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Brooklands, the first circuit

It was an oval built by the English businessman Hugh Fortescue Locke-King in 1907, interested in supporting the nascent automotive industry.


Monday June 17, 1907 it was inaugurated Brooklands, the first circuit built for auto racing. The property, currently in a state of repair, is located in the town of Weybridge, in the county of Surrey, England.

The initiative was from the English Hugh Fortescue Locke-King, an entrepreneur interested in supporting the nascent automotive industry. Locke-King's goal was only one: for Brooklands to allow English car brands to test at high speeds and thus challenge the leadership that France had. And in that context, racing was essential.

Brooklands, the first circuit
John Cobb (Napier-Railton Special) in action at Brooklands in 1935.

The businessman himself carried out a demonstration on the opening day. It was with an Itala and reached a maximum speed of 144,810 km / h, when the average in competitions at that time did not exceed 35 km / h.

The track consisted of a 2,75-mile (4.430-meter) long banked oval paved with cement, with two high-speed left turns and a right elbow. The facilities could hold 287.000 spectators.

The first motorsports event was held on June 28, but it wasn't a race - it was a single-vehicle endurance test. The Australian Selwyn Edge spent 24 hours turning with a Naiper and traveled 2.531 kilometers at an average of 107,87 km / h.

The first competition was held on July 6. It was the Montague Cup with a route of 49 kilometers. The victory was for the English JE Hutton (Mercedes), who was escorted by the Scotsman Dario Subtracts (Mercedes).

In addition to breaking several world land speed records, Brooklands also hosted the first two Grand Prix of Great Britain of 1926 and 1927. To Locke-King's chagrin, both were left to French pilots. In 1926 they won Robert Sénéchal and Louis Wagner, sharing the driving of a Delage 155B; while in 1927 it was imposed Robert Benoist with a similar car.

Brooklands had other uses as well. During the First and Second World Wars the Royal Air Force used its facilities as an airfield and production center for military aircraft. While in the 1930s, the British National Cyclists Union used it to organize cycling competitions.

Today the spirit of Brooklands is kept alive through a car and aviation museum and an annual dinner for a society that is charged with keeping Locke-King's dream alive.

 

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Automundo

Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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