Encyclopedia > Brooklands

  Article Content

Brooklands

Brooklands was a motor racing circuit in Surrey, England. The brainchild of Hugh Locke-King[?], it was opened on June 17, 1907 and was the first custom built race track in the world.

Requirements of speed and spectator visibility led to the track being built as a 100ft wide 2.75 miles long banked oval. The banking was nearly 30 feet high in places. In addition to the oval, a bisecting "finishing straight" was built, increasing the track length to 3.25 miles, of which 1.25 miles was banked.

Due to the complications of laying tarmac on banking, and the expense of laying asphalt, the circuit was built using gravel and cement. This led in later years to a somewhat bumpy ride, as the surface settled over time.

Along the centre of the track ran a dotted black line, known as the Fifty Foot Line. By driving over the line, a driver could theoretically take the banked corners without having to use the steering wheel.

Eleven days after the circuit opened, it played host to the world's first 24 hour motor event, with Selwyn Edge[?] leading three specially converted Napier cars around the circuit. Edge drove his car for the full duration, with the drivers of the other two cars taking the more familliar shift approach.

Brooklands was also home to an air-base, which in 1909 saw the first flight of an English aircraft by an English pilot - Alliot Verdon-Roe[?]. He subsequently set up the aircraft manufacturer Avro. Later, Bleriot[?], Sopwith[?] and Vickers all set up production at Brooklands.

During the Second World War, a section of the autodrome banking was removed to allow Wellington Bombers access to the airstrip. Trees were also planted into the concrete of the circuit to help screen the air-base.

After the war, the circuit was consequently undriveable, and has since become home to the Brooklands Museum, which celebrates the site's racing and aeronautical heritage.

The remaining sections of track were the subject of a preservation order in 2001, rendering illegal any subsequent destuction of the circuit.

External Link



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
June 2003

... to the "out of Africa" single origin theory of human evolution. [19] (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993814) Masquerading as an Orthodox Jew, a ...