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September 4th, 2016

Silverstone Racing Circuit- RAF Silverstone Circuit Airstrips

The WWII RAF Airstrips around which the Silverstone racing circuit is built.

  • Before the Silverstone racing circuit, was home to fast cars and motorcycles, the area was a Royal Air Force bomber station that was setup in 1943. The circuit’s borders around the three runways that were used by RAF Silverstone during WWII.
  • After the war and before the circuit was constructed, impromptu racing used to take place once local motoring groups caught wind of the deserted airstrip. Maurice Geoghegan one of the locals once ran over a sheep while racing with eleven of his friends on the two-mile long airstrip, killing the sheep and totalling his car. After the resulting events of the race, these informal races became known as the Mutton Grand Prix.
  • Before the Silverstone racing circuit became a part of the motorcycle racing calendar, the British Grand Prix took place at the Isle of Man where the current Tourist Trophy takes place. The event moved to Donington Park in 1987 and has made its return to Silverstone in 2010.
  • The first Grand Prix held at the Silverstone Circuit was in 1948 and was won by Italian Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati.
  • Randy Mamola had the highest amounts of wins at the Silverstone racing circuit in the 500cc motorcycles class. Jorge Lorenzo equals his record with three wins in 2010, 2012 and 2013 in the MotoGP class.
  • Maggots corner is the fastest turn of any circuit in the world. Here, cars manage speeds upto 180mph (290kmph) while pulling over 4.5g on the drivers.
  • Priest Cornelius Horan was put behind the bars for two months after running across the Silverstone racing circuit at Hangar Straight in the middle of a race in 2003. He was defrocked for his actions.
  • The Silverstone racing circuit has favoured local British riders and drivers throughout it’s history as the generally perform better on their home circuit.
  • Graham hill in 1960 had one of the most dramatic races at the Silverstone racing circuit. Going last at the start of the race and recovering back to first position, only to crash out with 5 laps remaining. 34-years later, his son Damon Hill would win the British Grand Prix to complete what his father couldn’t do.
  • In 1948, Royal Automotive Club chairman Wilfred Andrews employed James Brown on a three-month contract to create the Silverstone racing circuit. Nearly 40-years later, Brown died while still being employed at the track.
  • Yamaha has been the most successful motorcycle manufacturer at the Silverstone racing circuit, winning 8 races out of 17 that were held on the track.
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