Brighton Speed Trials

Brighton Speed Trials Sat 7th September 2019

Report and pictures supplied by Richard McCann MBA PhD


Richard McCann took his E-type to Brighton for a shake down in the 2019 Brighton Speed Trials.

‘A lot of power’ he reported, ‘so I’m still learning how to launch it and I’m certainly wasting a second in the first 641 but I still managed a 14s 1/4 mile with a terminal speed over 100 mph so better than the very latest 330M BMW with traction control etc. Not bad for an old nail!’



The first Brighton National Speed Trials were held on 19–22 July 1905. This is commonly held to be the oldest running motor race, thanks to Sir Harry Preston who persuaded Brighton town council to tarmac the surface of the road adjacent to the beach, between the Palace Pier and Black Rock, to hold motor racing events. In 1909 this stretch was renamed Madeira Drive and the event is still held there as a quarter mile sprint for both cars and motorcycles.

The event is organised by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club, with their customary efficiency and good humour, which goes so far to creating a happy and friendly day out! I was parked up between fellow E-Type racers Robert Oram and Darren Tyre which made for a great atmosphere, and we certainly attracted a lot of attention between us!

On the return from our runs, while Robert was elsewhere driving his F40 – as ya’ do! –  Darren and I set up a little ‘echelon’ which really got the cameras snapping and the marshals waving.

This had been a traditional ‘right up to the wire’ arrival since the guys from Paragon racing had got my car together and running by 2am that morning, following a major re-commissioning, meaning that I hadn’t driven the car since I bought it many months ago, so there was much to learn and I declared two aims – to get to the end of the track, and hopefully in less than 16 seconds. Hence my first careful run of about 14s was very pleasing. Enthusiasm on the second run resulted in more power being released than the old tyres could cope with and a second was wasted spinning wheels in the first three gears. It didn’t matter… all three cars ran well, the spectators loved the E-Type Team and we all had a great day out in one another’s company.


Win Percy, former owner of EOL 584C, seen at Donington Park in 2001.

Win Percy’s Biography: WIN 1