Sprinting is a motorsport discipline which comes under the heading of Speed Events, a name given to Speed Hillclimbing and Sprinting. Speed Hillclimbing (usually referred to simply as Hillclimbing) is the sport of racing a car from a standing start along ribbon of tarmac to a finish point which is higher than the start - hence 'hillclimb'. Sprinting is virtually the same sport except that the courses are usually much wider and generally flat. The added width of the sprint course gives much faster speeds, although sometimes artificial bends are added to allow the less powerful cars to challenge the might of the single seaters. This highly precise activity sees a variety of machines from standard production street-legal cars and sports cars through modified and highly modified vehicles through to the most powerful and fastest singles seater racing cars. Competition comes from each car completing the course one at a time against the clock, the whole is timed to the nearest 100th of a second and many events have been won and lost by that very margin. Most competitors will split their season between the two disciplines because, with just minor changes, the car is suited to both.
The North Devon Motor Club has a wealth of experience in this activity starting way back in the 1960’s with events on the old Winkleigh Airfield. Chivenor Airfield, beside the Taw estuary, where courses had been designed with very fast straights to encourage some cars to attain speed well over 120mph, saw motoring action in 1977 and 1978 where the star was Terry Smith from Bristol.
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s the club had a multi-club dabble in a few sprints at the Dunkeswell Kart track and later in 21st century there was the start of a revival at Chivenor – albeit rather infrequently due to the needs of the Ministry of Defence. These continued until 2011 after which the opportunity was lost for a while with a return in 2023.