Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit

Brooklands was a 2.767-mile (4.453 km) motor racing circuit and aerodrome built near Weybridge in Surrey, England, United Kingdom. It opened in 1907 and was the world’s first purpose-built ‘banked’ motor racing circuit[n 1] as well as one of Britain’s first airfields, which also became Britain’s largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918, producing military aircraft such as the Wellington and civil airliners like the Viscount and VC-10.[1]

The circuit hosted its last race in August 1939 and today part of it forms the Brooklands Museum, a major aviation and motoring museum, as well as a venue for vintage car, motorcycle and other transport-related events.

Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit

Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit

Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit

Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit

Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit

The Brooklands motor circuit was the brainchild of Hugh Fortescue Locke-King, and was the first purpose-built banked motor race circuit in the world. Following the Motor Car Act 1903, Britain was subject to a blanket 20 mph (32 km/h) speed limit on public roads: at a time when nearly 50% of the world’s new cars were produced in France, there was concern that Britain’s infant auto-industry would be hampered by the inability to undertake sustained high-speed testing.[2] King commissioned Colonel Capel Lofft Holden of the Royal Artillery to design the projected circuit and work began in 1906.[3]

Requirements of speed and spectator visibility led to the Brooklands track being built as a 100 ft (30 m) wide, 2.767 mi (4.453 km) long, banked oval. The banking was nearly 30 feet (9.1 m) high in places. In addition to the oval, a bisecting “Finishing Straight” was built, increasing the track length to 3.369 mi (5.422 km), of which 1.250 mi (2.012 km) was banked. It could host up to 287,000 spectators in its heyday.[4]

Owing to the complications of laying tarmacadam on banking, and the expense of laying asphalt, the track was built in uncoated concrete. This led in later years to a somewhat bumpy ride, as the surface suffered differential settlement over time.

Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit

More information can be found on Wikipedia.

2 Comments CherryPie on Nov 23rd 2022

2 Responses to “Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit”

  1. Did you walk up the banking? It’s so steep! It breaks my heart that part of it was built over.

    • CherryPie says:

      The banking is very steep and there are signs that tell you not to walk up it due to the steepness which could lead to a slip or fall. I didn’t need the warning!

      It upsets me too that such an iconic landmark in our history has been defaced in this way.

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