Competitive motorsport is to return to a city centre for the first time since the 1990 Birmingham Superprix.

Taking advantage of legislation which came in last year, Motofest Coventry 2018 is to stage time trialing on the city’s infamous ring road between Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3. Organisers claim the show is now the largest free to enter urban motorsport festival in the UK.

Motofest Coventry worked closely with the MSA and Coventry City Council to host a competition event since April 2017 when the MSA, and its sister governing body for two-wheel UK motorsport, the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), were made the authorising bodies for closed road motorsport events; now that the MSA has issued Motofest Coventry a license, future events could run sprints, time trials and specialist road rally stages alongside a traditional static car show spread throughout the city.

James Noble, Motofest Coventry Festival Director, said: “Motofest Coventry is very excited and proud to be at the forefront of bringing competitive motorsport back to UK city centre roads. “We have made no secret of our desire to host competitive motorsport on the Coventry Ring Road and we are now in a position to make this a reality.”

Councillor Abdul Khan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Events added:
“I’m delighted to see the return of Motofest in June as it has become one of the major events in the city’s calendar.

“It’s doubly exciting this year with the fact that Coventry, the spiritual home of the motor car, will be staging time trialling which means the return of competitive motorsport to a UK city centre for the first time since the Birmingham Superprix in 1990.

Since 2010 the MSA has called for a change in the law to allow local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motorsport events, without requiring individual Acts of Parliament.

Primary legislation providing the framework for closed-road motorsport was passed in the 2015 Deregulation Act; since then the MSA worked with the Department for Transport (DfT) on the secondary legislation required to make the framework available to event organisers.

Will this prompt some creative thinking in city centre council boardrooms? With Coventry’s dates confirmed, it’s rumoured Birmingham is in the running to host an inner city round of the Formula E championship – as reported in Autosport and the Birmingham Mail.