Pedal Car Racing
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Pedal Car Racing is a circuit racing endurance sport where teams of up to six drivers race single-seater human powered sports cars in races of up to twenty-four hours duration. Four team members share the driving (increasing to six in 24 hour races), with each completing as many laps as he or she can before handing over to the next driver. Therefore, the races are very similar in make up and tactics to endurance sports car races.
- 1 Racing pedal cars
- 2 Classes
- 3 British Pedal Car Championship
- 4 History
- 5 The Shenington 24 hour race
- 6 2020 Racing Calendar
- 7 BFPCR Championship Winners 2019
- 8 BFPCR Records
- 9 References
Racing pedal cars
The cars are mainly sports prototypes built by or for the teams that race them. There are no commercial suppliers of racing pedal cars in the UK, although Karbyk in Italy make racing pedal cars commercially. All cars have to comply with the international pedal car specification, but this is quite an open formula so the cars are as varied as the teams who race them with many different solutions to the same problem.
There are Eight classes in pedal car racing all sharing circuit space. They aim to ensure the safe lapping of back markers by making it a skill that faster drivers must acquire.
|Class||Specific Criteria||Maximum number of drivers by race duration (D)||Notes|
|12 < D ≤ 24 hrs||8 < D ≤ 12 hrs||D ≤ 8 hrs|
|PC1: Open||None||6||4||4||All cars automatically qualify for PC1 and it is the cars at the head of this class which usually fight it out for the overall win.|
|PCA: Under 18||All drivers must have their 18th birthday on or
after January 1st of the race year
|6||4||4||This class was introduced in 2019 to ease the transition from PC2 to PC1
The cars are usually very similar in appearance to those racing in PC1,. Quite often the lead PCA outfits will be in amongst the top six overall come the end of the race.
|PC2: Under 16||All drivers must have their 16th birthday on or after January 1 of the race year||6||5||4||The cars are usually very similar in appearance to those racing in PC1 but they tend to be built a little bit more robustly to cope with the increased number of driver changes and the less sympathetic treatment that teenage drivers can sometimes dish out to racing machinery. Quite often the lead PC2 outfits will be in amongst the top six overall come the end of the race.|
|PC3: Under 14||All drivers must have their 14th birthday on or after January 1 of the race year||6||6||6||The cars are often lighter and generally have to be somewhat smaller for obvious reasons! Most of the cars in this class do not run aerodynamic bodywork – the drivers change over far more often and do not reach the higher speeds of PC1 and PC2 so a body shell would generally seen as a hindrance.|
|PC4: Under 12||All drivers must have their 12th birthday on or after January 1 of the race year||6||6||6||These cars are generally very basic, unfaired and as light as possible.|
|PC0: Solo||There must be 1 driver only who also qualifies for another class||1||1||1|
|PCD: Duo||Duo Maximum 2 drivers who also qualify for another class||2||2||2|
|PCF: Female||All drivers must be female and qualify for another class||Defined by age class of team|
British Pedal Car Championship
First run in 1998, the British Pedal Car Championship is a series of endurance pedal car races which runs between late March/Early April and September/October every year in the UK. Typically, there are 7 or 8 races totalling just over 60 racing hours including the Shenington 24 hour race in June (at which double points are awarded).
The championship has evolved into 7 or 8 rounds from its early days (see History) and is now held at mostly Kart tracks around the country, usually starting at Wombwell and ending at Curbough, with the prestige 24Hr race held in June at Shenington.
The usual Championship format is as follows, but it can vary due to track availability
Round 1 - March/April - Sprints - Wombwell
Round 2 - April/May - 6Hr Race - Bruntingthorpe
Round 3 - June/July 24 Hr Race - Shenington
Round 5 - Sept - Sprints - Blackbushe
Round 6 - Sept - 100 Mile - Blackbushe
Round 7 - Sept/Oct 7Hr Race - Curbough
The championship is organised and run by the British Federation of Pedal Car Racing
The history of pedalcar races can be traced back to the time that American Scouts were staging their first Soap Box Derby, it occurred to Haydn Dimmock, then editor of 'The Scout' magazine, that a similar event might be arranged in Britain but whereas the American cars were Gravity Racers ours would be pedal powered.
Our races grew from the National ScoutCar races which started in 1939 http://www.scoutcars.org.uk/index.php?page=histroy and resumed after the war in 1950 with several large scale races. There is also evidence of a 24Hr race in 1968 as captured on film by British Pathe https://www.britishpathe.com/video/pedal-car-race/query/PEDAL+CAR+RACE+
At some point separarte races were set up independant of the Scouts but using very similar cars, it is possible that it was just a group of friends deciding that they wanted more races and having outgrown Scouts set up a series of races in a championship around the uk
During the 1980’s the sport had evolved into as series of 4 24 hour races at various locations around the country. 1 each in the North, South, East and West.
The top half dozen cars from each of these races were then invited to a “final” 24 hour race which we believe took place in Milton Keynes.
By the early 1990’s this had come to an end and the season comprised around 4 – 6 races including 24 hour events at Scunthorpe and Bolton, a sprint event at Wolverhampton and, also at Wolverhampton, a weekend event which comprised various “trials” followed by an endurance race.
The 1990's saw the events decline such that by 1996 the sport was down to 4 events – 2 of which took place on a car park in Rugby…
Matters came to a head in 1997 with the cancellation of the National Championships at very short notice and the unwillingness of the management of the sport to take any initiative to increase participation.
However, over the winter of 1997 – 1998 a new committee was formed, new events were organised and what could be described as the 1st race weekend of the “modern era” took place over March 28th – 29th at the Transport Research Laboratory test track, near Wokingham.
Since then with a major push in the 2000's new teams have entered, new rounds have been added and the championship stands as it is today
The Shenington 24 hour race
The Shenington 24 hour race takes place at Shenington Kart Track near Banbury, UK at the end of June and is the flagship event of the British Pedal Car Championship. The race comprises a night practice session on Friday and then the race starts at midday Saturday. Six drivers are allowed per car and all cars must carry head and tail lights for night racing.
The 2013 edition was won by BAR racing in a car designed and built by formula 1 engineer, the late Gary "Gadget" North.
In 2014, Apollo Racing took the win just ahead of championship rivals Wing Racers and cycling club Rugby Velo.
So far, a cycling club has not won the Shenington 24 hour race despite entries from Winchcombe Wheelers, Rugby Velo, Treads CC and Simonstrong Media-Velo in recent years.
2020 Racing Calendar
Round 1 - Sun 29th March Bruntingthorpe 6 hour
Round 2 - Sat 2nd May Wombwell Sprints
Round 3 - Weekend 27/28 June Shenington 24 hour
Round 4 - Sat 5th Sept Blackbushe Sprints
Round 5 - Sun 6th Sept Blackbushe 100
Round 6 - Sat 3rd Oct Curborough 7 hour
BFPCR Championship Winners 2019
Here is listed the winners in each class from the last championship year, for further years please look results page of website
2019 PC1 Open
2019 PCA Under 18
|3||21||The Pink Panthers||77||6||PC3|
2019 PC2 Under 16
|2||21||The Pink Panthers||105||6||PC3|
2019 PC3 Under 14
|1||21||The Pink Panthers||175||6||PC3|
|2||44||The Pink Panthers||132||6||PC4|
2019 PC4 Under 12
|1||44||The Pink Panthers||175||6||PC4|
2019 PCF Female
2019 PCD Duo
2019 PC0 Solo
Car 1 Wing Racers 19.1 mph @ shenington
- "British Federation of Pedal Car Racing: Rule Book Issue 6 (2017)" (PDF). Retrieved 23 November 2018.