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motor racing


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Began soon after Karl Benz invented the petrol‐driven car in 1885. The first race took place on 11–13 June 1895 from Paris to Bordeaux. In 1906 H. F. Locke King built a 2.75‐mile concrete track at his Surrey estate called Brooklands. It featured long, steeply banked turns to allow cars to corner at speed.

New courses sprang up in Britain: Donnington Park near Derby (1933), Silverstone in Northamptonshire (1948), Brands Hatch in Kent (1949), and Oulton Park in Cheshire (1953). The British Grand Prix was first held in 1948. It was not until the introduction of the World Drivers' Championship in 1950 that Britain made her mark. That year saw the launch of British Racing Motors (BRM) in an attempt to match the European competition. In 1958 Stirling Moss, driving a Cooper, won the Argentine GP.

In the 1950s Moss and Mike Hawthorn became household names. Graham Hill won the Drivers' Championship in 1962 and 1968, Jim Clark in 1963 and 1965, and Jackie Stewart in 1969, 1971, and 1973. James Hunt and Nigel Mansell followed suit in 1976 and 1992, and Damon Hill in 1996.

Subjects: Regional and National History — Sport and Leisure.


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