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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Video Sunday - A Bit One-Sided

14/5/12, 8:27, 59936 views (when posted)

The oldest race track in the world is Brooklands in Surrey, England. Opened in 1907, it was used not only to hold motor races, but for record attempts as well, be it top speed, average speed, or anything else that can be done on a big oval with a straight going up the middle (the latter element also making it one of Britain's first airfields). In 1939 it was closed and became an air base in the second world war, as plane factories popped up. Sadly a combination of bomb damage and neglect - including later aero factories cutting through the track or building hangars on it - have lead to it becoming an incomplete relic, with companies buying out defunct buildings and turning part of the track into a car park and even some houses being built on it. I hate that...

Europe's second-oldest track is the Autodromo Sitges-Terramar near Sitges in Spain, which opened in 1923. Unlike Brooklands, the simple oval layout remains unscathed in its 89 years, save for some plant life sprouting up and the un-restored road surface becoming even bumpier than before (neither track was smooth or had barriers, making speed record attempts all the more dangerous and unbelievably ballsy considering the machines used). This means that the first track ever to hold a Grand Prix is still drivable, if you're brave enough to try beating the old course record.

Of course, having a modern racing car with a rear wing you could serve dinner on does help deal with the unnerving road surface, but the video above still shows the Audi R8 LMS jumping over some of the track surface because it's so bumpy. It would be far too scary to race on in an age when deaths are avoided at all costs, as just going over a bump on the very steep banking could send you flying over the edge at tremendous speed. Hence, he's flying solo. Enjoy some grade-A bravery. Then consider doing it in an enormous plane-engined monster on bike-width crossply tyres. With no seat belt.

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