How it all began.
In the immediate post-World War 2 years the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) examined many airfields in Britain that remained unused. The RAC aimed one of these disused airfields to be the home of a brand new racing circuit. Most of these airfields were isolated from residential areas, so chances of complaints about the noise were getting much smaller. In the end, the Northamptonshire airfield Silverstone seemed to be the most suitable.
And that’s how in 1948 the British GP ended up at the Silverstone Race Circuit. The circuit had a length of 5.896 km and used both main runways and the linking section of the perimeter road, forming a giant X-shape.
The first GP
Villoresi won the first GP in a Maserati with an average speed of 116.32 km/h. However, the racers didn’t seem to be very happy with the X-formed layout of the circuit. As a result, in 1949, the X-form disappeared and only the outer perimeter roads were being used. After these changes, the circuit had a length of 4.828 km. GP’s were run at the track till 1954. New home for the British GP was the Aintree race track but then GP returned to Silverstone in 1956, 1958 and 1960. Then alternating between Silverstone and Brands-Hatch from 1963 on.
The Silverstone race circuit has been the host of numerous club race meetings. Large crowds have gathered to see legendary races with great cars and iconic racers like Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jacky Stewart to name just a few.
Nowadays one of the best visited events is the Silverstone Classic