26 May 2017

Lord March to Re-Open Track’s Finishing Straight As Hundreds of Brooklands Cars & Bikes Star in 110th Anniversary Celebrations

At the Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival 17th & 18th June 2017

Exactly 110 years since the World’s first purpose-built motor-racing circuit opened at Brooklands, on 17th June, scores of cars and motorcycles which competed on that hallowed concrete will celebrate the re-opening of a section of the track which hasn’t seen motoring action since 1940. They include the biggest-engined cars ever to race or appear at the Track, most of the team which won the first two British Grands Prix here in 1926/7, and the first Bentley ever to win a race.

The re-opening of the Finishing Straight is a highlight of the Museum’s annual Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival, taking place over the whole weekend of 17th- 18th June, and marks the completion of the first stage of the £8.1million Heritage Lottery-funded Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Race Track Revival Project.

The opening ceremony will be performed by The Earl of March, whose grandfather, ‘Freddie’ March, was an apprentice to Bentley Motors and won the 1930 Brooklands 500 in an Austin 7 and the Brooklands Double Twelve in 1931 in an MG Midget. He also achieved fame as the designer of March Special bodies for sporting cars such as Rileys and ACs. After World War Two he opened the perimeter track of Westhampnett Airfield on his Goodwood Estate, which became a spiritual successor to the by then defunct Brooklands Race Track until 1966. The present Earl of March followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by starting the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 1991 and the Goodwood Revival in 1995.

Some of the rarest and most exotic cars in the world will converge in what is hotly anticipated as a never-to-be-repeated fantasy line-up. They include the 1927 Delages which took the top three places in the second British Grand Prix, held at Brooklands 90 years ago this year; the 1911 Fiat S76 known affectionately as The Beast of Turin; the John Parry-Thomas Land Speed Record car ‘Babs’ and of course, the Museum’s own 24 litre multi-World Record holder Napier-Railton Special.

Joining them in an unprecedented gathering of other rare vehicles for this most historic weekend includes a 1912 Sunbeam Coupe de L’Auto from the permanent collection at the National Motor Museum, an MG ‘R’ Type that first appeared at the Weybridge rack in 1935 and a 4 ½-litre Bentley driven in the first ever Bentley Handicap at the Track in 1936. A 1934 MG PA ‘cream cracker’, winner of race 8 in an M.C.C. Scratch Race event on 8th September that same year, joins an MG L2 Magna factory team car from 1933 with a list of at least 12 appearances at the Track through to 1935. Also appearing, with their own impressive sets of Brooklands credentials, will be an Austin 7 EA Sports which competed in the 1931 ‘Double Twelve’ and ten other events and a 1932 Morgan Racing Super Aero hailed as ‘the fastest ever Brooklands Morgan’ achieving a lap speed of over 103mph amongst its many appearances at the Circuit.

Motorcycles will also be given prominence at the event with owners and organisations lining up to be part of the spectacle. A rare 1911 Humber TT from the Sammy Miller collection will be joined by a host of historic machines including a 1927 500cc Norton once belonging to Brooklands racer Pat Driscoll, himself a competitor in the 1930 JCC ‘Double Twelve’ driving a blown 1 ½-litre Hyper Lea-Francis. Alongside them will be a 1935 250cc New Imperial ridden in period by Les Arthur and from the Museum’s own collection, a 1928 172cc Francis Barnett.

Highlights of this two-day spectacular, which is organised in association with the VSCC, also include a Sprint on the track at neighbouring Mercedes-Benz World on Saturday, Driving Tests on the re-opened Finishing Straight on Sunday and a Concours on both days as the three main competitive elements culminating in the Double Twelve Awards Ceremony on Sunday afternoon. There will also be family activities, engine runs by some of the Museum’s historic aircraft, live music and great catering, making it an ideal destination for Fathers’ Day on Sunday 18th. Other attractions include a trade village selling accessories and memorabilia, various Club displays and the popular Test Hill Challenge on Sunday afternoon.

Details of entries and Classes can be found on the Double Twelve page and entries are still welcome for the competitive events.

This year, the Festival has secured a Media Partnership with Motor Sport Magazine who will be attending the event on both days and the main event sponsor is Motul.

Lord 'Freddie' March & S.C.H. Davis celebrate winning the '500' in an Austin 7. 4.10.1930