OK… let’s talk ‘bucket list entries’. There are a few on the list and this is near the top – The Race of Gentlemen. Cool bikes, cool hot rods and cool people having a great time living life with their passion – a passion fuelled by a Life & Engines. Run by the Oiler Car Club and set on the deserted beach at Wildwood, New Jersey, on the East coast of the USA it is a step back in time but this beach racing thing is far from a new idea. Go back to the early and mid stage of the last century racing on a beach was the thing – NASCAR was born from the beach races at Daytona and Land Speed Records were also set there and here in the UK on sand. Pendine sands gained worldwide recognition as the beach to set records along with an array of other locations such as Southport – these beaches also saw the growth of sand racing for cars and bikes until the advent of health and safety restrictions killed the hugely popular sport… but now there is a new generation of beach lovers who don’t turn up with a bucket and spade… they turn up with machinery to go flat out; open the taps, have fun and hang out with people who love the whole thing as much as you do. The new events, including this one and the VHRA run Pendine sands event have captured the spirit of yesteryear and long may they continue to keep it that way and resist the temptation to commercialise. This respect for those speed pioneers that put those first tyre tracks in the sand is seen in the bikes, cars and dress code of the fans and participants. We love this stuff – wish we were there!
2015 event is set for October 2nd to the 4th – head over to the website for full details http://www.theraceofgentlemen.com/index.html
All photos here copyrights acknowledged (if we knew who took which one of them we’d credit them gladly – but will have been one of these guys – Jimmy McTernan, Cicero deGuzman Jr. or Mike Spock)