THE Speed Trials is a much anticipated event by both spectators and participants.

The Brighton Speed Trials event is now in full swing on Madeira Drive with the first timed runs taking place from 11am.

Madeira Drive has hosted the event since 1905 after resident Sir Harry Preston convinced the town council to tarmac the road for motoring events. This was one of the first times tarmac had been used around the world.

Nick Allen, aged 63 from Gloucester, is at the event for the first time driving his homemade vintage vehicle, made up of various different parts of cars dating back to the 1920s.

The Argus: Top 25 pics from the Brighton Speed Trials at Madeira Drive today. Photos: Simon Dack.

He said: "I've been wanting to do it for a while and I saw they were looking for entries so I thought why not.

"It's a lovely day so far. I've done my practice run and my first timed run so far - waiting to do my second timed run any minute."

Nick said he is leading his class so far but is being closely followed by a Bentley by a tenth of a second.

"There's loads of people here, definitely a couple hundred, it's so nice to see," he said.

The second timed runs are set to take place shortly following a lunch break.

Ordinarily motorcycles would also be included in the event but this year, for the first time, the Auto-Cycle Union said it was unsafe for them.

Organisers reported that the ACU inspector said the grip on the new green cycle lane in Madeira Drive meant the track was no longer safe for motorcycles to take part in the event.

The Argus: Top 25 pics from the Brighton Speed Trials at Madeira Drive today. Photos: Simon Dack.

Last month Gary Thompson from the ACU said: "Whilst we appreciate the history of the Brighton Speed Trial event, there have been significant changes to Madeira Drive for which no consultation has taken place with the ACU who are responsible for inspecting the quarter mile used for the Sprint and were only recently made aware of those changes made.

"Having visited Madeira Drive , a full report has been compiled which considered Madeira Drive unsuitable for a high-speed Sprint event to take place this year.

"However, the ACU are willing to engage with Brighton and Hove Council and the race organiser to discuss control measures to be put in place to mitigate risk and hopefully allow next year’s event to take place."

Responding on behalf of the council, Green councillor Amy Heley said it was working with organisers to ensure the event could take place and a preliminary inspection from the Motorsport Association had taken place.

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