We certainly didn’t have it easy trying to run the Western Group Driving Day for the first time since before the pandemic…
But by all measures, I think we can claim a success. Not only did we need to revive an event that has been valued by our PR colleagues for many years, but we also had to seek out a new venue. The event has always been staged at Castle Combe Circuit but this year, the circuit was fully booked for the rest of this year. Great news for Castle Combe but a problem for us.
Whenever we have discussed alternative venues in the past, to deal with eventualities such as the one we were facing, the Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford in Somerset has usually been on the list. It is several years since the museum was expanded and it is now equipped to deal with events such as the Driving Day, with rooms of different sizes that can be booked for events and an events car park, which suited our purposes well.
Having visited the museum and met the events team, we had little hesitation in choosing it and it is very heartening that we have received so much positive feedback about the venue. Our guests liked it, the catering and the surrounding roads. The facilities worked well for us and although we had moved the event from the summer to September, the weather stayed with us. After an overcast beginning, the clouds rolled away and the sun came out.
Numbers may have been down on the past, but we had a good selection of good cars and the day was the relaxed informal event that we have come to know. I want to thank Alun Parry and Suzuki for being our headline sponsor and helping to ensure that we could go ahead. I would also like to thank the events team at the Haynes Museum for their help and also for the work put in by the committee to make sure it happened. We have been very lucky to have had the organisational skills of Simon Perry of IDPR once again. IDPR’s online system for managing the cars helps to ensure that the event runs like clockwork. The combination of the group’s knowledge of the industry and Simon’s event organising skills are a winning combination.
Congratulations to our trophy winners. New Maserati PR boss Mike Gale walked away with the Car of the Day trophy for the Levante Trofeo while PR of the day trophy for driving the most cars on the day went to Max Brown of Kia.
Will the event be back next year? Yes. Watch this space.
John Kendall / Chairman