De Dion Bouton Club UK


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The Horseless Carriage Exhibition 1896


"The First London Motor Show"


120th Anniversary
re-enactment at
Imperial College Kensington
7/8th May 2016



International Historic Motoring Awards 2016

Team Jarrott - The oldest motor racing in the world.

Team Jarrott is unique - anywhere in the world. The Club's motor tricycle racing team takes pride of place as the oldest motor racing on the planet. Dating from Great Britain's very first motor race -  on these machines in November 1897 - and named after the pioneer English racer Charles Jarrott who organised and took part in these oldest of all British races, DDBUK's team pays tribute to those heroic days by once again taking this earliest form of British motor racing to tracks around the UK.

The emerging quarter mile oval (and banked) cycle tracks of the 1890's were the ideal venues for the first motor races in Britain. Unlike the Continent, motor racing was (and remains) illegal on British public highways, so it was to these tracks that the champion pioneer racers took their newly acquired motor tricycles, having quickly graduated from pedal cycle racing.

David Burgess-Wise, DDBUK's Honorary Historian writes;

"Except for these contests, motor racing was unknown in England, and it would have been thrilling to see and hear these unsilenced motor tricycles careering round a cycle track at what was then considered a prodigious speed. Many of these pioneer tricycle racers - Charles Jarrott and Selwyn Edge amongst them - went on to successful careers racing four wheel motor cars - and became important figures in the emerging British motor industry".

Team Jarrott's first official outing was at the July 2010 Silverstone Classic when eight machines competed in four 15 minute races on a special oval track laid out on the Wellington Straight, in the year that the new Arena circuit had been completed but the "Classic" was still using the old Historic outer circuit.


These were the first such races anywhere in the world for over 100 years.

In 2011 the Team returned to Silverstone as a demonstration on the Grand Prix circuit itself, and the following year took the Team to Mallory Park as part of a VSCC event.

As a result of these varied experimental events, it became clear that the best format was the original quarter mile oval circuit, just as had been the case in the pioneer days of the 1890's. It was then that the Club moved the race format to the "Top Gear" track at Dunsfold in Surrey,  where, annually  since 2014 a quarter mile oval circuit has been created on the old runway as part of a Car Festival raising funds for "The Childrens Trust". The "5 Mile Championship of the De Dion Bouton Club" is competed for each day in front of the public. DDBUK has since raised over £2,500 for the Children's Trust as a result of its involvement in the festival. With a rolling start behind a Veteran de Dion Bouton Course car, which pulls off as the Union flag is dropped, up to twenty machines compete against each other for the Championship. Entries are now coming not just from Great Britain but as far away as the USA as these historic tricycles are once again being restored and fettled by Club members for the oldest historic motor racing in the world.


Negotiations are ongoing for "Team Jarrott" to be present at the 2017 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, to mark the 120th anniversary since the very first motor race in Britain.




© De Dion Bouton Club UK 2016