The Brighton National Speed Trials is probably one of the oldest surviving race event on the British calendar. This year was the 68th meeting, but marked 99 years since the seafront course of Madeira Drive, on the south coast of England, was opened specifically for racing. Much has changed within that time. For safety reasons the course has been progressively reduced to its present quarter mile. The popularity of the Trials never wanes and many members of the organizing Brighton & Hove Motor Club take part in the Members’ Handicap event that traditionally starts the proceedings.
There are classes for most vehicles, but the larger, faster cars are now banned from Madeira Drive. The close proximity of the ornate arches lining the course, preserving its genteel Edwardian atmosphere, are a bit too solid in the event of things going awry. There is a run-off for the six fastest cars at the end of the meeting and Jim Tiller, driving the 1955 Allard J2 that he has owned for nearly all its life, was one of the contenders. The Allard is still in the trim in which it came so very close to 200 mph at Bonneville as Jim celebrated the new Millennium.
As well as successfully driving his 1929 Bugatti Grand Prix, Norman Goodman is also the knowledgeable commentator for the historic classes at Brighton.