has beaten the rest (and the handicapper). In addition to overall scratch and handicap awards, there are a number of class prize to ensure all teams have a chance of silverware.

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