The Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup
Historic Racing at the Next Level
Since the inaugural Royal Automobile Pall Mall Cup race three years ago, in 2020, our three-hour endurance series is firmly established as a true challenge in historic racing. Its unique format, including ‘in pit’ refuelling provides a rare opportunity to compete at two of the UKs best circuits and truly test the mettle of driver and machine. The prestigious Pall Mall Cup is awarded by the Royal Automobile Club to the most successful team at the end of the season.
What is the Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup?
Supported by the Royal Automobile Club, the three-hour format races are open to Pre ’66 GT, Sports and Touring Cars, with categories for Pre-’63GTs and Fifties Sports Cars. Races are run in a scratch format and competing cars must be driven by two drivers, with three driver teams also welcomed.
The class structure is;
- Class 1: Pre ’61 Sports Racing Cars, further sub-divided into:
- a: drum braked cars
- b: disc braked cars
- Class 2: Pre ’63 GT Cars, further sub-divided into:
- a: Up to 3000cc
- b: Over 3000cc
- Class 3: Pre ’66 Cars (GT, GTS & Touring Cars) up to 2000cc, further sub-divided into:
- a: Up to 1600 cc
- b: 1601 – 2000cc – Front-engined
- c: 1601 – 2000cc – Rear-engined
- Class 4: Pre ’66 Cars (GT, GTS & Touring Cars) over 2000cc, further sub-divided into:
- a: GT & GTS cars
- b: Touring Cars
- Class 5: Pre ’66 GTP Cars under 2001cc
Refuelling is allowed during the race- in fact it is mandatory. Each team is allocated a pit garage for the race and refuels are undertaken in the pit box outside. Teams must wear fire proof clothing and use a dry-break system (e.g tuff jugs).
There is no specified pit window for this race. However no car may be out on track for more than 80 minutes. It is therefore entirely up to each team when to pit, but to comply with the time limitations each car must make at least two stops during the race – one of these can be for the refuelling stop.
Special arrangements can be made for cars that cannot accommodate a dry-brake system. Full details of the pit-stops are detailed in the Series regulations.
Where are the races?
For the 2023 season there will be two races, the first, just a matter of weeks away now – the headline Saturday afternoon race at the Donington Historic Festival over the weekend of 29th – 30th April. And at the end of the season, the Motor Racing Legends Silverstone Grand Prix meeting welcomes the Pall Mall Cup on 21st – 22nd October, based out of the International (Wing) paddock.
What type of cars feature?
It’s certainly a grid of variety! Fifties Sports Cars, have claimed victory on two previous occasions as well as Jaguar E-types and Shelby Daytona Cobras. Smaller capacity cars have a dominant showing with nimble Lotus Elans and two-litre Porsches scoring class finishes. Mustangs, Falcons and similar American Touring Cars are welcome in Class 4b. Last year Class 5 was introduced to accommodate under 2 litre Pre ’66 GTP cars such as Ginetta G4 and Porsche 904. You don’t have to have a AC Cobra for the Pall Mall Cup, a humble MGB is a popular and effective weapon of choice.
The first Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup race of the 2023 season is just four weeks away at Donington Historic Festival. The grid is shaping up nicely so do not miss your chance to be part of it.
The ‘Big’ Healeys will be coming to blows in Class 2a for Pre ’63 GT Cars up to 3000cc and a scintillating battle between Crispin Harris James Wilmoth, Christiaen van Lanschot/Karsten Le Blanc and Doug Muirhead is developing.
The Ward family Ginetta is a regular feature on the Pall Mall Cup grid since GTP cars under 2 litres were invited to join the ranks in 2022, Class 5.
Jaguar E-types are a dominant force on the Pall Mall Cup grid, (and of course can also benefit from double header race weekend by joining the Jaguar Classic Challenge race the following day) and a good number are now committed to this first race of the season in Class 4: Pre ’66 Cars (GT, GTS & Touring Cars) over 2000cc.
Representatives of the Lotus marque always play a strong hand in the field and the Lotus Elites and Elan 26Rs already entered include a few Spa Six Hours raiders.
The MGBs of Class 3b (Pre ’66 Cars (GT, GTS & Touring Cars 1601 – 2000cc – Front-engined) are popular with drivers of all levels of experience and never fail to be highly competitive against the larger capacity cars – endurance being their forte.
TVRs are quickly be proving to be a ‘weapon of choice’ and young raider Harry Barton partnered with marque specialist Oliver Reuben will be a hard pairing to undo in their 200 Griffith, but 2022 Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup winners, Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne will be throwing down the gauntlet in their Grantura Mk111.
With a month to go there is still time to join the grid and be part of this year’s Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup. Enter using the link below, please email Gillian Carr, Race Co-ordinator with any competition enquiries (click here).