The Big Picture
Five decades of thrills at one of the UK’S best loved tracks
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.