Why our entry numbers matter

In its 8th December 2022 edition, Autosport magazine did its annual crunching of grid numbers for Championships and Series across the Club Motorsport spectrum for the 2022 season. The detailed analyses of the different clubs were prefaced by an editorial by correspondent Stephen Lickorish explaining the financing of club motorsport and featuring insights and comments from Giles Groombridge from the 750 Motor Club and Peter Daly from the BRSCC, explaining how even apparently small declines in numbers have a significant adverse effect on the financial margins that racing clubs need to make to remain viable.

The current cost of living crisis and the rising costs faced by circuit owners – and passed on to the clubs and thence to drivers – has magnified the importance of grid numbers. There are various things clubs can do to offset some of the financial pressures, e.g., buying track time from each other and combining grids, but there is no escaping the fundamental importance of starter numbers.

The average grid numbers for the various racing clubs in 2022 were as follows:

  • BRSCC +9%
  • 750 MC -4%
  • BARC -4%
  • CSCC -8%
  • MSVR -9%
  • MGCC -10%
  • CCRC -14%
  • HSCC -14%

After 3 seasons of steadily increasing grid numbers ours declined by 19% in 2022. (The grid numbers of the HRDC Classic Alfa Challenge also suffered a significant reduction of 16%, so Alfa Romeo racing generally has a numbers problem at present.) Our 19% reduction against a 750 MC average of 4% is a concern. I and my fellow ARCA Panel members and preparers are totally committed to the future of Alfa racing but to be brutally frank if our commitment doesn’t translate into increased grid numbers there are no guarantees that such a future will materialise. So what are we doing to address this?

Firstly, we are endeavouring to raise the profile of the Championship through enhanced promotion: two full page adverts in Autosport magazine and having a car on the 750 MC stand at the Classic Car Show for starters and we will also be at Race Retro in February. Secondly, we believe that eliminating the dropped scores rule in 2022 had an adverse effect so we have reintroduced it for 2023. Thirdly, we feel that our northern circuit predominance during the 2022 season (Croft, Anglesey, Cadwell and Oulton) had an adverse effect on our numbers as most of our drivers are based in the south, so we have campaigned hard for a better calendar in 2023. In that we have been rewarded with Donington GP and Silverstone GP in place of Croft and Anglesey so we can have no possible grounds for concern on that score.

Finally, I am appealing to drivers to come out and race. There are Alfa race cars available for sale and many more around the country sitting in garages not being raced. Let’s get as many of them as possible back out racing! Because it matters, it really matters to our future. There are exciting developments for 2023 too. Two and possibly three Alfa 4Cs racing in the Modified class + the Alfa Workshop MiTO 404 + two Giulias under preparation, new V6 class cars being prepared by Revs Italia, Giuliettas being built by Bianco, the list goes on.

Your active support is vital for us. If you haven’t already begun your preparations get started now – let’s have a resurgent HITEK Alfa Romeo Championship in 2023!

Andy Robinson