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#101 petefenelon

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 20:22

Thanks Peter - that's an absolute "must have" for me!

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#102 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 22:56

Oh Happy, Happy Days

I first went to Aintree in late 1963 [as a child I hasten to add] and marshalled on the Tuesday Night test sessions. The first 'proper' meeting I went to was the last ever to be held on the full circuit in May 64.

I then got a wee bit involved with the place so to speak.

After the racing stopped in 1982, I was still there until the early 90s with the Racing School. I have probably shown my face at a small handful of test days since then, nipping in for maybe an hour - but OMG it just depresses me to see how it is now compared to my memories.

Originally posted by Barry Boor
..... it is listed as being 3 miles long - exactly. Was that an accident? Or is it actually a nominal figure (it seems fairly unlikely to me.)

I was always told that it was built to the requirements of the FIA which stipulated - or were about to stipulate - that a GP circuit had to be 3.0 miles minimum.
Old Mirabel Topham would have insisted that she would pay for the required 3 miles, but not an inch more.
This minimum length requirement would exclude Monaco obviously.
All tracks failing to reach the required length would lose their F1 status.
Sadly this never happened. If it had, the British GP would have been held at Aintree for over 50 years by now and Silverstone and Brands might have deteriorated into club venues - derelict, or otherwise - and be the subjects of similar threads to this on TNF. :lol:

#103 petefenelon

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 23:15

I was last near the circuit on Boxing Day (what better way to avoid watching horseracing on the telly but to stomp out round Melling Church and back along the canal?)

The view from the bridge over the canal:
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Fairly sad state of the surface, Anchor Crossing:
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The other side of Anchor Crossing:
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More track:
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Although you do get a lovely sunset there:
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#104 Giraffe

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:06

I must admit, whenever I think of Aintree in the late 60's & early 70's, I think of Ian Smith, and his pal, Bob Jacks; whatever happened to him?
I've some Super 8 movie footage shot from the back seat of Bob's mini with Ian in the passenger seat, on our way to Oulton, I think. The traffic is both amazingly sparce, and almost prehistoric!
Bob later turnd his blue mini into an 850 racer, I remember?

#105 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:02

Good question Giraffe. What did happen to Bob Jacks? I haven't seen him for over thirty years. I remember going to Mallory for a Boxing Day meeting and the further down the M6, the further along the A5 and the closer to Mallory we got, the heavier and deeper the snow became. The trailer with the aforementioned racing Mini on it was snaking and sliding like a good'un.
It must have been the innocence of youth, but we kept on going and couldn't understand it when we got to the circuit to be met by locked gates and a sign saying the meeting was cancelled. Hadn't they heard of brushes in Leicestershire for Gods sake? Didn't they realise we had come to race?
The journey home was fun as well.

An even better question now for you Giraffe.

Who are you?

#106 alansart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:06

Originally posted by Alan Cox
Some photos from a 750 Motor Club meeting at Aintree, July 1982.

Posted Image Formula Fords assemble. Richard Street (Royale RP26) on pole.


I was supposed to have been at that meeting. I had an entry but my engine wasn't back from Minister's in time. The lady talking to the driver of the 2nd car is now my wife, although we hadn't met then!

#107 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:15

Originally posted by petefenelon
I was last near the circuit on Boxing Day (what better way to avoid watching horseracing on the telly but to stomp out round Melling Church and back along the canal?)

The view from the bridge over the canal:
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The first view I get of the venue each time I get there for the sprints.

Fairly sad state of the surface, Anchor Crossing:
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It has been getting worse since the construction work started.

The other side of Anchor Crossing:
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Through these gates is the entrance for the LMC sprints.

More track:
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This is the paddock area for the sprints.

Although you do get a lovely sunset there:
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Above: the Aintree assembly area in 1981.

#108 Giraffe

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:28

Hello Ian,
I was introduced to Aintree by Bill Bennett, the then Chairman of the BMRMC, when he thought I, together with Mick Godfrey was trying to nick his Fiat 125 t/c in Blundellsands. He brought us to the May 18th meeting, and hitched us up with long time marshal Bob Downey, and we travelled about with him marshalling for years in his Mini 850, MBG 125.
You'd usually find us at the end of the Railway Straight on a Tuesday night, having arrived from school by pushbike to marshal.
You may remember me for borrowing Bob's mini whilst marshalling with him at Clay Hill, Oulton, to go to the paddock, and driving it into a post.... (well, I was only 14 or 15 at the time!)
Mick Godfrey wrote the odd report for Autosport, and then we all went our seperate ways in the late 70's, and lost touch, as you do.
I remember going to the 1970 British G.P. with an ACC member in an MG Midget, a stout guy with a beard, but I can't recall his name....
My interest has been revived in recent seasons by primarily the HSCC, and the VSCC. It goes some way to recreating the atmosphere of the days I grew up in the sport I loved; it's amazing how many old faces are still about!!!
And what are you currently engaged in, Ian? Oh, for the record, Giraffe is aka Tony Gallagher.

#109 Giraffe

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:34

Addendum: the May 18th meeting at Aintree was 1968, and the mini I trashed belonged to your mate Bob Jacks, (who I recall was a local mechanic, fortunately!) and not Bob Downey, who passed away many years ago.

#110 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:41

Originally posted by Giraffe
And what are you currently engaged in, Ian?

Working at racing schools at Three Sisters and Donington.
Running test days at Anglesey
Working for The Performance Driving Centre at Anglesey Circuit
Running the odd race meeting for Anglesey Circuit Club - nothing changes eh?
Coordinating the Carphone Warehouse Networks powering TalkTalk Club Formula Ford National Championship
Coordinating the Edge Club F3 Championship
and basically enjoying my early retirement.

#111 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:43

Originally posted by alansart


I was supposed to have been at that meeting. I had an entry but my engine wasn't back from Minister's in time. The lady talking to the driver of the 2nd car is now my wife, although we hadn't met then!

Ah, so it is you. Morning Alan.

#112 alansart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:53

Originally posted by Ian Smith - Diz
Ah, so it is you. Morning Alan.


I'm always lurking somewhere.

I never did get the opportunity to race at Aintree but have done quite a few test and track days in the Formula Ford, so now know it quite well. It may only have 4 corners, but it's fun to drive :)

#113 Giraffe

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:58

I was aware of your continuing existance Ian,by a visit I made to the Liverpool Motor Club stand at this year's Gold Cup meeting at Oulton, where I purchased the tome about racing at Aintree.
Anorak wot I is, I still have all my programmes and armbands from day 1! Do you still attend any meetings?
I wonder what happened to Bob Jacks......?

#114 Simon Arron

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:13

Originally posted by Stephen W


Posted Image
The Aintree assembly area in 1981.

Was that the day Val Musetti set a new outright circuit record? If so, I was doing words and pix for MN (contact sheets in a box that I still haven't located).

We always moan about the homogenised world that surrounds us today. I always felt Aintree programmes had a pleasing, haphazard spontaneity...

Posted Image

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And meanwhile...
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Colin Simpson's Escort and Angus Young's Mini on the fragment of old GP circuit that later constituted a paddock for club racers. This was taken on October 1 1977.

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As was this: Imperial Leather magnate Thornton Mustard in his Lola T342.

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And from 1980: I know I've just stuck this up on the British club racing thread, but I feel it has its place here, too. Gerry Marshall (24), John Myerscough (29), David Yates (30), Martin Williams (32) and a couple of BMWs at Country on the opening lap of a Production Saloon race.

#115 Simon Arron

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:33

Just remembered this, too.
Posted Image
Picture shows yours truly extending a cheery greeting to the photographer while testing Richard Peacock's Crosslé 30F at Aintree (late 1987, I think). It was a Tuesday and this was the only car running (Richard had a key to the circuit gates, so we just let ourselves in). One lap, while coming through Bechers, I spotted a lady walking a dog (minus lead) across the infield. Next time around, she was standing by the side of the Railway Straight throwing a stick... Wasn't sure whether she had spotted the white thing with wheels to her immediate left, so I stopped at the end of the lap and waited until she and the mutt had departed.

Oh, and a hearty good morning to Ian Smith...

#116 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:37

A big regret is never having been to a race meeting at Aintree or the lesser known Longridge. The only time I have been to Aintree was to a rock concert there last summer, held in the new indoor arena behind the grandstands. On arrival I had to sneak up in the stands for a look at the hallowed tarmac! Hard to imagine that those famous races I read about happened just down there!

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#117 Norman Jones

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:51

I don't know what it is about Aintree but it will always have a place in my heart.

It was the first time I came into contact with motor racing "from the inside" Having spectated at Oulton for many years I was drawn to Aintree by a plea in autosport from Ian Smith (Diz) to save the circuit This was in 1977, they were short of volunteers to help out at testing and the meetings. I therefore became a marshal or the Tuesday night sessions and was hooked on the place.

Without being libelous there were some characters around then, Rob Billingham, "Kojak" - (a Fiat 127 with a flashing light on the top) Clive Goldthorp - more enthusiasm than I have ver seen in anyone, Rob Buckingham, Pete Fenon? (had a Reliant Scimiter 2 door) Kim Mather Alo Lawler, Ian Stronach Alex Lowe on the other side of the armco, which we scrounged from Rufforth

Incidently the only race meeting I ever attended, we had a family business and Saturday mornings I worked, was the 1980 meeting shown in the photo above with the Prod salloon pile up shown. ( A round of the Wicomatic Championship) Incidently the BMW could be David Taylor or Brian Pepper??? but the race was definatly won by Hamish Irvine in an Opel Commodore.

The revival meeting of 2004 though too expensive and the wrong time of year but it was a brave effort.

Happy days

#118 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:59

Originally posted by Simon Arron
Just remembered this, too.
Posted Image
Picture shows yours truly extending a cheery greeting to the photographer while testing Richard Peacock's Crosslé 30F at Aintree (late 1987, I think). It was a Tuesday and this was the only car running (Richard had a key to the circuit gates, so we just let ourselves in). One lap, while coming through Bechers, I spotted a lady walking a dog (minus lead) across the infield. Next time around, she was standing by the side of the Railway Straight throwing a stick... Wasn't sure whether she had spotted the white thing with wheels to her immediate left, so I stopped at the end of the lap and waited until she and the mutt had departed.

Oh, and a hearty good morning to Ian Smith...

Morning LWTNS
After you had departed back darn sarf, I had a play that day. After tooling around for a few laps, Peacock called me in and told me to "forget all the race school driving to rev limit BS". He suggested I didn't select 4th until I was pulling 6500rpm out of Bechers. As he was the Messiah, I did just that and arrived at Club at probably 125mph and - as we called it in the trade - "went for chips" The local chip shop was at the end of Melling Road.

#119 Giraffe

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:15

Dumped unceremoniously at Race Control (the bus) on 18th May, 1968, the day before my 14th birthday by Bill Bennett, the Chairman of the BMRMC, whose recruitment drive for the club at the time appears to have involved kidnapping children, I was presented with a "Race Assistant" armband (that I still possess) and set about running messages.
An hour later, my services were subcontracted to Stu Howitt, distributing flyers for his garage!!! (Poor Stu drowned sometime later at Knickerbrook at Oulton, when his Imp went in. I gather he hadn't taken his dentures out, and the ambulanceman couldn't get a tube down his throat to clear his lungs).
My memories of that day are still vivid; Jim Charnock's Cooper-Cobra blew my socks off, as did Bob Vincent's beautiful red GT40, an ex- Ron Fry car? Bob I think was from the Vincent motorcycle family, or so I was told?
Also on the entry list that day was Derek Walker, who was also entered at the last meeting I attended at Silverstone last year! Happy days indeed!

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#120 petefenelon

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:20

A collection of pics from the 2004 Festival:

http://irkthepurists...ry/505482_QNVmL

ALMOST as cold as today ;)

#121 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:23

Country Corner was a real car graveyard. Witness the following from 1981!

Posted Image

Graham Whittaker in the red Chevron & Alan Capstick (Crossle) had to be pushed away as they could go no further!

Happy days! :

#122 alansart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:49

Originally posted by Ian Smith - Diz
Morning LWTNS
After you had departed back darn sarf, I had a play that day. After tooling around for a few laps, Peacock called me in and told me to "forget all the race school driving to rev limit BS". He suggested I didn't select 4th until I was pulling 6500rpm out of Bechers. As he was the Messiah, I did just that and arrived at Club at probably 125mph and - as we called it in the trade - "went for chips" The local chip shop was at the end of Melling Road.


Quite a few people have done that!

Ian, did you organise the Motoring News track test of the Formula E cars (including our PRS). Gwyn Dolphin drove various cars for an MN article. A good day and we got some free testing!

A photos I have of Aintree's wide open spaces.

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#123 Simon Arron

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:23

Originally posted by alansart
Ian, did you organise the Motoring News track test of the Formula E cars (including our PRS). Gwyn Dolphin drove various cars for an MN article. A good day and we got some free testing!

Was that the same test in which I participated? Or were there two sessions? I had half a feeling that Gwyn was present when I drove a handful of cars. One was supplied by Mick Gardner Racing but I can't remember what else was there.

Gwyn now works for the Welsh Rugby Union, incidentally.

#124 Simon Arron

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:26

Originally posted by Stephen W
Country Corner was a real car graveyard. Witness the following from 1981!

Posted Image

Any bonus points for recognising Andy Feather's Sparton, to the left? And that might be Tim Wood's Reynard just behind the Chevron/Crosslé cocktail.

#125 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:41

Originally posted by Simon Arron

Any bonus points for recognising Andy Feather's Sparton, to the left? And that might be Tim Wood's Reynard just behind the Chevron/Crosslé cocktail.


No, but correct on both counts! :wave:

#126 alansart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:45

Originally posted by Simon Arron

Was that the same test in which I participated? Or were there two sessions? I had half a feeling that Gwyn was present when I drove a handful of cars. One was supplied by Mick Gardner Racing but I can't remember what else was there.

Gwyn now works for the Welsh Rugby Union, incidentally.


As far as I know there was only one test although Ian may probably know if there were anymore. If I remember correctly there was our PRS, a Van Deiman RF80 (Mick Gardners?), a 25F & 32F Crossle and a couple of others which at the moment I can't think of!

#127 Mallory Dan

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:58

Originally posted by Simon Arron

Any bonus points for recognising Andy Feather's Sparton, to the left? And that might be Tim Wood's Reynard just behind the Chevron/Crosslé cocktail.


Feather was a Tyke from Bradford wasn't he, I remember him in Clubmans B before this. I presume the Whittaker Chevron is a B43, ex-Rick Whyman car by the looks. And whats the car at the back coming into shot, the nsoe looks very Bolton-ish, B25/27/29??

#128 Simon Arron

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 13:28

Originally posted by alansart
As far as I know there was only one test although Ian may probably know if there were anymore. If I remember correctly there was our PRS, a Van Deiman RF80 (Mick Gardners?), a 25F & 32F Crossle and a couple of others which at the moment I can't think of!


Alan

The Gardner chassis was definitely an RF80. Was there a Royale RP16, too? One of the cars had a very notchy shift that defied all attempts at smoothness. It might well be that I drove your PRS but had forgotten as much. Next time I'm in the MN office, I'll trawl through a few back issues to see what I can find.

SA

#129 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 13:51

Originally posted by Mallory Dan


Feather was a Tyke from Bradford wasn't he, I remember him in Clubmans B before this. I presume the Whittaker Chevron is a B43, ex-Rick Whyman car by the looks. And whats the car at the back coming into shot, the nsoe looks very Bolton-ish, B25/27/29??


The Whittaker Chevron is indeed the ex-Rick Whyman B43. The glimpse of a white nose cone, that's NOSE not nsoe(!), is indeed a Chevron - there were two others in the race. This one is being driven by Robert Fearnley and was on its second nsoe-cone of the day. The other Chevron was David Ward in the Stein Lager car.

:wave:

#130 Mallory Dan

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 14:55

The ward car was a B29 IIRC, the ex-Howlings one from memory. What was the Fearnley one described as, B48 maybe??? Intriguing this one Steve, as we think he may have had an ex-Docking/Huub B48. Is this it?

#131 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 15:03

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
The ward car was a B29 IIRC, the ex-Howlings one from memory. What was the Fearnley one described as, B48 maybe??? Intriguing this one Steve, as we think he may have had an ex-Docking/Huub B48. Is this it?


Calm down Dan! The car is entered as a B42 and looks ever inch like one & not a rebodied B48 as the continuation of the coming-together shows. :wave:

Posted Image

Fearnley is Number 28

#132 Rosemayer

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 15:07

Looks like last year they still had track day





#133 alansart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 15:18

Originally posted by Rosemayer
Looks like last year they still had track day




And they are still doing it in 2008, plus Sprints.

http://www.liverpool.../club-calendar/

#134 Simon Arron

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 15:24

Originally posted by Stephen W
Posted Image

I must have been standing about three feet away from you (as my photos will confirm, if I ever find the sodding things). Incidentally, is that the Winstanley RP27 creeping around the carnage in the background?

#135 Mallory Dan

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 15:56

Originally posted by Stephen W


Calm down Dan! The car is entered as a B42 and looks ever inch like one & not a rebodied B48 as the continuation of the coming-together shows. :wave:

Posted Image

Fearnley is Number 28


Are you sure Steve, no. 28 looks distinctly 'B29ish' to my trained eyes, not sure about the rear axle tho'!! Is Capstick in a Crossle 46F? A rare car over here that.

#136 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 16:10

Originally posted by Mallory Dan


Are you sure Steve, no. 28 looks distinctly 'B29ish' to my trained eyes, not sure about the rear axle tho'!! Is Capstick in a Crossle 46F? A rare car over here that.


Will that be the Celine Dion rear axle?

Yes, I thought it was more B29 than B42 but all I can do from this distance in time is resort to the programme notes - there are faint outlines of B29 associated with this entry in my programme so suspect the TANNOY said it was a B42. I just wish I had realised the importance of chassis numbers back then!

:wave:

#137 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 16:21

Originally posted by Simon Arron

I must have been standing about three feet away from you (as my photos will confirm, if I ever find the sodding things). Incidentally, is that the Winstanley RP27 creeping around the carnage in the background?


The only other FF2000 runner I haven't positively identified who it could be is Andy Dixon in a Royale. The others MIA are Alan Tulloch & Bryan Mullarkey (both in Dulons), James Hunt (Crossle) and John Walker in the Crossle/Dulon hybrid aka the Myrtle Special.

:wave:

#138 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 16:35

Originally posted by Rosemayer
Looks like last year they still had track day



But in keeping with the horse racing theme of the venue, it tickled me to see the You Tuber has titled his effort as "TACK Day"

#139 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 16:41

Originally posted by Rosemayer
Looks like last year they still had track day




Posted Image

As you can see Liverpool Motor Club were originally established in 1902 and were recently invited to the MSA head office to be awarded a trophy, along with all the other centenarian motor clubs. We still run three sprints & two track days at Aintree as well as running a jointly promoted week-end of hillclimbing at Loton Park (the latter with Hagley & District Light Car Club).

The club are working towards running a two-lap sprint within the next few years (once MSA approval has been granted). However there is very little likelihood of motor racing returning to the club circuit due to the massive amount of safety features that would be required - not least being protecting the errant drivers from the Grand national fences!

:wave:

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#140 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 16:48

Originally posted by alansart


As far as I know there was only one test although Ian may probably know if there were anymore. If I remember correctly there was our PRS, a Van Deiman RF80 (Mick Gardners?), a 25F & 32F Crossle and a couple of others which at the moment I can't think of!

I just don't remember any other track tests. It must be the start of my "Mike Baldwin moments"

#141 Ian Smith - Diz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 16:49

Originally posted by Simon Arron

Incidentally, is that the Winstanley RP27 creeping around the carnage in the background?

If it is crawling, it probably is :rotfl:

#142 alansart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 16:52

Originally posted by Ian Smith - Diz
It must be the start of my "Mike Baldwin moments"

Who did he drive for :lol:

#143 Steve O'Brien

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 17:11

Originally posted by Lotus 45



Yes, '75 and '76. Unfortunately, I didn't have a decent camera and access beyond the barrier in the years when the full circuit was in use! I did cover most of the Club Circuit events in the 70s, however.

These pics, again from the 70s may bring back memories to some and give others a bit of an insight into what the circuit looked like at that stage.


Posted Image

At major meetings, the numbers of the first four cars in the race were displayed on the "towers" atop the "Big Embankment" along Railway Straight. They can be seen in the background of this shot of Club Corner. Note that the railway was still just beyond the fence at this stage and had not yet been replaced by housing estates.


Peter McFadyen


This one is from 1968 its my father Harry O'Brien in the ex Brian Redmen Chevron BRM V8 B5

a big thankyou :D

#144 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 17:16

Originally posted by Stephen W
... not least being protecting the errant drivers from the Grand national fences!

I believe that Paul Perkin vaulted right over one of the fences when he spun 'Polly' (his Peugeot 205) at one of the sprints there last year.

#145 Giraffe

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 17:20

Is that Alex Lowe following Harry O'Brian's super B5? The earlier B8 in the thread is Eddie Regan's orange version.

#146 alansart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 17:21

Originally posted by Tim Murray

I believe that Paul Perkin vaulted right over one of the fences when he spun 'Polly' (his Peugeot 205) at one of the sprints there last year.


Better than hitting one. They don't move :eek:

#147 ErleMin

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 18:02

.....and you got a bill for its repair.

#148 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 19:16

Originally posted by alansart


Better than hitting one. They don't move :eek:


He actually hit the fence which caused the aerobatics!

:wave:

#149 Stephen W

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 19:19

Originally posted by ErleMin
.....and you got a bill for its repair.


Since we are no longer allowed to use the venue prior to the Grand National, the oft quoted story about having crashed "the driver was presented with the bill to repair the rather solid jump" no longer applies!

Mind you I have noticed that cars when they do spin onto the grass do not slow down, it is almost as if the grass were an accelerant!

:eek:

#150 alansart

alansart
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Posted 19 February 2008 - 19:32

Originally posted by Stephen W


Since we are no longer allowed to use the venue prior to the Grand National, the oft quoted story about having crashed "the driver was presented with the bill to repair the rather solid jump" no longer applies!

Mind you I have noticed that cars when they do spin onto the grass do not slow down, it is almost as if the grass were an accelerant!

:eek:


I met a driver 20 years ago who was given a bill for grass seed!