Bikes: Rebirth of iconic Eppynt Welsh Road Race in August 2018
After the hostilities of the Second World War ended in 1945 motorcycle sport became very popular and road racing was in the ascendency with airfield circuits being decommissioned, they were natural venues for racing and many new circuits and events flourished.
However, ‘pure’ road racing on public roads was yearned for as young and in some cases not-so-young men looked for that ‘extra’ challenge of pitting man and machine against the elements and one such event that was revived was the Welsh TT in 1948 held on War Department property near Sennybridge in the Brecon Beacons and became known as the Eppynt Road Race Circuit and continued up to and including 1953.
During the six-years that racing was held on the Eppynt circuit, many famous racers of the era participated, including Grand Prix and Isle of Man TT stars such as Les Graham, Ray Cowles, Cecil Sandford, Bill Boddice, Fron Purslow and Maurice Cann to name but a few. However, the lap record of 70.65 mph was set by Syd Barnett on a 350cc Norton during the 1950 Junior Race. Increased military activity, as a result of the Korean War in given as a contributing factor to the premature demise of the Welsh TT.
November 2016 saw the Parliamentary Committee for Transport repeal the Road Traffic Act that made it illegal to race vehicles on the public highway.
Following a lot of research, a group of gentlemen, involved with Wales’s other road racing circuit, Aberdare Park, approached the Secretary of State for Defence and made an application for a licence to use the Eppynt Circuit, which was granted along with authorisation of the ACU (the governing body of motorcycle sport in England and Wales) to organise an event, which will be called the Eppynt Welsh Road Race.
The anti-clockwise, 5.25-mile Eppynt Circuit will once again burst into life with the sounds of motorcycle racing machines on the 4th & 5th August 2018 with classes including Ultra-Lightweight, Lightweight Supertwin; Supersport and Superstock machines, plus a Zero Electric class. As previously mentioned the first Welsh TT took place in 1922 and was won by Capt. Clarence P Wood MC on a 596cc Scott Squirrel and was awarded a magnificent trophy, which is currently in the Carmarthenshire County Museum.
However, the curator has generously agreed to allow the original trophy to be awarded to the winner of the new Superstock event. Phil Morris, Sponsorship & Facilities Director said: ‘The Welsh Road Race is the culmination of an idea from a collective of Road Racing Fans. An idea inspired by the Welsh TT, to stage again, a motorcycle road race on the public roads of the Brecon Beacons. ‘The passion of the Board of Directors for road racing, is coming to fruition, and will lead to an academy offering safe training facilities of any age,’ Further information can be found on the official website: www.welshroadrace.com
- Ultra Lightweight motorcycles – 125cc to 250cc capacity
- Lightweight Supertwin motorcycles – 650cc capacity
- Welsh RR Zero Electric Race
- Supersport motorcycles – 600cc capacity
- Superstock motorcycles – 1000cc capacity
- The event will also incorporate a parade of classic & exotic machinery