The Buckminster Tether Car Group
The BTCG, which consists of a group of tether car enthusiasts who want to enjoy running cars and the company of like-minded people is affiliated to the BMFA. The contact email address for the group is email@example.com. There is an active Facebook page for the Group for up to date information and where items can be posted. Search for Buckminster Tether Car Group.
The provisional 2024 calendar of events for both the BTCG and SAM is below. In a change to this and previous season's where Saturdays have proved to be much more popular that Sundays for BTCG meetings we are suggesting making Saturday the main day with a short practice session in the morning and competitions of some sort following and then an open track day on Sunday. This is to enable more local competitors to get a full day in on Saturday and those who have very long journeys time to clear the site to get away at a reasonable time on the Sunday. Oliver's 'sprint' competition proved popular and so the plan is to add this to the speed and nominated speed competitions, along with an additional 'roulette' event as an added edge. These ensure that you won’t need the latest or fastest car, as any car will be able to compete on an equal footing. These are also intended to be fun events to encourage people to have a go.
2024 Provisional Calendar for the Buckminster Track
The track is available on an informal basis for much of the season, dates can be checked on the BMFA Buckminster site but please inform BMFA that you will be on site and using the track. Below are the scheduled events where the activities will be organised and appropriate equipment available for use.
|April||Spring Gala||SAM 35||July 15th/16th||Track days/competition||BTCG|
|May 4th/5th||Track days/competition||BTCG||Aug 12th/13th||Track days/competition||BTCG|
|June 8th/9th||Track days/competition||BTCG||Sept 23rd/24th||Speed weekend||BTCG|
|June||Retrofest||SAM 35||Oct||Octoberfest||SAM 35|
Competitions: During the season SAM will again be running two competitions at their events, the first for 2.5cc aircars in memory of the late Dick Roberts and the second for the Redfin Trophy for 2.5cc twinshaft cars. Updated information about developments at the track and rules for both these competitions are published on the SAM website.
Buckminster Moves On
Another very successful season with seventeen days of organised running, along with a number of privately supported, free days of activity at the track. Again we have been delighted to welcome a visitor from overseas, Charlie Murphy from the US with three original, vintage cars. Throughout the year, significant developments have been in hand, with more planned for the winter and into next year, so time for another update on what has been happening and some important changes to note. Hugh and Lynn Blowers will again be organising the activities of the group and its scheduled meetings for a second season but will be looking for another team to take over in 2025 so that they can run cars. Updated rules for operation of the track have been agreed with the BMFA and these will be applied at all meetings. The email address firstname.lastname@example.org and Facebook page are still active and videos of events are available on the OTW Youtube channel. Another very large vote of thanks from us all is due to Oliver who has done so much work on the track to keep it in runnable condition, and to him and the other volunteers who have completed the kickboards and other improvements.
The provisional calendar for the new season is published above, three full weekends organised by SAM and five by the Tether Car Group. All BTCG meetings will be two days with a more formal event on Saturday and informal running on the Sunday. Nigel Bathe continues as SAM Tethered Car Secretary, and along with Steve Betney, will be organising and promoting their events. Thoughts about incorporating new electric classes for 2024 are underway with guidelines and rules in preparation.
At the track, most will have seen the timing hut, opened in July 2022 by Babs Roberts who donated the money to have it built by the Buckminster volunteers in memory of Dick. At the meeting in September 2022 we discussed the possibility of getting electricity plumbed into the hut and thanks to Nigel, in negotiation with Manny Williamson, the hut was fully wired with lighting as well.
This has made the second stage of development for the timing system significantly easier. John Goodall kindly donated the funds to have the system built, which thanks to the work and expertise of Jan Huning and Ian Wingfield has been in use for two seasons. Phase two was to be able to connect the system to a laptop and printer, as at all modern tracks, so that runs can be recorded in their entirety and then printed instantly.
Right: Portion of printout showing the timed run. All laps before and after are also recorded
Thanks again to Ian who did the programming of the computer and timing system, this was tried for the first time in September 2023, running off batteries. Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to connect the hut to the leccy system, so recording is still down to a pen and paper. A work party early next year is planned to complete the sheeting of the safety fence and hopefully, finally connecting the electricity supply. This does have to be signed off by a contractor, so will have to be paid for. Nigel Bathe has kindly provided a 'velo' for test running cars in the proscribed test area to address the danger of tyres bursting if engines are run without load.
|Velo for running up engines under load||Auffangband or kickboards round the track|
This season has again seen a large number of new cars being built, or bought, along with a commensurate rise in the numbers of people intending to run cars, as and when these are complete. We still have to consider the ongoing funding of the track, both for further infrastructure projects and routine maintenance, replacements etc. Up to this season, virtually the entire track project has been funded by donations of money and equipment and through individuals providing equipment on a loan basis or putting their hands in their pockets, for which we are all exceedingly grateful, but this should not be relied upon in the future. The track needs to generate income, either though further donations or via charges made to those running at each event. Currently, every person using the track has to either be a season ticket holder or pay £10, which goes directly to the BMFA, not the track. The Tether Car Group charges entrants £5 each at their events, which goes to cover the cost of cables, maintenance, brushes and other consumables as well as partially funding larger projects. Track cleaning, safety equipment and other upgrades benefit everyone, so it is imperative that money can be raised on a more regular basis to cover these.