Silverstone's 70th anniversary

Silverstone's 70th anniversary

2nd October 2018

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the first race held at Silverstone, the International Grand Prix, won by Luigi Villoresi.

In June 1948 it was announced by the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) that a Grand Prix was to be run at Silverstone in October 1948. President of the BRDC, Earl Howe, drove around Europe enticing drivers to come and compete, while ex-RAF pilot Jimmy Brown was hired to turn the old RAF base into a race track in only 10 weeks.

The race track was created by using the perimeter road and two of the runways, creating a circuit that was 3.67 miles long. There were only two grandstands for the race with the remaining 100,000 spectators being separated from the cars on track by string and straw bales!

On Saturday 2nd October the 500cc support race started at 12 noon, a race that saw Stirling Moss lead for the first 3 laps, but retire due to problems with his transmission. The eventual winner was Spike Rhiando with an average speed of 60.68mph.

The Grand Prix began at 2pm, Loius Chiron taking the early lead. The two Maserati;s of Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi, the latter starting at the back due to his late arrival to the event on Friday, were making their way up the field, with Villoresi taking the lead on lap 4. Their positions stayed the same and Villoresy won the first ever race at Silverstone.

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