Spotlight on off season fun at Mallory Park

The off season can seem a long drag when you spend most of your weekends trackside from March to October, but there are one or two events that are welcome little gems in the cold winter months, one such being the VSCC’s Pomeroy Trophy that takes place this weekend at Silverstone, their first event of the year, and another is the Plum Pudding Races at Leicestershire’s Mallory Park, which took place on Boxing Day, giving a great day of on track action and a chance to blow off the Christmas cobwebs during the festive period. The event draws large crowds, enjoying some fantastic motorbike, sports car and saloon car racing.

Mallory Park is a great little circuit for spectators due to the compactness, low fencing and a feel of being close to the action. The 2018 event, was the 44th year of the fun event, putting 2 wheeled and 4 wheeled racing together. In the past sidecar racing was also included, but with low entries in the last few years, it’s sadly dropped off of the timetable.

Some of the cars on track included an eclectic array of cars from Ariel Atoms and Caterhams to an MG Midget and MGB.

While in the motorcycle races entries ranged from a Honda 125 to 1000cc Yamaha’s and Kawasaki’s. But fun is the order of the day with many riders competing while wearing Christmas themed fancy dress and a great atmosphere in the paddock adding to Mallory Parks deserved reputation as the “friendly circuit”.

Mallory Park at not even a mile and a half long is one of the shortest circuits in the UK, but is also beloved by spectators, drivers and riders alike. Originally what is now the circuit was part of the estate of Kirkby Hall, after the last occupant died the estate was sold on and as with many circuits in Britain it began life as a military base, being RAF Kirkby Mallory, a Standby Landing Ground until it’s closure in 1947. Thereafter the Hall was demolished in the early fifties with only the stable block and coach house remaining, which now partly form the circuits offices. In the late 1940’s a pony trotting track was formed in the 300 acres, and after the sale of the estate in 1953 the new owner planned to use the trotting track for horse racing. However the collapse of the Kirkby Mallory Racing Association, who were responsible for the running of the track, led to it being hired out to a number of different motorcycle and sidecar racing clubs. The first tarmaced track was constructed in 1956, after the estate changed hands again. The first test of the circuit being driven by Grand Prix driver Bob Gerard in a Cooper-Bristol Formula Two car and Maurice Cann on a Moto Guzzi. The track continued to flourish and maintain its popularity throughout the sixties but by the early seventies Mallory Parks future was under threat when the estate was again put up for sale. The circuit eventually came into the hands of Chris Meek in 1982 and reopened in 1983. Mallory Park continues to be used for racing, testing and track day events and is one of the favourite small circuits in the UK.

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Images @Andy Fitzpatrick