- Circuit Length 4.430kms
- Circuit Turns 3
- Circuit Direction anti-clockwise
- Capacity 200,000
- Unused Since 1939
- Established 1907
- Designer Hugh Locke-King
Brooklands was the world's first purpose-built motorsport circuit, opening a year before Indianapolis, but had a short life, staging it last race in 1939, only 32 years after its first.
The distinctive banked, oval track, which was nearly 30 feet high in places, was finished in concrete because of the issues of laying tarmac on such a gradient. There was a finishing straight in front of the clubhouse. 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. Within a fortnight of opening the circuit hosted the world's first 24-hour race (several hundred railway lamps were used to light the track).
In 1926 the track hosted the first British Grand Prix, and regular racing continued right up to the war, along with other events, including massed cycling.
In 1939 racing was stopped and the site became a hub for the production of military aircraft, leading to large areas of the track being destroyed to build factories. In September 1940 Brooklands was heavily bombed with 87 workers killed and more than 400 injured.
When the war ended there was no way racing could resume and the land was sold to Vickers-Armstrong where it continued through various identities until it was sold in 1988 for redevelopment.
It is now home to the Brooklands Museum, a major tourist attraction. Around two-thirds of the original track can still be seen, including a large banked section. The museum also houses a reclaimed Lancaster bomber and the first Concorde.
- The good, the bad and the dangerous (May 10, 2010)
March 11, 1935
© Getty Images
March 28, 1932
© Press Association
August 5, 1926
© Getty Images
August 22, 1914