Team Jarrott -
The oldest motor racing in the world.
Team Jarrott is unique: anywhere in the world. The Club's motor tricycle racing team takes pride of place as the oldest motor racing on the planet. Dating from Great Britain's very first motor race -
The emerging quarter mile oval (and banked) cycle tracks of the 1890's were the ideal venues for the first motor races in Britain. Unlike the Continent, motor racing was (and remains) illegal on British public highways, so it was to these tracks that the champion pioneer racers took their newly acquired motor tricycles, having quickly graduated from pedal cycle racing.
Wise, DDBUK's Honorary Historian writes:
"Except for these contests, motor racing was unknown in England, and it would have been thrilling to see and hear these unsilenced motor tricycles careering round a cycle track at what was then considered a prodigious speed. Many of these pioneer tricycle racers -
How can I support Team Jarrott?
There are two options
JOIN The De Dion Bouton Club. Our worldwide club (18 countries and counting) gives you access to all the club’s membership facilities, including historical and current event reports, a regular newsletter, the Club’s magazine Motorvations, social events and the ability to meet and communicate with other members. Click here for the membership page.
Become a FRIEND of Team Jarrott. This gives access to our special non-members Team Jarrott email firstname.lastname@example.org informing you of upcoming events and occasional insights into the Team; receive a unique Team Jarrott lapel badge, and a special edition of Motorvations outlining the history of Team Jarrott and the famous motor racing drivers who inspired the recreation for a one off payment of £20.00.
The Centenary Olympic Cup 2024
At the Montlhery Vintage Revival to be held on the weekend 11/12th May 2024 we will be holding a special Motor Tricycle Olympic tribute event as Paris gears up to host the 2024 Olympiad. Uniquely, at the original 1900 Paris Olympics, motoring events were held, including De Dion Bouton type tricycle contests. Our Team Jarrott presentation as part of the centenary of this famous concrete bowl race circuit - that is still intact - will bring these long distant memories to life for a new generation of motoring enthusiasts in France, who will never have seen tricycle racing before, as the last such races on the continent took place some 120 years ago.
Whilst the details of the event are still being fine tuned, it is intended that Team Jarrott will have a 15 minute slot each day after lunch on a 400 metre oval race track created in front of the main stand (similar to what we put on at Brooklands and elsewhere in UK) - and finish each day with 2 laps of the entire c 2.5km concrete bowl - a rare privilege not granted to historic race cars.
We are welcoming all owners of these machines, whether you have been with us before or not, and will welcome your teams and helpers. It will be up to riders to decide whether they wish just to display their tricycles in the paddock, demonstrate their tricycle on the whole concrete bowl sessions, or take part in the oval track contests as well. The more tricycles we have it will attract the greatest interest with the public and the media.
Whilst in Britain we are now fully authorised by Motorsport UK, in France we will come under local jurisdiction and therefore French rules, regulations and liability will strictly apply.
Please apply to the special event email email@example.com for your registration form as soon as you can if you would like to take part as either entrant or helper. Please note that all correspondence related to this Olympic Cup event is solely dealt with by this email address and is separate from the standard car entries.
STOP PRESS. We are delighted to advise that BOSCH have agreed to sponsor Team Jarrott. The very first Bosch magneto was mounted on a de Dion Bouton tricycle in 1898 and we are bringing the two together again. At Monthlery Bosch will be supplying a marquee next to the track for all tricycles on the event.
Founder - Team Jarrott and Olympic Cup events
Team Jarrott gains Motorsport UK accreditation
Jun 26 2023
Founded in 2010 by Nick Pellett, the De Dion Bouton Club’s motor tricycle racing “Team Jarrott” is a unique glimpse into the birth of motor racing in Great Britain and is recognised as the oldest form of motor racing anywhere in the world. Back in the late 1890’s thousands of spectators would cram the oval cycle tracks and velodromes around the country to watch the stars of the day, including the likes of Charles Jarrott and Selwyn Edge, go wheel to wheel in these thrilling contests.
After many years of negotiation, another leap forward has been made this summer with Motorsport UK agreeing full race accreditation under a special set of rules based on the original 19th century format. “We’ve taken the oval circuit tricycle racing format to tracks all over the UK over the last 13 years since we held our first re-enactment at Silverstone and have always been accredited under permits held by the venue operator or one of the Government’s authorised off-road schemes” explains Nick. “During my research into the history of these earliest of all British motor races, I stumbled upon what is probably the only surviving copy of Victorian motor racing rules dating from 1899/1900. Back in the late 1890’s Harry Lawson’s Motor Car Club, which held virtually all the trike racing contests in Great Britain, devised the rules to ensure fairness between these pioneer competitors. The regulations are the oldest motor racing rules in Britain and pre-date those issued by the Automobile Club of Great Britain/RAC and now Motorsport UK. I have adapted these for modern day requirements, and after many years of discussion, Motorsport UK has agreed to give us full race accreditation under our own special tricycle racing rules. We will now be able to take the format to venues across UK and owners will know that we are fully authorised and insured under our own right”. Agreement with Motorsport UK was concluded at Bicester Heritage’s recent Flywheel meet where “Team Jarrott” fielded half a dozen trikes on track for several contests of over the weekend.
“Team Jarrott” has its sights on further fields as well. In May 2024 the team travels to France for a special race at the Centenary of the Montlhéry banked track near Paris. “Back in 1900 Paris held their very first Olympics, just four years after the modern series was inaugurated in Athens in 1896. Uniquely, in association with the games, motoring events including Trike racing were held. “The Olympic Cup” will bring motor racing history to life, and significantly return trike racing to France for the first time since the period, where it started over 125 years ago.”
As in the original town to town races there will be two classes, “Tourist Class” and “Racing Class”. Thus all abilities and expectations can be accommodated on what will be a unique occasion involving both demonstration and competition. De Dion Bouton pattern Tricycle entries are invited to apply to Nick on his email or 07958 329191.
“Secrets of the Transport Museum”
In September 2021 Team Jarrott held a special race meeting for Victorian motor tricycles on the Brooklands Finishing Straight - to be shown on the Yesterday TV series, and broadcast on 22nd March 2022. Additionally, it is also be available for streaming worldwide from that date onwards at no cost by clicking on the link here (scroll to Episode 8)
Replicating the historically important format of The First Motor Races in Britain the Team took to the track for two races;
The One Mile Sprint race for “The Finishing Straight Cup”
“The Five Mile race for the Championship of the De Dion Bouton Club”
In the film, Team Founder Nick Pellett offers viewers a glimpse into his collection, explaining how, why and when these amazing machines were built. Then the TV production company travels to Brooklands, to film the team’s unique form of motor racing - fettling the machines, practice, heats and of course the races themselves. Track competition footage is interspersed between fascinating interviews with the riders who fearlessly take to the track on these unique 120 year old De Dion Bouton engined machines, carefully restored and prepared for a new generation to enjoy watching Team Jarrott – the oldest motor racing, not just in Britain, but the world.
The First De Dion Bouton Grand Prix
Brooklands track, Sunday 2ndJune 2019
As a result of the success of the 2017 Brooklands meeting the Team staged a public meeting at the track on 2nd June. There were 1 Mile, 2 Miles and 5 Miles races, with practice, qualifying and novices sessions.
The event was sponsored by Classic and Sports Car magazine One of their journalists, Greg MacLeman, was taught how to ride a De Dion Bouton Victorian tricycle in the morning session, and join in the races in the afternoon. A five page article then appeared in the August 2019 edition of Classic and Sports Car magazine.
Additionally, Club members brought a range of early motor cars for display in front of the clubhouse, and demonstrations on the circuit, thus making this event a true pageant of early motoring.
Bicester Heritage - 23/24thJune 2018
Team Jarrott was invited to race on the figure of eight track as part of a weekend of motorsport. Whilst other entrants were only allowed demonstrations, we were allowed to race under a special licence. Half a dozen Trikes entered to see whether the venue was suitable, and declared the 1 km track the best tarmac surfaced circuit in Britain. The Festival has not been repeated, but the Team is considering the use of the track in a future event.
During 2018 the original Victorian motor racing rules (which had recently been discovered and pre-date the RAC/MSA rules used today) were updated and published for the benefit of the sport. Compulsory licensing was introduced, and recognition obtained by an outside licensing body. A Team Jarrott strip was commissioned, based on the original Victorian design.
The 120thAnniversary of the First British Motor Races
Just as in 1897, on a cloudy but dry midweek day in November,Team Jarrott amassed afield of 20 Victorian motor tricycles from Britain and Europe – a record for the UK, even in the original period. Races of 1 Mile, 2 Miles and 5 Miles were held on a special oval circuit created on the Finishing Straight. These were the first motor races held on the hallowed concrete surface since 1939 when the entire tack was requisitioned by the British Government.
The meeting received huge international coverage, with many images and film clips still being present on the internet.
British Grand Prix at Silverstone
In 2016 Team Jarrott was approached by Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to demonstrate the Birth of Motor Racing in Britainby staging a Trike race at the following year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which the club accepted. Bernie had been an honoured guest at the Club’s “Horseless Carriage Exhibition” at Imperial College, and had been introduced a section of the exhibition illustrating how motor racing in Britain started – at Sheen House in 1897.
As a result of logistical issues and the sale of Formula 1 to new owners, it was decided not to proceed - but to make a special meeting commemorating the 120thanniversary of the First Motor Races in Britain on the newly reopened finishing straight at the historic 1907 Brooklands track in Surrey on the exact date of the first British motor races – 29th November 1897.
Oval Quarter Mile
As a result of these varied experimental events, it became clear that the best format was the original quarter mile oval circuit, just as had been the case in the Pioneer days of the 1890's. It was then that the Club moved the Team Jarrott races to the "Top Gear" track at Dunsfold in Surrey, where, annually since 2014 a quarter mile oval circuit was created on the old runway as part of a car festival raising funds for "The Childrens’ Trust". These meetings featured the "Five Mile Championship of the De Dion Bouton Club", competed for each day in front of the public. DDBUK raised over £2,500 for the Children's Trust as a result of its involvement in the festival.
Team Jarrott's first official outing was at the July 2010 Silverstone Classic when eight machines competed in four 15 minute races on a special oval track laid out on the Wellington Straight, in the year that the new Arena circuit had been completed but the "Classic" was still using the old Historic outer circuit.These were the first such races anywhere in the world for over 100 years.
In 2011 the Team returned to Silverstone as a demonstration on the Grand Prix circuit itself, and the following year took the Team to Mallory Park as part of a VSCC event.