Brook­lands Fin­ish­ing Straight back af­ter 77 years

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

Cars crossed Brook­lands’ new­lyun­earthed Fin­ish­ing Straight for the first time since 1940 dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony last Satur­day (17 June).

Some 120 ve­hi­cles, rang­ing from veter­ans to aero-en­gined be­he­moths – many of which orig­i­nally raced at Brook­lands – lined up for the of­fi­cial re-open­ing of the Fin­ish­ing Straight, much of which was buried un­der an air­craft hangar built on the site in 1940. The hangar has been re-sited nearby as part of the £8.1m Her­itage Lottery Fund, which aided the Brook­lands Air­craft Fac­tory and Race­track Re­vival Project.

The Earl of March – whose grand­fa­ther, Fred­die, won the 1930 Brook­lands 500 in an Austin Seven and went on to open the Good­wood Cir­cuit in 1948 – cut a rib­bon to de­clare the Fin­ish­ing Straight as be­ing of­fi­cially re-opened.

He says: ‘ To see Brook­lands alive again and in such fine form is a won­der­ful thing. This is a mo­men­tous and spe­cial oc­ca­sion. We shouldn’t for­get that this was the first proper race­track in the world and so we think of the in­spi­ra­tion it has given ev­ery­body around the world and what it’s done for the his­tory of motorsport and the cars we love.

‘My grand­fa­ther was very much the black sheep of the fam­ily. He loved his air­craft and his mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing and he came here to race.’

The first car to take to the Straight was a 1907 Italia, sim­i­lar to the car driven by Brook­lands men­tor, Mrs Ethel Locke King, at the orig­i­nal open­ing cer­e­mony.

The re-open­ing cer­e­mony formed part of this year’s Brook­lands Dou­ble Twelve Motorsport Fes­ti­val. Nick Larkin

brook­landsmu­seum.com

Lord March de­clares the Fin­ish­ing Straight of­fi­cially re-opened. 1907 Italia – sim­i­lar to a car that ap­peared at the orig­i­nal open­ing cer­e­mony – was first on the newly re-opened track.

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