Triumph TR — The Historic English Clubman
The more enlightened of the Historic race organisations welcome a grid of TRs for one simple and straightforward reason — it’s always a full grid! For a ‘one make’ Championship it has been a remarkable success story. This purely TR Championship has gathered momentum since its inception in 1984 and has been sustained by the enthusiasm and dedication of its racing members. Enthusiasm when coupled with the financial assistance given by the TR Register and a number of businesses, all of whom are closely associated with the TR marque, has given a whole new meaning to formula racing!
What is this formula that has encouraged and so inspired its participants that they have been able to carve out a Historic niche all on their own?
This is not easy to identify. Suffice it to say that the TR Championship founder, Darryl Uprichard, was much influenced by the Thoroughbred Sports Car races of the late 60s and early 70s where TR3 racer Reg Woodcock was so successful. In truth, the Aston Martin Owners Club were staging a Nürburgring Oldtimers Grand Prix style GT/GTS race almost every other weekend on English country circuits. Real racing-club racing! No such thing as jumping onto the ‘Historic’ bandwagon, there wasn’t one!
There’s one particular aspect of this marque club racing of Historic TRs that regulates the whole movement of competition between the TRs. It is that the technical specifications and inter-type shortcomings are thoroughly understood by the people who make the rules. This isn’t to say that they’re perfect, only quite perfect. The Championship and its evolution has been closely liked to a democratic committee, good communication and unsurpassed knowledge of the TR marque, from the years 1952-76.
Registrations average over 60 TR’s annually and in 1990 the pressure on grid placings would often mean a split grid because there were just too many TR’s for one race!
Professional preparation and speed with safety have been the high standards set by leading cars both in overall and class positions. It continues to be expensive for any individual to totally support his own TR and consequently many of the TRs are helped financially by TR companies. The super inflationary 1991 entry fees have come as a shock to all competitors but whether this will affect grids, who knows? Trying to contain the costs of this type of club amateur racing has always been a club priority helped by the fact that regulations governing all the classes haven’t changed much over the last seven years. There has been little confusion, changes have been implemented with reasonable notice and any such changes have been fully understood and accepted.
With the limits imposed, this brief report can only be a shallow overview of the TR Register’s Race Championship. Nevertheless it shows that enjoyable and successful Historic Racing takes place almost every weekend at many circuits throughout the UK. So you see, before all of the recent razzamatazz surrounding the mainly European high profile weekend events, the British club racer had been doing it all his way. I don’t think he could have guessed, neither would he have been interested in the fact that he was soon to become ‘Historic’.