Portreath Sprint Announcement

Following on from the statement made by the UK Government on the continuing risk posed by Covid-19, the committee has taken the decision to cancel the Portreath Sprint weekend scheduled for April 11th and 12th.

The safety of our officials, competitors, and marshals is our number one priority, so by taking the decision to cancel now, we hope that it gives you sufficient time to cancel any travel arrangements you may have made. The possibility of anyone potentially being infected during the event, is something we don’t wish to risk.

This decision has been further underlined by the statement made this afternoon by Motorsport UK, details of which can be found at https://www.motorsportuk.org/motorsport-uk-covid-19-update/

We hope to be able to welcome you to an event later in the year, but further disruption might occur to the local calendar.

Carl Sorenson

Carl ‘Lovely’ Sorenson


Truro & District Motor Club are very sad to hear the news that Carl ‘Lovely’ Sorenson was fatally injured in a recent road accident.

Carl from Plymouth had been a regular on many stage rallies in Devon, Cornwall and internationally for many years, most of us remember him alongside Andy Orchard and in recent times with Gary Le Coadou. 

Carl recently worked for Burts crisps in Plymouth and was helpful with the marshal packs for the Watergate Bay Hillclimb. He always called people ‘lovely’ and had a smile on his face.

The club offer their respects and best wishes to the family.

John Turpin

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of John Turpin. A regular competitor in the past at all of our local Speed events, Jonathan Williamson wrote the article below for Torbay Motor Club, and has kindly sent it to us for publication as well.

John Turpin

The sport of Speed Hillclimbing seems to attract an amazing number of wonderful eccentric characters. It is one of the delights of the sport, and John was definitely included in that number! There can’t ever have been many quiet, classical music-loving, orchid growing, wine-producing Hillclimb competitors before or since.

John was born in London in 1922, and studied for a degree in chemistry before the war. He enrolled in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, and until recently his family had no idea that he had served in Africa, Burma and Malaysia in bomb disposal, finishing the war as an acting Major in charge of a group of Japanese PoW’s in Kuala Lumpur clearing the Batu caves of Japanese bombs and ammunition. That probably explains how he could remain so unflappable through the relatively minor tribulations of motor sport! In the early 1950’s he went to Brazil as a chemist, married Dea and lived there until the political situation worsened, and they thought it best to return to the UK.

John had always been a petrol-head, buying high performance cars in Rio and when he arrived in Devon he became fascinated with competitive hill climbing.  It wasn’t long before he was entering competitions and doing well, winning many trophies as his trophy cabinet today bears witness.

John drove various cars in his Hillclimb career. He shared a Mallock with Mike Welch, then the proprietor of the Gearbox, and later, when I first knew him had a beautiful, and very quick Reliant Scimitar. However, he is probably best remembered in his beloved Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0

In standard form, as he bought it, it was a very fast road car, but after a few years John decided that he needed more power, so a visit to Josh Sadler at Autofarm in Oxfordshire resulted in a new (to him) mechanically injected 3 litre RS spec engine. This proved to be powerful enough for John to be booked at well in excess of the speed limit on his way back down the motorway to Bovey Tracey! He subsequently uprated it again to 3.2 litres for yet more power.

John would rarely eat anything during a day’s Hillclimb competition. We think he was vegetarian, but since we never saw him eat , we never knew for sure.

However, in the morning, usually after our first practice run, we usually had bacon butties on the go, and John would appear, sniffing the air, and saying how good they smelt. He never had one, but obviously enjoyed the aroma.

John put a great amount of trust in his Porsche’s rather basic rev limiter…….. At several venues his car could be heard stuttering against the rev limiter to save a gear change before the next corner.

On one occasion, he returned to the paddock after a practice run, complaining that after all the years that he had been competing there, he wasn’t able to go any faster. Trying to be helpful, I suggested that if he changed up a gear on the straight, he would go faster.

John duly tried this on the next run, approached the next corner much faster than he had ever done before, and hit the bank quite hard.

My name was mud!

John had quite a hard contact with one of the banks at Finlake Hillclimb at one point in his later years of competition. When the rescue team and doctor arrived they were quite concerned that he seemed a bit confused and disorientated. The motorsport doctor said that he should not compete again until he had been checked over by his own GP and passed fit.

John duly made the appointment and saw his GP. The conversation went something like –

“So, tell me exactly what happened?”

“Well, you see, I was competing at a Hillclimb, and I came into the corner quite fast, it was more slippery than I thought, and the car skidded and hit the bank”

“What sort of speed were you doing?”

“Oh, about 60 or 70 miles an hour”

“So, you were driving your Porsche in a competition, and hit a solid bank at 60 or 70 miles an hour, and the event Doctor thought you seemed disoriented and confused?”


“Well, I think if I hit a bank in my car at 60 or 70 miles an hour, I would be disoriented and confused as well. I don’t see any problem with you continuing to compete!”

John continued to compete until he was 78. He was a great enthusiast. He would travel to many different venues, down to Tregrehan in Cornwall, Wiscombe Park, Gurston Down, and nearer home Oddicombe and Finlake. He presented Torbay Motor Club with a trophy for each of the Spring and Autumn Oddicombe meetings for the best time in a road-going sports car, which he won several times himself.

John was an Honorary Life Member of Torbay Motor Club, and they held a special day for him in February 2016 that he really enjoyed. We looked through old photos, and he instantly knew where they were taken, whose the cars were, and the names off all the people in them.

Rest in Peace John, it was a delight to have known you.


Jonathan Williamson

Tregrehan June report & Newspaper write up

This year marks the 50th anniversary for Truro and District Motor Club’s Tregrehan Speed Hill Climb, held in the parkland of this lovely estate near St. Austell.

It was very fitting that fifty cars lined up each day to compete on this very technical course, with vehicles ranging from your relatively standard road car, to a modified Citroen 2CV and up to the race cars produced by OMS and Pilbeam. Once again, these events were rounds of the ASWMC Speed Hill climb Championship and the Cornish Speed Championship. They were also the opening rounds for the Truro Speed Academy, with five new competitors taking their first steps into competitive motorsport.

Saturday began with a damp track making for tricky conditions at the start. However, as the morning progressed a ‘dry’ line soon developed with the times taken improving with each run. Sunday was contested in drier conditions, with many personal best times being achieved.

Andrew Dinner, the current hill record holder, set the Fastest Time of the Day on both Saturday and Sunday in his Pilbeam MP85.

The June weekend also hosts the motorbike riders from The National Hill Climb Association as part of their annual championship, with around forty bikes and combinations competing each day.

The club would like to thank all the competitors, marshals and officials for contributing to a very successful weekend of motorsport, as well as all the spectators who came along to support the events.

David Richards CBE

Truro & District Motor club would like to extend their congratulations to the Honorary Club President Mr David Richards CBE on two counts.

  1. For a fantastic win at Le Mans 2017 Which saw the Aston Martin race car pull out all the stops to secure the win on the last lap of the 24hr race!
  2. In becoming the next MSA chairman.


Well done from all at TDMC!




In the landmark ‘Vnuk’ case, the European Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that the EU’s 2009 Motor Insurance Directive required insurance policies to cover all possible third-party accidents in all places and at all times. In some countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, governments had interpreted the law as meaning that it only applies to vehicles driven on public roads, however it is now clear that the judgment means that national laws must be changed to ensure that all mechanically propelled vehicles are insured for third-party losses regardless of type of use, in all places, at any time. This applies to everything from Formula One racing cars, to mobility scooters, to antique trams and everything in-between. Industry experts have already claimed that the risks associated with providing insurance cover to all motorised vehicles mean that they would be prohibitively expensive to insure, thus effectively outlawing all motorsport activities across the United Kingdom.

Please help support us and UK motorsport by signing the petition here http://www.fightvnuk.co.uk/

Content courtesy of the FightVNUK website petition

Membership subscriptions for 2017 are now due

Remember to renew your membership subscriptions for 2017. These subscriptions help keep the club going and for a large number of events membership of an MSA approved motorclub is mandatory. Membership also allows you to help steer the club via the committee and attendance at the Annual General Meeting. Download a form under the membership tab above.

November issue of The Link – Truro & District Motor Club’s newsletter

Here is the November issue of The Link – Truro & District Motor Club’s newsletter.


Newsletter NOV 2016


This month includes:


St Mawes motorsport evening – report

Tregrehan hill climb 8-9 Oct – results

Christmas lunch & awards presentation 11 Dec

Getting started in motorsport – by Andrew Dinner

Autosolo news

Car quiz – results

Bloodhound evening – report

Greenpower – by John Collins

Primrose Rally 4-5 Feb

Guy Fawkes Slalom – by Wayne Grimshaw

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