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So what about Rufforth?


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 17:42

Type Rufforth into the search facility and it pops up in dozens of threads but none specifically about the circuit itself.

The circuit layout is listed on Darren's site but surprisingly, Mark A does not include it in his Google Earth circuit placemark library.

Looking at the airfield on G.E. - it's still there, practically walking distance from the centre of York - however only part of the circuit layout becomes obvious. This seems odd because old airfields don't tend to change much, unless someone turns them into housing estates.

I wonder if anyone has any info/programmes etc about the place.

Sadly our much-missed friend Pete Fenelon would probably have been able to help but alas.....



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#2 Giraffe

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 17:53

Taken from the Autosport Yearbook 1977.

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By giraffe138

#3 Geoff E

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 18:07

The main straight on Giraffe's map is the Green straight on Google Earth ... the bottom "loop" is unclear to me but the rest can be followed.

http://maps.google.c...r...mp;t=h&z=16



#4 kayemod

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 18:15

I remember being taken to Rufforth as a child, possibly as a reward for passing my 11+, which would make it late 50s. The circuit was slightly longer in those days, and had a somewhat different layout, I think that the main straight ended in a tight hairpin, possibly formed by extending the run of the two straights at the top right of Giraffe's yearbook map, other than that it all looks quite familiar. I wonder if anyone can come up with a 1959 or 1960 edition of that yearbook to confirm my vague childish recollections.

#5 Simon Arron

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 18:23

There might be some relevant info in Peter Swinger's Motor Racing Circuits in England: Then and Now. I can't check just now, because my copy is about 12 miles from where I'm sitting...

Edited by Simon Arron, 02 December 2009 - 18:24.


#6 Steve O'Brien

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 18:40

I remember going there with my dad Harry O'Brien he was racing there in 6hr relay race in the early sixties he was racing a TVR, it was a open top sports racer I think they were called a Jomer it had an 1100cc climax fitted, he went with a group of drivers from Aintree Jim Charnock, John Scott Davis they called themselves Team Hopless and if memory serves me right they won the event.

#7 CoulthardD

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 19:15

Swinger reports the original 2.1 miles circuit was used four times in 1959, before the revised version (as per Giraffe's map) took over until the cicuit closed in 1978. A map is included in the book Some of the old and new corners line up, but it's hard to make it all out on the GE picture, or the two maps, come to that.

Uncle Jimmy Blumer won the up to 1500cc sports car race at the first meeting on 28th March 1959, in his Lotus Eleven. He beat Tony Lanfranchi, both in Austin Healey 100S, to the line during the 28th May event. The final meeting of 1959 (26th September) Jimmy won again in his Lotus, but dropped out of the sportscar race when he spun, a race which featured J.M. Clark in a 100/6.

DC

#8 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 19:54

Quote Barry Boor " This seems odd because old airfields don't tend to change much, unless someone turns them into housing estates."

Old runways make good crushed concrete, that is what hapended to a large part of the old Fersfield circuit!

Edited by Leigh Trevail, 02 December 2009 - 19:54.


#9 Phil Rainford

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 20:01

My memory of the pictures from MN and Autosport are of the huge oil drums which marked out the corners.....

PAR

#10 kayemod

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 20:07

My all-time favourite Catchpole. He drops a coin in an old lady's collecting tin, and remarks to faithful mechanic Demon Tweak, "I always like to support a good cause, it's for a new fire extinguisher for Rufforth".

#11 JtP1

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 21:22

Working from google earth and memory, it did close 32 years ago as a race circuit. The main straight and much of the track seem to have been obliterated. As far as I can work out, runway 24W was the main straight starting in the left bottom corner and going to top right. The track turned right off that runway onto the runway crossing it 2/3 of the way down. There was a short straight before another 90ish right a short straight to a kink right another short straight to a kink left. The pits and start line were in that area, close to the farm house on the photo. Then a 90ish left a a straight to a wide hairpin right the back up to the esses and 90 right onto the straight, this latter area was mostly marked by barrels. If the weather was poor you could enter the main straight in the dry and see the it raining at the other end of the rumway as you crossed the brow on the runway. The runway not being flat, having a slight incline at each end from a hilltop (?) about 1/3 from the start of 24W. Apart from the main straight, the surface was generally quite poor and facilities were basic at best.

#12 fbarrett

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 21:46

Cool.

I was born in York and lived in Haxby but left for the US in 1952. Never knew the track was so close.

Frank

#13 bradbury west

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 22:07

Google; Bomber Command; Rufforth, loads of stuff incl.
http://www.flasheart...a...r=0&src=msl
Ah, the memories, as a schoolboy, of turning off the A1 onto the dear old B1224 in my Ford Pop
Roger Lund
PS Check this for others.
http://content-deliv.../bombercommand/

Edited by bradbury west, 02 December 2009 - 22:13.


#14 MCS

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 19:38

I covered the last few races there as a journo. Always thought it was a weird place. You caught a bus from the paddock to get to the "pits" where another bus - a double-decker this time - served as Race Control.

Spectator viewing was fairly limited as I remember with large sections of the track out of bounds. The racing was close though I seem to recall.

Edited by MCS, 10 December 2009 - 20:52.


#15 Sharman

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:34

I remember going there with my dad Harry O'Brien he was racing there in 6hr relay race in the early sixties he was racing a TVR, it was a open top sports racer I think they were called a Jomer it had an 1100cc climax fitted, he went with a group of drivers from Aintree Jim Charnock, John Scott Davis they called themselves Team Hopless and if memory serves me right they won the event.


We've been here before Steve, it was a Jomar, did your father actually own the car bcause I remember John Kennerley driving it at Rufforth and I understood that it was a sort of left over which did not get sent to the USA. John let me try it on that occasion as I drove a MK1 TVR (TDL 933) and the Jomar felt just the same apart from it having even less grip in the wet. That particular day it was more than wet, I went home in a Healy 100/4 without hood or hardtop and my sheepskin jacket was just the same consistency as a chamois leather.
John

#16 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:41

There seem to be quite a concentration motor sport venues past and present in the York . Just north of the A59 is what appears to be a quite well appointed dirt oval (assume it's autograss, although no grass is visible on the track!) and a little further west is Linton upon Ouse, south west is Harwood hillclimb and heading back from there towards Rufforth is the prewar speed trial venue at Whetherby Grange. Further east of York you get to Elvington and so on.
It's not until I started looking on GE that I realized the proximity of some of these places

#17 CoulthardD

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 12:06

...and just a bit further north, Thornaby!

DC

#18 MCS

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 14:06

There seem to be quite a concentration motor sport venues past and present in the York . Just north of the A59 is what appears to be a quite well appointed dirt oval (assume it's autograss, although no grass is visible on the track!) and a little further west is Linton upon Ouse, south west is Harwood hillclimb and heading back from there towards Rufforth is the prewar speed trial venue at Whetherby Grange. Further east of York you get to Elvington and so on.
It's not until I started looking on GE that I realized the proximity of some of these places


Not forgetting the old hillclimb at Castle Howard...


#19 h4887

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 16:46

This was my one and only visit to Rufforth

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#20 john aston

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 17:12

Went to lots of meetings at Rufforth and still have most of the programmes if any historian would like to borrow them.You could hear the F3 cars in Acomb- we used to walk from York railway station to the circuit- and back!

#21 Steve O'Brien

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 18:19

[quote name='Sharman' date='Dec 11 2009, 10:34' post='4034755']
We've been here before Steve, it was a Jomar, did your father actually own the car bcause I remember John Kennerley driving it at Rufforth and I understood that it was a sort of left over which did not get sent to the USA. John let me try it on that occasion as I drove a MK1 TVR (TDL 933) and the Jomar felt just the same apart from it having even less grip in the wet. That particular day it was more than wet, I went home in a Healy 100/4 without hood or hardtop and my sheepskin jacket was just the same consistency as a chamois leather.
John
[/quot

Yes he had it for a few months it must have been 1960 or 61 because in 62 he got a new Elva mk6 it was in his Garage in Farnworth st in Liverpool pretty sure it was dark blue I think he bought a Lotus 18 after that
Steve.

Edited by Steve O'Brien, 11 December 2009 - 18:22.


#22 DixieDancing

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 21:13

I remember Rufforth and so does my dear wife. Shortly after we got married in 1974 I sold my racing Mini and got a Lotus Elan S4 which i used (gently) in Production Sports. We left Surrey early and arrived in Wetherby at about 5.30am on a bitterly cold day. I could not get the hang of the track - especially the oil drum part and probably finished last. Worse still on the slowing down lap I was so lost I went past the finish line (again) and stopped down the track to ask a kind marshal how the hell did I get off the track! We spent a nice night in a hotel but decided not to venture to Croft for the next round and went home instead. I think this would have been 1974 or 1975?

#23 RJE

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 13:58

Crickey Dick all this talk of Rufforth brings back a few memories. I used to ride my bike there, as a teenager, when I lived in Wakefield.

A number of recollections spring to mind. Brian Naylor in his JBW Maserati (the sports Car), Trevor Taylor in his immaculate black and yellow Cooper Climax, Jim Clark in the not at all immaculate Border Revis Lister and before that his white D Type. It was wonderful you could walk about the paddock at will, and talk to who you liked, if they were prepared to talk to you. I can remember talking to both Clark and Taylor, they actually seemed 'chuffed' that you were interested.

I also remember a chap, I think his name was Booth , in a maroon LM Replica Fraser Nash, hitting one of the oil drums on the main straight. The drum had filled with rain water and resulted in an arc of water being spayed about fifty feet into the air as the drum cartwheeled off down the runway.

However my most vivid recollection was one meeting where I was seconded by a friend into mashalling at the 'twiddley bit' just before the main straight. A young bloke was running a Triumph Herald Coupe in near standard trim. We watched with increasing fastination as he got braver and braver and the rear wheels tucked further and further under, with each lap. Eventually the inevatable happend and he rolled the car flattening the already flimsy roof. We all rushed forward expecting the worst but extracted the poor fellow from the wreck seemingly unharmed. We returned to our post with the man who became more and more distressed and agitated. Eventually he explained that the car belong to his mother and she didn't know what he had intended doing with it. After the race we returned him to what remained of his car and know doubt his mothers wroth.


#24 David McKinney

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 17:30

I also remember a chap, I think his name was Booth , in a maroon LM Replica Fraser Nash, hitting one of the oil drums on the main straight.

Cec Booth, no doubt. He still had the car ten years ago. Don't know about now


#25 bradbury west

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:23

ISTR that it has been "restored" to like new or better and has been for sale in trhe past couple of years.
The old warhorse in period.
deleted
I recall it was only beaten at this meeting by Malcolm Wayne's Lotus 26R in a good field. TMX was the original team car at le Mans in '48 IIRC.

Andy Barton's twin Webered Minor at the same meeting. Fibreglass wings etc.
deleted
Photos copyright Roger Lund
Roger Lund.

Edited by bradbury west, 26 March 2011 - 14:48.


#26 rdmotorsport

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 20:14

ISTR that it has been "restored" to like new or better and has been for sale in trhe past couple of years.
The old warhorse in period.
Posted Image
I recall it was only beaten at this meeting by Malcolm Wayne's Lotus 26R in a good field. TMX was the original team car at le Mans in '48 IIRC.

Andy Barton's twin Webered Minor at the same meeting. Fibreglass wings etc.
Posted Image
Photos copyright Roger Lund
Roger Lund.



Who owns the lap record , at a guess Tony Dean, Ian Flux or Richard Simms?


#27 bradbury west

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 22:37

The only files which I have for Rufforth are these, copies of copies.
Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image
If you think the file size is too large I will re-size, but there is quite a bit of detail.
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 14 December 2009 - 22:39.


#28 Allan Lupton

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 23:19

Ah, the good old days when the organisers of a profitable meeting repaid the entry fees! What a good idea that was.

#29 JtP1

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:53

Ah, the good old days when the organisers of a profitable meeting repaid the entry fees! What a good idea that was.


Within a few years, the BRSCC Northern never actually paid prize money. They accumulated drivers efforts over the season and presented a large prize to above the value at the dinner dance. That is for all except Chris Meek who would select and purchase individual prizes for each result. This led to the amusing incident where he borrowed a serving trolley which was someone else's prize to transport his trophys. On watching this Norman Hodgson remarked that if the trolley was his prize, he didn't want it. Fortunately Mrs Hodgson did want it.

In reality, the best paying circuit for the lesser beings was Ingliston.


#30 Barry Boor

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 10:45

The fastest lap from the results list posted by Roger shows a 1.22'4 by a Formula Junior car. The meeting was in 1961.

The F.2 register shows that Trevor Taylor won an F.2 race in 1959 with an AVERAGE lap time over 16 laps of around 1.16. Does this sound about right? Seems o.k. to me.

I need to work out my lap times in my 1958 F.2 race based on the actual times that might have been achieved back then.

#31 CoulthardD

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 15:07

Don't forget the circuit was reduced from the original 1959 2.1 miles, to 1.7 miles from 1960 onwards. The 2.1 mile circuit looks very smooth and flowing, however.

DC

#32 Barry Boor

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 15:52

Yes, this is where I get confused. If the circuit was 2.1 miles in 1959 and Taylor's average lap time was 1.16, that gives an average speed of round about 100 m.p.h. In an F.2 car, this seems unlikely.

Therefore, I guess it must have been the 1.7 mile circuit that Taylor won on, but that was definitely 1959.

So.....???

#33 thomaskomm

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 17:20

100 mile is a great advantage... Thomas

#34 CoulthardD

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:25

The fastest lap I can find is 1:18.6 by a couple of FJ cars. Info from Formula2.net. It's from 1962, so it'll be the shorter 1.7 mile circuit. The Autosport report is here.

The Autosport report from the very first meeting can be found here (page 1) and here (page2).

DC

Edited by CoulthardD, 29 December 2009 - 10:35.


#35 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:36

Co-incidentally I have just completed my F.2 race at Rufforth - won by Tony Marsh in his Cooper.

I took the lap average of Trevor Taylor from 1959 which MUST have been on the 1.7 mile version and extrapolated it into a time for the 2.1 mile circuit. I know there is no logical basis for that but it came out to lap times around 1. 35, which seemed about right, so I went with that.

In fact, the fastest race lap in the event I have just concluded was 7.421 seconds which translates to 1. 35'427. So I'm happy.

#36 CoulthardD

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 13:09

I took the lap average of Trevor Taylor from 1959 which MUST have been on the 1.7 mile version and extrapolated it into a time for the 2.1 mile circuit. I know there is no logical basis for that but it came out to lap times around 1. 35, which seemed about right, so I went with that.

In fact, the fastest race lap in the event I have just concluded was 7.421 seconds which translates to 1. 35'427. So I'm happy.


This Autosport report says Taylor lapped at over 82MPH in the Libre race (faster than the combined F2/F3 race). Since it was 1959, we must assume it is the 2.1 mile track, so Taylor's fastest lap was circa 1:32.2.

#37 David McKinney

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 15:26

Report time again - "B Boor, Must try harder"

#38 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 16:38

Unfair, unfair!

My race is 1958 so times may well have been slightly slower. Anyway, in practice Marsh did 1. 33'56 so I'm not that far out.

May I have a B+ please?

#39 bradbury west

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 22:42

This Autosport report

How gratifying to see that Harry Ratcliffe won the up to 1 litre saloon class, with a race speed indicating that he beat O'Connor Rourke' 3.8 Jaguar. A young Brian Redman was 3rd in class. The Ratcliffe Minor IIRC is the one pictured in an earlier post run later by Andy Barton.
Remember also that the earlier circuit had a much longer back straight down the runway which would have improved lap speeds for the quicker cars.
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 29 December 2009 - 22:43.


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#40 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 22:55

Very true, Roger, but then the corner at the end of that long straight was virtually 180 degrees, so maybe the gain would be balanced in that turn.

#41 bradbury west

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 23:08

Barry, if you check on the second page of '61 results which I posted, you will see that Harry R was only 0.15mph faster in 61 for his race speed, and his later Minor was a quicker car presumably. RL

#42 Barry Boor

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:40

In my aggravating style of a dog with bone I am still left floundering with regard to the Rufforth airfield as it is now and the circuit maps that we have handed down from the days when racing took place there.

Apart from the long straight it is impossible to see where much of the circuit went and as I said in a much earlier post, I can't imagine that the runways or perimeter roads will have been changed since the early 1960s; why should they?

For those who are not Google Earth fanatics, here is Rufforth today (well, recently):

Posted Image

Some of the old circuit is obvious, as I said, but I'm wondering about the right-hand half. Did the cars run up that north-east pointing runway and back down the other side? And the corners that lead on to the main straight, are they all on the main runway and just marked with bales/drums/etc?

Could it be that the circuit plans shown in various places are just plain wrong?

This sort of thing makes me so frustrated!

Edited by Barry Boor, 30 December 2009 - 09:40.


#43 CoulthardD

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 10:05

Refering to the two circuit maps in Swinger, I think the track layout is all there:

1959 2.1 Mile Layout
The start line is just above the copyright symbol at the foot of the picture. The track heads off left to the righthander at York Hairpin. Follow the road NE to the righhand Fosse Curve, gentle left SE, NE agian to Boundary Bend, to the top right hand corner and Becketts Hairpin (looks very elongated?), back down the large runway to Runway Bend, then rght along the start finish straight.

1960 Onward 1.7 mile Layout
The start is now near the buildings on what was the exit of Fosse Curve. NE to Boundary Bend, to the top right hand corner and Becketts Hairpin. Down the runway agian, but the Esses (left, long right) take you across the field (note parch marks on the earth) the the extreme right hand side of the main runway. Turn right along the main runway, but this time York Corner is that angled bend heading NW just after the old start line. Up that short stright, to the righ hand Acombe Corner and back to the start.

Hope that helps.

DC

#44 alansart

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 10:08

In my aggravating style of a dog with bone I am still left floundering with regard to the Rufforth airfield as it is now and the circuit maps that we have handed down from the days when racing took place there.

Apart from the long straight it is impossible to see where much of the circuit went and as I said in a much earlier post, I can't imagine that the runways or perimeter roads will have been changed since the early 1960s; why should they?

For those who are not Google Earth fanatics, here is Rufforth today (well, recently):

Posted Image

Some of the old circuit is obvious, as I said, but I'm wondering about the right-hand half. Did the cars run up that north-east pointing runway and back down the other side? And the corners that lead on to the main straight, are they all on the main runway and just marked with bales/drums/etc?

Could it be that the circuit plans shown in various places are just plain wrong?

This sort of thing makes me so frustrated!


Your looking at the wrong part. Much of the circuit is below the bit you've shown

#45 alansart

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 10:16

I think it's like this.

Posted Image


#46 CoulthardD

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:29

Yes indeed! That's the 1960, 1.7 mile version. How wrong was I??? :blush:

DC

#47 alansart

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:31

Yes indeed! That's the 1960, 1.7 mile version. How wrong was I??? :blush:

DC


You had me worried as I've never been there, but it looked the logical layout.

#48 MCS

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 13:29

:lol:

Have to say, it had me confused too!

The little piece of tarmac remaining to the left beyond the furthermost right-hander leading onto the back straight was, I'm fairly certain, the Paddock.

Do you know, I'd go back tomorrow - I liked the place. Absolutely no pretension whatsoever.

#49 Barry Boor

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 13:35

:blush:

In my defence, I quote the fact that I was totally fooled by that long stretch of missing runway. It never occurred to me that there would ever have been anything there.

Cheers, Alan, another mystery solved.

Now, about Marc-en-Baroeul......

Edited by Barry Boor, 30 December 2009 - 14:21.


#50 bradbury west

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 15:11

A useful website for info for those who may not be aware of it.
http://theracingline...gdom/index.html
The old circuit shows the l o n g back straight with higher speed potential.
Roger Lund