Her Majesty Approved: Motorsport on England’s Streets
Take It To The People

Nothing quite beats experiencing something for yourself.

For all of the research you can do, taking in reports and looking at images online, sometimes you just have to get out and try it for yourself.

I’m hoping that this gallery from last weekend’s Coventry MotoFest will encourage those of you able to, to attend the event next year. Despite it only being an hour or so down the road from me and being completely free to visit, this was my first time at the event. I’ve kept an eye on it since its inception in 2014, but to be brutally honest, it never really seemed like I’d missed much. You see, I’ve always thought that it was a car and motorsport event for people who aren’t really car or motorsport fans. While there was always plenty on show to impress your average passing pedestrian, or maybe a family enjoying a low-cost and convenient day out, to those of us heavily embedded in car culture it appeared to be a bit watered down and bland.

But this year I decided to give it a chance and headed down on Saturday, camera kit in tow. It turns out I was pretty wrong about it all.

Coventry MotoFest 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3524

Regardless of whether you’re a complete stranger to car culture, or eat, sleep and breathe it, this is one annual event that has such a positive and relaxed vibe to it that it’s worth your time. Contained within Coventry’s inner ring road, MotoFest sees car culture quite literally invade the city centre.

Coventry MotoFest 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3572

The main attraction for most is the sprint circuit, which spans four junctions of the dual carriageway ring road to the south of the city. Since legislation put in motion in 2014 was passed last year, the organisers have the power to suspend the Road Traffic Act and close sections of the road without reams of litigious paperwork. The result is a spectacle for your average visitor, as they get to witness everything from modern supercars to classics and full-on race cars blasting through the city streets and under several tunnels and flyovers.

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Let me tell you, if you’ve never heard the Jaguar XJR-9’s glorious V12 roaring through an enclosed inner-city tunnel at full throttle, then you’ve not really lived. Within the narrow streets and tall buildings, the sound of MotoFest travels like a call to prayer, bringing those who just happened to stumble upon the event in for a closer look.

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This is the best element of the event for me. The fact that it’s free and open and everywhere within the city means that you can’t help but be drawn in by it, no matter how fleeting your interest in motoring. People who would have previously had zero inclination to visit a motoring event or racetrack were given a taster of what they’re missing out on, and from overhearing some of the visitors talking amongst themselves, I dare say that motorsport gained some new fans.

Wandering further into the city centre’s shopping district, past a 4×4 off-road experience and various manufacturer stands and demonstrations, I realised just how sprawled out MotoFest is. Every conceivable plaza and opening was rammed with all manner of interesting vehicles, and each and every street I turned down led to something new. I never expected to see a gaggle of Cobras in Coventry, or a convergence of Skylines outside IKEA.

Most importantly though, each open space was filled with people taking it all in.

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MotoFest is no Festival of Speed, and I was partly right in that it is slightly watered down for the masses. The calibre and rarity of cars on display didn’t hold a torch to Goodwood’s gatherings either. But it’s different, and it’s still so, so good. The thing I liked most is that it was all completely unexpected; I never knew what I was going to stumble upon next.

It’s a festival in the truest sense of the word. I’ll be back next year for sure.

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
jordan@speedhunters.com

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29 comments

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1

Please find that black BMW 1 series owner.

2

Nice to see some pics of my car never thought I would see the day it was on speedhunters

3

From the few pics available here it seems awesome and i don't recall the guys here made an article on any 1 series (plus i have a soft spot called Rear Wheel Drive Small Car, currently available in the from of BMW 1 series only).
So: Mr. Butters, we found our buddy it's up to you now (thank you in advance :) )

Author4
Jordan Butters

That thing sounded SAVAGE. I'll do some digging…

5

It was my 1st at Motofest too and will be back next year. Prove moment of having my bmw on speedhunters.

decom_e9647017188623747a9195952bf97367_5b1e0be7d5763.jpegdecom_e9647017188623747a9195952bf97367_5b1e0be7d5763.jpeg
6

No Sierra Cosworth?
Interesting very interesting.

Author7
Jordan Butters

I was a little bit disappointed by this too – I wanted to see an ex-BTCC RS500 gunning around the ring road. It would've been a fitting nod to the Birmingham Superprix.

8

Woohoo! My Z3 M Coupe #UnSafety car made it into the galleries!

9

I am in love with these vertical shots..something about them

Author10
Jordan Butters

They're very phone-friendly.

11

Such a rush driving on the closed ring road, it's not challenging but the spectators and the fact that it's still a public road does give you a good kick of adrenaline. Great article mate, bring on next year!

12

Absolutely love the articles you guys write but the lack of motorcycle content is a little disappointing, seems to be most concentrating on cars, being one of the bikes on track we also risk alot doing what we do as do the cars and other vehicles, all the pics seem to be car car car car oh look a bike car car car car, be nice to see alittle of everything in there if I'm honest, was the biggest ride in we have ever had from coombe abbey 204 motorcycles all on the road ranging from supersports to mopeds, bespoke to factory bought, glad to see you enjoyed your first motofest see you there next time.. Animal (if you know you know haha)

Author13
Jordan Butters

It's something we're in the process of changing Peter. Up until – literally – this week we've focused on four-wheels only (http://www.speedhunters.com/2018/06/welcoming-two-wheels/) and, although that'll still be the bulk of what Speedhunters is about, you'll start to see more and more two-wheeled content coming through, if it's right for the site and readers. In fact, I'm planning my first two-wheel focused story for this year's Festival of Speed coverage.

14

Aww looks like you were only there on Saturday. Was looking for a pic of my mini ;D

Author15
Jordan Butters

Yep, Saturday only Ben – sadly I had to pick one day. We were fortunate to get such great weather on both days.

16

That dark red Silvia is gorgeous!

Author17
Jordan Butters

@tooleys15 on Instagram if you want to see more.

18

Nr1! Very rear to see REAL JDM stuff here in Europe tbh. Awesome car.

19

Is that...is that a Sunny GTi-R I spot? You don’t see enough of those here!

20

I demand more BMW 1M, M1, E39 M5, and Z8's please....


oh and more NIssan Pulsar GTI-Rs!!!

21

I suppose you got any shots of the white S15 next to the hot rod? ;)

22

Spot on, my first time also and the integration and inclusion for all made this one of the best motorsports events I have ever attended. The UK is so full of enthusiasts you can't help but find something of interest here. But the thing that made it so special was that there was no exclusivity, no hierarchy and as a result everyone I spoke to just enjoyed the fun. Congratulations Coventry, F.A.

23

Wow the Walkinshaw XJS V12's!!!

I remember seeing them tear up the Bathurst 1000 race when I was a kid!

24

A proud moment for me, to have a photo of my r34 gtr on speed hunters is a thrill, it's the pearl white one on the gtroc stand, thanks for covering the event, it was a great weekend.

25

Was a great event , hoping chicanes could be altered next year so they are less aggressive , other than that was perfect

26

This is amazing! We need more events like this in the country! Didn't realise this was even a thing. I will be there next year! :)

27

More info on that supercharged 1series please!

28

It’s full e92 m3 running gear. Manual box. S65 engine. G power 600 hp charger. AST coilovers. Ap racing 6pot brakes on front and ap racing 4 pots on rear. Liberty walk style Arches from m3 modified to fit e82.

29

I see that blue DW E30! it's so... blue. :D

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