Organisers of a championship motorsport event have been left devastated after thieves swiped £1,000 of equipment and the scores and results sheets from the day.
Hartlepool and District Motor Club, which is more than 100 years old, held an event in the Sandy car park, off The Front, in Seaton Carew.
The contest, which sees car racers speed around a course of bollards, saw competitors travel from all over the country as well as Scotland and Wales, to take part in the BTRDA and RACMSA championship rounds.
Dozens of spectators, including adults and children, turned up to watch.
But at the end of what had been a successful day, thieves struck as members of the club were packing up, taking an Acer laptop, a Canon 2450 printer, the 40-year-old John S Rae silver-coloured trophy, £30 cash and 18 cheques, bottles of beer and wine which were to be given to the stewards, and a briefcase containing the day’s results.
Organisers say that unless the scoresheets are returned, this year’s championship event was completely pointless, as none of the racers can know with any certainty how well they actually did.
The results are completely useless to anyone but us, so we would really like them back.Chris Langan, Hartlepool and District Motor Club
Chris Langan, publicity officer for the non-profit-making club, said: “We’re the only club in the North East of England and we had drivers from Scotland, Wales and all over the country taking part.
“Over £1,000 worth of equipment was stolen, as well as the time cards and results sheets, so we can’t even give out a proper set of results because we have no times.
“With it being a championship round it was pointless, unless we can come up with the paperwork.
“Obviously we can’t afford to lose a lot of money like this, but the results are the most important thing really.”
The items had all been piled together and placed on the corner right next to the sewage works, while the club members packed away the bollards into a container on the site, literally feet away.
Chris, who has been in the motoring club for 45 years and has never known an incident like this before, said they believe the theft happened some time between 6pm and 7.15pm on Saturday.
He added: “Whoever took the stuff must have driven past us on the way out, but obviously we weren’t looking for that. We’d been on the go since 7.30am that morning so we were all a bit weary by that point.
“Myself and another racer have put up £50 rewards each.
“The results are completely useless to anyone but us, so we would really like them back.”
He urged anyone with any information to contact Cleveland Police on 101.