Aintree Motor Racing Circuit, is a racing circuit in Aintree, Merseyside, England that played host to the British Grand Prix on five occasions in Formula One. In addition, the circuit held 11 non-championship races, usually called the Aintree 200. The full length auto circuit was closed in 1964, however, the shortened course still remains open and has been used to host various racing events. Half of the track has reverted to its original use as a horse racing track, and the other half is still has an auto race track inside the horse track. There is now a road separating the two sections, which is closed during race meetings.
Horse racing at the site of Aintree dates back to the 18th century. Steeplechasing at Aintree first started in 1839, and it eventually became the home of the world-famous Grand National Steeplechase. In 1953, it was decided to add an auto race track to the facility.
After the circuit's completion in 1954, the owners obtained an alternating contract in Formula One to host the British Grand Prix with the Silverstone Circuit. This contract took affect when the 1955 British Grand Prix was hosted at the circuit. The race was dominated by the Mercedes cars, managing to earn the top four positions of the event. This was the first race since the disaster that took place during the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, in which at least 84 people were killed, and left many hundreds injured. This season was also Mercedes' last showing in all of motorsport for more than 35 years, as they announced that they would no longer participate in any motorsport as a result of the disaster.
After taking a break for the British Grand Prix to be hosted at Silverstone, the Aintree Motor Racing Circuit took control of the event for the 1957 season. This year's event was a spectacle that attracted a stunning 150,000 fans to the race. The 1957 event was won by a pair of drivers sharing a Vanwall car. This was Vanwall's first victory in Formula One, as well as Tony Brooks' first Grand Prix win.
The track hosted the 1959 British Grand Prix, as per their contract. In this race, fans saw Australian Jack Brabham lead every lap of the race from the pole position to take the win, falling just short of scoring his first Grand Chelem. This was Brabham's second and last victory of the 1959 Formula One Season, securing him the World Championship title.
The British Grand Prix came back to Aintree in 1961 British Grand Prix. The majority of the race was led by Wolfgang von Trips, after taking the lead from pole sitter Phil Hill in the opening laps. This would be von Trips' final victory before his fatal accident two races later in Italy. This was also Stirling Moss' final time driving in the British Grand Prix, as his Formula One career would come to end while racing in the Glover Trophy at Goodwood prior to the 1962 season, when he was involved in a life threatening accident that left him in a coma.
It was announced in 1961, that the Aintree Motor Racing Circuit would no longer be hosting the British Grand Prix. Therefore the track was allowed to host the 1962 British Grand Prix for the final time. The race was won by Jim Clark, giving him the first Grand Chelem of his career and the lap record.
The Grand Prix layout of the track was closed in 1964, with only the 2.41 km club circuit remaining. The circuit is still used for various racing series, including rallying and motorcycle racing. A road has been built that has now separated the club circuit from the rest of its previous layout, which has reverted back to exclusively a horse racing track, in which some of the old grandstands are still in use.
The original Grand Prix circuit (the blue and red area of the map on the right) consisted of eight corners. The start/finish line was located on the long straight. The Grand Nationals circuit (white on the map to the right) is the route used for steeplechase racing since 1839. Today, only the club circuit (the red section on the map to the right) remains for auto racing. This layout is just over 2.4 km in length.
The following is a list of Formula One World Championship events held at the Aintree Motor Racing Circuit:
|Year||Event||Winning Driver||Winning Constructor|
|1962||British Grand Prix||Jim Clark||Lotus-Climax|
|1961||Wolfgang von Trips||Ferrari|
|1957|| Tony Brooks|
|British Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Silverstone (1950 - Present), Aintree (1955 - 1962), Brands Hatch (1963 - 1986)|
|Races||1950 • 1951 • 1952 • 1953 • 1954 • 1955 • 1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016• 2017|
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