The Welsh Racing Drivers Assocation
The Early Years - 1981 to 1983 -The Welsh Racing Drivers Assocation - Its formation & the quest to bring back motor racing to Wales
Pembrey Phase 2 1983 to 1989 - Llanelli Borough Council apply apshalt to the surface making the circuit at Pembrey a reality!
Pembrey Phase 3 1989 onwards - Pembrey as a MSA licensed race circuit becomes a reality!
Pembrey prior to 1982 Having been invited to approach Llanelli Borough Council and put forward a case for establishing a racing circuit on the site, progress centered on events like Rally Cross which did not require much in the way of Capital Spending. This was in the days prior to the Welsh Assembly and the availability of European funding & the National Lottery, all of which could have made finance much easier to find! However following a report by Tibbalds which featured input from us, in 1986 the council decided to invest in the site and the current track was laid in Fine Cold Asphalt. We were one of the first clubs to give it try and found it very good!
WRDA minutes flyer_re test at Pembrey Test at Pembrey in Sept86 Report on 1986_Pembrey test.
Minutes re 1986 Test at Pembrey .PDF Minutes 2 re 86 Test at Pembrey .PDF
Although at first it lacked a track license for racing, it became extremely popular as a test venue for the Formula One teams of the day; including amongst others Benetton, Leyton House March, Williams and later McLaren, with drivers like Aryton Senna and future World Champions Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill.
At that time a local Doctor was Peter Francis and he recalls 're:- my involvement with Pembrey in the early days . We moved to Llanelli in 1984 and the first time I took any photos was at the Rallycross meeting in 1986 . In 1988 when Richard was 8 he could start cadet karting and the Cardiff kart club adopted me as their medical officer for weekends at the kart circuit . About this time there were F1 and F3 teams testing so I saw some of the teams usually with Richard or in the ambulace with Winston Rees - now deceased.
However seems that later it became apparent that some of the income from this activity as not being properly accounted for and some of the fees were being paid in cash! Late in 1988 the council improved the safety features and the circuit was granted an MSA track licence!
See Pembrey Phase 3 1989 onwards
During this period we reported on the actities of our members to generate publicity, until we had enough drivers with cars to from a championship
Barry Reece Tim Davies Phil Kempe Julian Westwood + many others
Barry Reece was one such driver who did a lot to help the WRDA in the early years; and he became our first chairman.
Unfortunately in 1983 he was involved in a tragic, near fatal, accident at Castle Combe.
He was left as an invalid, until he passed away in 1989, just as Pembrey was starting as a functioning race circuit. Barry's Orbituary