BROOKLANDS

LORD MARCH WILL RE-OPEN BROOKLANDS FINISHING STRAIGHT

Weybridge, England — June 17 marks the 110-year anniversary of when the world’s first purpose-built motor-racing circuit opened at Brooklands. It’s also when scores of cars and motorcycles that competed on the track will return to re-open one of its sections which hasn’t seen motoring action since 1940.

The re-opening of the Finishing Straight is a highlight of the Brooklands Museum’s annual Double Twelve Motorsport Festival June 17-18, and marks the completion of the first stage of the Heritage Lottery-funded Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Race Track Revival Project.

The opening ceremony will be performed by The Earl of March, whose grandfather, “Freddie” March, was an apprentice to Bentley Motors and won the 1930 Brooklands 500 in an Austin 7, and the Brooklands Double Twelve in 1931 in an MG Midget. He also designed March Special bodies for sports cars such as Rileys and ACs. After World War II he opened the perimeter track of Westhampnett Airfield on his Goodwood Estate, which became a successor to the by-then defunct Brooklands Race Track until 1966. The present Earl of March started the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 1991 and the Goodwood Revival in 1995.

Some of the rarest and most exotic cars in the world are coming for the Double Twelve, including the 1927 Delages which took the top three places in the second British Grand Prix, held at Brooklands 90 years ago; the 1911 Fiat S76 known affectionately as The Beast of Turin; the John Parry-Thomas Land Speed Record car and the Museum’s own 24-litre multi-world record holder Napier-Railton Special.