The Brooklands Society
know your cars and drivers section


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Kennelm Lee Guinness

Kennelm Lee Guinness (of the famous brewing family and later inventor of the K.L.G. spark plug) experienced his first motor racing when rode as mechanic to his older brother Algernon who owned several fast Darracqs. He was one of the pre-Great War and early twenties set which counted amongst its members Louis Zborowski, Clive Gallop, Bertie Moir and Henry Segrave, all exponents of large and very large cars during that period.

In 1914 he won the Isle of Man T.T. race for Sunbeam having been one of the official works drivers since 1913.

Some time later at the 1921 Brooklands Easter meeting Guinness eventually got a big black and white V-12 Sunbeam wound up and put in a lap of 120.01 mph earning himself a coveted Brooklands 120 mph badge. In the Autumn of 1921 Guinness was timed down the Railway Straight at 135 mph, entering the finishing straight at 140 mph. KLG was awarded a cup by the BARC for his achievement and for running a truly thrilling race against a very fast Vauxhall and that infamous old Lorraine Dietrich "Vieux Charles Trois" which Malcolm Campbell had managed to retrieve from France after the Great War.

During practice on the 16th May 1922 KLG was timed by friends on the Railway Straight at 144 mph and on the following day in windy conditions he clocked an official 140.51 mph one way to take a new Brooklands lap record of 123.39 mph along with several other speed records over various distances. His official 137.15 mph flying kilometre record was to stand unbeaten for another seven years. In this car he went on to win the 1922 Duke of York race at 122.67 m.p.h. on his best laps.

He was particularly known for his success in 1 litre Talbot Darracqs in which he won three consecutive races, The Brooklands 200 Mile race, Le Mans and the Penya Rhin Grand Prix.

During the 1924 San Sebastian Grand Prix he crashed his Sunbeam, killing his mechanic and sustaining serious injuries from which he never really recovered although he did lend a hand to Henry Segrave in America for the 200 m.p.h. record in the big red twin-engined Sunbeam - another car which now resides at Beaulieu - alongside the V12 Bluebird car.

Kennelm Lee Guinness died in 1937.

 

| Introduction | Race 1 | Race 2 | The Cars | The Drivers | Track Photos |
| Performance Parameters | General Data |

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