Jump to content


Photo

The racing history of Durban


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,103 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 29 January 2006 - 16:06

According to commentator of the A1GP part of the circuit was previously used in 1954.Can find no record of this circuit-any ideas?

Advertisement

#2 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 30 January 2006 - 05:21

Snell Parade Circuit!!

Think the only part of this old circuit that is incorporated in to the new A1 circuit, is the hairpin on the Snell Parade...

I shall post some images and map of the old circuit. I have it on my home computer.

#3 ry6

ry6
  • Member

  • 521 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 31 January 2006 - 13:47

The PR people or local newspaper reporters on the Durban A1 took a lot of "license" with what they said about previous races etc. One story even got the date of the last 1950's street race wrong!

There were stories in the paper about various drivers coming 4th in say 1955 or winning in 1956 etc. When I suspiciously checked the results these claims were untrue.

I do not recall any mention of that fabulous event in 1988 on the streets of NMR avenue (admittedly not Snell Parade) where there were 2 days of racing for all sorts of cars from supersports (Piper circus of 917's, Lola 70's, Matra, Ford 3FL ;) saloon cars; Vees, Fords and bikes.

Sad - nobody took the trouble to check facts.

"Felix" our contributor wrote an interesting column in a local newspaper. Very interesting.

#4 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 31 January 2006 - 14:13

To top it all...Cape Town's largest newspaper did not even mention the A1GP in yesterday's edition.

Back to the SNELL PARADE circuit. The first race was in January 1939.

Robert, you probably know that Durban's firsty ever race was on the Bluff Grand Prix on the Bluff Marine Drive circuit?? Grass tracks and Hillclimbs excluded. Think that race was in October 1938...if I recall correctly. Do not have the facts in front of me.

Yes, is just prooves that the local journalists just know nothing at all. Come on chaps, you can at least do some research. Some idiot even mentioned that apart from Monaco, Durban was the only place on earth to stage a street race....

#5 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:31

Posted Image

Map of the SNELL PARADE circuit

#6 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:45

Posted Image

Location of old SNELL PARADE (yellow) and new DURBAN (blue) circuits.

#7 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:24

I would like to disagree with the following newspaper report. Durban's first motor race was not the 1st Fairfield Handicap on the Snell Parade in January 1939 as indicated in the report, but rather the 1st Parkhill "75" (Bluff Grand Prix) that took place on 1 August 1938 on the Bluff Marine Drive course.

Posted Image

#8 Chris Bloom

Chris Bloom
  • Member

  • 601 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 15 May 2006 - 18:08

Thanks for the maps and info Hieronymus. I've been wondering where exactly the old Snell Parade circuit was laid out. I'm sure the modern circuit designers deliberatly tried to incorporate part of the old layout into the new track. Seeing as the start/finish and the hairpin are in roughly the same place as the current A1 circuit. Of course the A1 cars went clockwise.

I was so happy that the A1 event was a success, especially as there is a particular South African journalist who constantly bashes A1 GP in his syndicated newspaper columns. He had many viscious unprovoked outbursts in the weeks before the event. I was so glad he was proved wrong after he predicted the event was going to be a disaster.

Getting back on topic, do we have more maps/info for Durban circuits?

#9 Hieronymus

Hieronymus
  • Member

  • 2,031 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 16 May 2006 - 05:33

Chris

I can email you a map of the old Bluff Marine Drive Circuit, if you wish. For the Durban street circuit that was used in 1988, I suggest you contact ry6. He was involved in building this circuit.

If you are interested in hill climbs, I have a map of the Burman Drive hill climb that was staged from about 1936 until the 1950's.

That's about it...apart from grass tracks that were used.

#10 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,069 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:14

Here is an excellent report of the 1948 Fairfield Handicap held at the Snell Parade course:

http://www.fad.co.za.../fair/field.htm

#11 Rob Semmeling

Rob Semmeling
  • Member

  • 827 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:46

So, to sum up, we have:

01.08.1938 - Parkhill 75 / Bluff Grand Prix (Bluff Marine Drive)

28.01.1939 - 1st Fairfield Handicap (Snell Parade)
24.01.1948 - 2nd Fairfield Handicap (Snell Parade)

27.03.1988 - Durban Street Classic (NMR Avenue near Kingsmead Sport Stadium)

29.01.2006 - A1GP
25.02.2007 - A1GP
24.02.2008 - A1GP

What about this one:

09-10.10.2004 - WesBank South African V8 Championship


#12 barrykm

barrykm
  • Member

  • 431 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 08 March 2012 - 14:40

Chris

I can email you a map of the old Bluff Marine Drive Circuit, if you wish. For the Durban street circuit that was used in 1988, I suggest you contact ry6. He was involved in building this circuit.

If you are interested in hill climbs, I have a map of the Burman Drive hill climb that was staged from about 1936 until the 1950's.

That's about it...apart from grass tracks that were used.

Small point - I think the Burman Drive Hillclimb went through to about the mid-sixties (and then privately with my Ford Escort 1300 in the early 70's... :p )

#13 Felix

Felix
  • Member

  • 706 posts
  • Joined: December 03

Posted 08 March 2012 - 15:37

Small point - I think the Burman Drive Hillclimb went through to about the mid-sixties (and then privately with my Ford Escort 1300 in the early 70's... :p )


From memory around 1971 - a number of my peers competed on Burman Drive before I started motorsport in mid-1973, at which point we used a hill behind the University of natal (Dbn campus).

#14 Rob Semmeling

Rob Semmeling
  • Member

  • 827 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:14

So, to sum up, we have:

01.08.1938 - Parkhill 75 / Bluff Grand Prix (Bluff Marine Drive)

28.01.1939 - 1st Fairfield Handicap (Snell Parade)
24.01.1948 - 2nd Fairfield Handicap (Snell Parade)

27.03.1988 - Durban Street Classic (NMR Avenue near Kingsmead Sport Stadium)

29.01.2006 - A1GP
25.02.2007 - A1GP
24.02.2008 - A1GP

What about this one:

09-10.10.2004 - WesBank South African V8 Championship


Just for completion:

16-17.06.2012 - WesBank Super Series (Durban Street Race / Top Gear Festival)

The festival is to return 15-16.06.2013.

#15 ry6

ry6
  • Member

  • 521 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 08 February 2013 - 14:21

Just for completion:

16-17.06.2012 - WesBank Super Series (Durban Street Race / Top Gear Festival)

The festival is to return 15-16.06.2013.


There were much more races than that.

In the 1950s they regularly had the Fairfield Handicap events early in the year, then later Durban Centenary Races (around June/July), 1820 Settler events (October/Sept?), Parkhill Liight car handicap meeting etc

After Roy Hesketh Circuit was built in Pietermaritzburg circa 1953 the 'Durban' racing tapered off.

Off the top of my head - I would say the last time the old Snell Parade was used for racing was 1955.

The next BIG event on the streets was the 1988 Durban Street Classic. It was very well organised.