Was it the fas­ci­na­tion of watch­ing my cousin, John Way, dou­ble de-clutch­ing and heel-and-toe­ing the fam­ily Ford Cortina as we thrashed through the roads from Stowe? Or was it the breath­less­ness of be­ing squeezed up to the fence on the out­side of Copse, catch­ing glimpses of red and green as the loud­speak­ers boomed and we stretched ever higher?

The images re­main: the in­side front wheel of Vic El­ford’s red Porsche 911 bob­bing in the air as he hangs the back end out, lap after lap. Mor­ris Nunn head­ing the F3 blur. Fer­rari’s Mike Parkes win­ning the Daily Ex­press In­ter­na­tional Tro­phy. I run onto the track as he be­gins his vic­tory pa­rade. I re my Fu­jica Half, but I’m not sure if I get him.

Days later, riing through the colour slides as I leave the chemist, my heart sinks. There are his Nomex-clad legs. There is his Fire­stone jacket. And there is the edge of the photo…

That was then – 1967. I was but a kid, vis­it­ing Eng­land from Aus­tralia, con­stantly bad­ger­ing my par­ents into squeez­ing a Sil­ver­stone visit be­tween the end­less trips to mu­se­ums and RHS gar­dens.

I was writ­ing full-time when I re­turned. I climbed up to the press box, over the Wood­cote grand­stand. Michael Bowler ( Mo­tor), Ray Hutton ( Au­to­car), Mike Dood­son ( Mo­tor­ing

Au­thor­ity, wit and in­tel­li­gence from the voice of F1 Rac­ing

News), Paul King ( Au­tosport) and Mike Ket­tlewell (ev­ery­thing) were there, lap charts open, pen­cils poised. The 1972 F1/F5000 In­ter­na­tional Tro­phy was about to be­gin.

Be­low us, Emer­son Fit­ti­paldi thun­dered the Lo­tus 72 into Wood­cote ahead of the pack. His Fire­stones skit­tered as he set up the drift. Tiny icks of the wrists held the mo­ment. And then he was gone. A 240km/h black-and-gold blur.

We all trooped into the Sil­ver­stone café after com­pos­ing our sto­ries. I walked my tea and toast to a ta­ble in the cor­ner to nd John Sur­tees next to me, laugh­ing with his chief me­chanic, Bernie Fer­rie, and Mike Hail­wood’s man­ager (and Sur­tees aide), Rod Sawyer. John had nished third. This was my chance for the post-race in­ter­view… here, over a cuppa.

Peter Rev­son won the 1973 Bri­tish GP at Sil­ver­stone after Jody Scheck­ter spun at Wood­cote and elim­i­nated nearly half the

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