The Big Pic­ture

Five decades of thrills at one of the UK’S best loved tracks

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS -

As Thrux­ton turns 50, we cel­e­brate its amaz­ing his­tory.

Mak­ing use of the post-war sur­plus of RAF air­bases, Thrux­ton Cir­cuit opened in time for the start of the 1968 rac­ing sea­son (when our won­der­ful pic­ture was taken).

Hav­ing turned the crum­bling air base into a sparkling new fa­cil­ity, in­vest­ment by the Bri­tish Au­to­mo­bile Rac­ing Club saw it set up its base there and the cre­ation of a long-stand­ing con­nec­tion to sa­loon car and tour­ing car rac­ing. The Spring of ’68 also saw Formula Two at Thrux­ton for the first time, with Ger­man Jochen Rindt win­ning the race in his Brab­ham-ford – al­though he was in­el­i­gi­ble for cham­pi­onship points due to his sta­tus as a Formula One driver. Nowa­days, the Hamp­shire cir­cuit is still very much part of the an­nual rac­ing cal­en­dar, with head­line events in­clud­ing the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship and Bri­tish Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship.

A driver’s favourite, Thrux­ton has been dubbed ‘Bri­tain’s fastest track’. Damon Hill holds the UK record for achiev­ing an aver­age speed of 147mph in 1993 and Church Cor­ner was known as the quick­est cor­ner in Bri­tain un­til the open­ing of Rock­ing­ham Mo­tor Speed­way in 2001. It’s a ti­tle Thrux­ton may win back, given cur­rent doubts over Rock­ing­ham’s fu­ture.

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