Monday, May 31, 2010

Brooklands Racing Circuit

On June 18th 1907 - the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit was opened in England. Brooklands, in Surrey, was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the modern age. Today the track is in pieces; the ruins acting as a shattered window to a bygone age. The once majestic banking has been dissected by busy roads, supermarkets and a business park. The people of Brooklands town go about their lives almost entirely unaware of the significance held by the moss-covered monuments, which surround their every waking moment. The track was the brainchild of a local racing enthusiast called Hugh Locke King. He had two important assets: a large wallet and an even larger back garden. After witnessing the insanity of the European road races, he decided the time was right to bring motorsport to Britain. In just 9 months, 1500 laborers created a circuit 2-miles in length, with banked corners that reached a height of over 27ft. Locke King's 300 acre back garden had become the world's first permanent racing.

The sheer enormity of the circuit took many by surprise. "Bare figures convey no sense of its stupendous size, and words must fail to describe the impression that the finished track creates at first view in its nakedness, one finds no measure of its size", wrote a journalist for "The Motor".

And so it was that motorsport was born in Britain. For 32 glorious years (give or take a stoppage for World War I) Brooklands existed as Britain's finest motor racing circuit and testing venue. As an oval track, the enormous straights and long, high banked corners enabled cars to run flat out, something that was unachievable anywhere else in Europe at the time. Brooklands became the home of Sir Malcolm Campbell's workshops and it was there that he tested his Bluebird Land Speed Record cars (via

Posted via email from Bluesun2600

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