The National Speed Trials are the original, the first motoring event to have started in Madeira Drive; the one which set the precident which the rest have followed.
The event dates back to 1905. In fact, Madeira Drive was resurfaced with the then-new tarmac material especially so that the first speed trials could take place (see history). Where all the other events end in the Drive, and vehicles are for the most part stationary, the centre of attraction at the Speed Trials is speed!
Naturally, safety has been a major concern throughout the history of the event.
The Speed Trials are the 100 metre sprint of the motor racing world. The distance is just a quarter of a mile, and so not long after the drivers get up to speed they looking to brake.
But it's not just speed. There are many classic motors on display, and lots of prizes for the best this and that, i.e. the various classes of the event. You can see in action a great variety of cars and bikes from across the history of the motor vehicle.
The speed trials are organised locally by the Brighton & Hove Motor Club, which has its premises in the arches of the Duke's Mound section of Madeira Drive.
The trials are best viewed from Madeira Terrace, but unfortunately because of safety concerns it has been closed for some years. (Hopefully, repairs will have been completed by next year!). The ticket price for the paddock in 2014 is £12. On the other hand, you can also get a reasonable view from the road above, Marine Parade, at no charge.
By the way, if you plan to take part in the race trials, you will need a fireproof race suit. Just on eof the many conditions you need to meet for what is a potentially very dangerous event. Find out more here.
2015 Brighton National Speed Trials
On Saturday, 5 September
Organiser: Brighton & Hove Motor Club