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The Buckminster Tether Car Group 

When the BMFA Buckminster site first opened after the first lockdown of 2020 it was for season ticket holders only. Aaron and I bought season tickets so that we could use the track. We knew it was OK to run on as I had done a couple of runs with the Buckminster volunteer group.


Little did we know at the time how these family tether car running sessions with a picnic on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon would grow.

We went most weeks when the weather was good. We ran mainly old timer cars, at the time there was no safety fencing and it felt really strange having only really run on the tracks in Europe which have safety fencing and a protected area to stand behind when you are running your car.

The volunteers were working on making the track safer to use. The first was Richard’s protected area that we could stand behind.

The other thing we missed from the European tracks was a timing system that showed us the cars speed lap by lap. We tried stop watches but they just didn’t cut the ice. I managed to source a timing system from Russia. Running tether cars was feeling a lot more like it should.

Jan Huning joined us at our little events and we began to get the hang of running diesel powered cars with twinshaft engines. Each week we got faster. Aaron and I also started to run the Russian 1.5cc glow engine cars.

Jan with his Oliver Two Five replica and home built twinshaft Oliver pushing off Aaron's 1.5cc Class 1 car

Early August was the unofficial track opening event, there was a good turn out of tether car runners from the various organisations.

Start area Aaron Monk, our premier 'horser'
FEMA 3B cars and an original Dooling Arrow Martin Coe with a Redfin based car

During this event I was asked when people could come and run cars or when the next event was. I started an email group and just let them know when we would be at Buckminster running cars. It became quite popular and we started to get regular spectators and people interested in what we doing. It helped that our running days coincided with some big model flying events held on the weekends. We got a lot of interest.

So here we are now. We have a name for the original email group and a new email address buckytcar@btinternet.com, which consists of a group of tether car enthusiasts who want to enjoy running cars and the company of like-minded people. There is also now an active Facebook page for the  Group for up to date information and where items can be posted. Search for Buckminster Tether Car Group.

For next year we have a calendar of events, some days will be track days - just running cars, and a couple of competitions, Handicap and Nominated speed. These have been chosen so you won’t need the latest, fastest, car as any car will be able to compete on an equal footing. These are intended to be fun events to encourage people to have a go.

2021 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. Below are the scheduled events where the activities will be organised and appropriate equipment available for use. All events are of course subject to any covid restrictions in place and may be subject to change.

Date Event   Date Event  
April 10th/11th Cancelled Spring event SAM 35 July 11th Track Day/speed BTCG
April 25th Track day  BTCG Aug 15th Track day BTCG
June 12th Try tether cars  BTCG Sept 25th Practice BTCG
June 13th Track day  BTCG Sept 26th Speed event BTCG
June 25th/26th/27th Retrofest SAM 35 Oct 16th/17th Octoberfest SAM 35

Competitions: As reported in January's Pylon, a competition for 2.5cc aircars in memory of the late Dick Roberts will be run at the Octoberfest. A trophy has been commissioned and Dick's wife Babs has donated his aircar to be held for a year, along with the trophy. It is also proposed that the winner will be asked to give the car a commemorative run at the end of the meeting. The Redfin trophy was unveiled at Buckminster last season and this will be competed for by Redfin and other 2.5cc twinshaft cars at the Retrofest and Octoberfest. Rules for both these events will be published in due course. Details have yet to be agreed for the speed event in September but the AMRCA has proposed a global speed competition for this season, which is currently under consideration and could be included in this event.