Jump to content


Photo

The London racing circuit


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 ian senior

ian senior
  • Member

  • 2,140 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 23 March 2004 - 11:32

No, not Crystal Palace. The proposed road circuit, including places like Hyde Park and Piccadilly. Was this ever a serious proposition? Who was behind it?

Advertisement

#2 RTH

RTH
  • Member

  • 5,737 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 23 March 2004 - 11:53

Wasn't this just a bit of fantasy that came from the offices of "Autosport" ?

Incidently, I well remember attending the very last race meeting at Crystal Palace in 1972 - anyone else there ?

#3 LB

LB
  • Member

  • 12,580 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 11:53

Autosport as an april fools joke.

#4 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,118 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:32

There was a serious plan for a race in Hyde Park shortly after WW1. The police objected that they would not be able to control the millon crowd expected!

#5 ian senior

ian senior
  • Member

  • 2,140 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:34

Originally posted by LB
Autosport as an april fools joke.


I suspected something like that, but the layout has found its way on to the old racing circuits website, which suggests that the people responsible for that site are either taking the you know what, or they are failing to include other mythical circuits such as the Bermuda (?) one that was the subject of "race reports" in Autospit and MN around Christmas 1970 or 1971.

#6 Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett
  • Member

  • 256 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:42

Presumably a Bermuda Circuit would be in the traditional "triangalar" layout?

#7 RTH

RTH
  • Member

  • 5,737 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:47

Originally posted by Rob29
There was a serious plan for a race in Hyde Park shortly after WW1. The police objected that they would not be able to control the millon crowd expected!


That rings a bell - didn't some sort of straight line only demonstration sprint actually take place, with some pre-war racing cars - haven't I seen a bit of film footage of this circa 1947 with John Bolster ? Probably for Pathe News ?

#8 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,118 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:57

Originally posted by ian senior


I suspected something like that, but the layout has found its way on to the old racing circuits website, which suggests that the people responsible for that site are either taking the you know what, or they are failing to include other mythical circuits such as the Bermuda (?) one that was the subject of "race reports" in Autospit and MN around Christmas 1970 or 1971.

I remember that one well. Involved a dead heat between Stirling Moss & Jack Brabham.Was listed as an actual result in a list at the back of a book some years later!
Autosport also ran a competition for readers to send in layouts for possible central london circuits.Sadly the only motorsport held has been for boats.

#9 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,706 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 23 March 2004 - 13:34

Originally posted by RTH
Incidently, I well remember attending the very last race meeting at Crystal Palace in 1972 - anyone else there ?

The last meeting was actually for karts - i was at that one!

And I subsequently set fastest time on a rally stage at the Palace (it was in fact due to a timing error - I told the marshals they had made a mistake, but they would have none of it - so what can you do?) So we lead that rally until we hit a tree on the next stage.... :rolleyes:

I am not aware of any serious plans for a London race circuit - so I would tend to classs it with Peter Ustinov's Gibraltar GP.

#10 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,368 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 13:51

Originally posted by RTH
Incidently, I well remember attending the very last race meeting at Crystal Palace in 1972 - anyone else there ?


:wave:

First time I'd ever seen a Bizzarini ....

I still have the programme somewhere.

#11 LB

LB
  • Member

  • 12,580 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 15:17

If you mean this one http://www.racingcir...gdom/index.html (London), I don't think thats the one Autosport made up. I don't have the copy any more so can't check. For those that do have Autosports goping back forever check the start of April issues I think around about 1995.

little research...

"1968/1969 - The Autosport Competition to design an 'around the houses circuit' for a LONDON GRAND PRIX was won by John Nichols. (Published Autosport 16th February 1969). Prize - Paddy Hopkirk Nomex Racing Overalls. "

source - http://www.itccommun...et/Fresume.html

they did do another one as an april fools recently - boy, nothing is original



#12 ian senior

ian senior
  • Member

  • 2,140 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 23 March 2004 - 16:18

Originally posted by LB
If you mean this one http://www.racingcir...gdom/index.html (London), I don't think thats the one Autosport made up. I don't have the copy any more so can't check. For those that do have Autosports goping back forever check the start of April issues I think around about 1995.

little research...

"1968/1969 - The Autosport Competition to design an 'around the houses circuit' for a LONDON GRAND PRIX was won by John Nichols. (Published Autosport 16th February 1969). Prize - Paddy Hopkirk Nomex Racing Overalls. "

source - http://www.itccommun...et/Fresume.html

they did do another one as an april fools recently - boy, nothing is original


Yep, that's the one I was thinking of. Note it's dated as 1969, which would back up the "Autosport Jolly Jape" theory.

#13 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,564 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 23 March 2004 - 18:36

Nick Brittan (remember "Private Ear" in Autosport?) mentioned it in one of his books.

The circuit included some roads in Hyde Park, in particular the S Bend that goes over the Serpentine and I seem to recall seeing a picture of him in his Lotus Seven being interviewed by a police officer...


MCS

#14 RTH

RTH
  • Member

  • 5,737 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 23 March 2004 - 20:20

Originally posted by MCS
Nick Brittan (remember "Private Ear" in Autosport?) mentioned it in one of his books.



MCS


Ah , those far off days when Autosport was a great read...... will we ever see their like again ?

#15 VAR1016

VAR1016
  • Member

  • 2,825 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 23 March 2004 - 21:31

Originally posted by RTH

Incidently, I well remember attending the very last race meeting at Crystal Palace in 1972 - anyone else there ?


Yes I wsa there: Mike Hailwood set the ultimate lap record in a F2 car; Gerry Marshall won the last race in a Lister-Jaguar.

PdeRL

#16 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,368 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 21:38

That was the last International, Easter 1972. The final meeting was run by AMOC and was some time in September. I was at both ....

I think there were at least two other clubbies as well during the summer. I don't have a 1972 national racing calendar to check though :)

#17 VAR1016

VAR1016
  • Member

  • 2,825 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 23 March 2004 - 21:42

Originally posted by Vitesse2
That was the last International, Easter 1972. The final meeting was run by AMOC and was some time in September. I was at both ....

I think there were at least two other clubbies as well during the summer. I don't have a 1972 national racing calendar to check though :)


That's strange; I recall the programme containing some bathetic piece by someone from the Greater London Council along the lines of "well it's been jolly good fun, but all things have to come to an end." etc., etc. Ugh!

And I could have sworn that it was in June...

PdeRL

#18 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,368 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 22:01

Sorry - the F2 meeting wasn't Easter, it was Whit Monday, May 29th :blush:

#19 VAR1016

VAR1016
  • Member

  • 2,825 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 23 March 2004 - 22:06

Originally posted by Vitesse2
Sorry - the F2 meeting wasn't Easter, it was Whit Monday, May 29th :blush:


Close then!

I used to live ten minutes' walk from the circuit and there were always (as fas as I knew) two meetings per year: Easter and Whitsun. There were usually a couple of bike meetings per year also; we could always hear them from where we lived!

And there was International Alvis Day too; I went to a number of those.

PdeRL

Advertisement

#20 2F-001

2F-001
  • Member

  • 2,319 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 23 March 2004 - 22:11

I thought the Autosport 'April Fools' circuit was actually the re-cycling of a slightly more serious proposal from many years before.

I walked on the Crystal Palace circuit only this morning. Amid a hailstorm.

#21 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 23 March 2004 - 22:17

Get yer magnifying glasses out chaps:

http://www.itccommun....net/Fjnff.html


(some other interesting stuff as well as the map of the London GP circuit!);)

#22 dancin stu

dancin stu
  • Member

  • 57 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 23 March 2004 - 23:00

I remember reading a piece a couple of years back, may have been around Christmas time, where they had Damon Hill driving round the circuit that was printed back in 1968, and discussing the possibility of it and how it would drive.

#23 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,118 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 24 March 2004 - 07:43

Originally posted by VAR1016


Close then!

I used to live ten minutes' walk from the circuit and there were always (as fas as I knew) two meetings per year: Easter and Whitsun. There were usually a couple of bike meetings per year also; we could always hear them from where we lived!

And there was International Alvis Day too; I went to a number of those.

PdeRL

Not Whitsun by 1972 but 'Spring Bank Holiday ' Cars never raced at the 'Palace at Easter,only motorbikes. Circuit was limited to 5 meetings per year,until the final few years when the injunction ordering this limit expired.
Back to the original subject;that John Nicols link is very interesting. Seems a group of businessmen aaproached him in 1982 with a serious proposal to create 'his' circuit. He was also involved in a proposed circuit in Torremilinos. Maybe the FIA should hire him as official new track designer in place of Tilke?

#24 LB

LB
  • Member

  • 12,580 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 24 March 2004 - 17:03

Originally posted by 2F-001
I thought the Autosport 'April Fools' circuit was actually the re-cycling of a slightly more serious proposal from many years before.

I walked on the Crystal Palace circuit only this morning. Amid a hailstorm.


Nope the april fools circuit was definately different, it didn't have a crossover, I just wish I still had the mag it was in. Though from vague recollection it was pretty much confined to the hyde park area.

Another April fools from Autosport was the BTCC race to be held at Heathrow on runways and access roads,- with one shot qualifying in between planes landingleading to some spectacular shots of Ford Mondeos being chased by 747's.

Then they had last year that Mario was going to come out of retirement and run the Indy 500... oh wait....

#25 jph

jph
  • Member

  • 370 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 25 March 2004 - 14:15

Originally posted by Vitesse 2:
That was the last International, Easter 1972. The final meeting was run by AMOC and was some time in September. I was at both ....

I think there were at least two other clubbies as well during the summer. I don't have a 1972 national racing calendar to check though



Only time I ever went to Crystal Palace was for, I believe, the last-but-one meeting there in early-September 1972: I'd just started commuting to work from Canterbury to London, so having a railway season ticket meant that it didn't cost me anything to get there. It was, by those days' standards, a run-of-the-mill BARC clubbie: two F3 heats and a final (Mass, Williamson, Brise etc), three special saloon races, sports cars, FSV. Not a one-make race to be seen. I think there was one further meeting later that month (the AMOC meeting mentioned in VAR1016's post), and Big Gerry won the last race (Lloyds & Scottish historic championship?) in the Hexagon of Highgate Lister.