The Brooklands Society
know your cars and drivers section

| Introduction | Race 1 | Race 2 | The Cars | The Drivers | Track Photos |
| Performance Parameters | General Data |
| Main Brooklands Society Web Site |


In 1998 we were called upon to create a set of parameters from which a computer game could be written based on motor racing at Brooklands in the period between the two world wars. The game, 'Spirit of Speed' by Hasbro, has since become available in the shops and we have decided that now is the time to release the details of the project for our many readers around the globe who we know are interested in the details of early motor racing at Brooklands. So here it is, not honed to a smooth web site unfortunately (yet - but I am working on it) but still full of information nevertheless:

Motor racing prior to the 1914 - 1918 Great War was characterized by large cars with large engines. These heavy cars were at their best on the Brooklands Outer Circuit which had no severe corners requiring sudden direction changes and no requirement for violent braking. A heavy car requires a lot of power to accelerate, significant force to effect direction changes and by virtue of its high momentum a lot of energy has to be dissipated to slow it down and make it stop. War greatly accelerates the rate at which technology advances. Consequently the resulting  improvements in metallurgy eventually yielded stronger lighter metals which led to a different type of car as the twenties progressed.

After any war however, there is always a good supply of cheap government surplus materials and in particular the post 1918 period saw an abundance of surplus large capacity, high performance aircraft engines. When fitted to an old Mercedes or Fiat chassis these engines enabled relatively low cost high powered, but ponderous racing cars to be built. The best known of these is probably Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The large engine principle was extended into the early thirties by Walter Bentley but foundered with the onset of the Depression signalling the end of the era of the big bangers.

The 750Kg single seater racing car formula was then introduced which led to a new generation of light very fast racing cars and the development of supercharging. It is said that there is nothing new in motor racing so no hard lines can be drawn for issues such as supercharging, overhead cam engines, multi valve cylinders etc. Very often the cars of the thirties simply improved upon designs which had existed even before 1910 but they implemented these with superior materials and of course the advantage of one or two decades of practical experience by a small number of specialists. The most famous of this new generation of light cars included Alfa Romeo, Riley, Maserati, Alta, supercharged 750 c.c. Austins, M.G. and more latterly, possibly the greatest of them all; the E.R.A. how to register to online trading

The Two Eras

One can therefore split Brooklands racing into two parts, the Big Bangers which raced on the banked Outer Circuit and the later cars racing on the several road racing style circuit layouts consisting partly of flat stretches of track and partly of the Brooklands Banking.

We picked two specific "race series", to fit each kind of car and particular categories of car to fit each type of circuit, together with a set of drivers who would have driven each kind of car.

Ancient and Modern

Most of the drivers are no longer with us but many of the cars are. We provided both period and modern photographs of many of the cars for illustrative purposes so that he photographs could be integrated into the game to good effect. We also provided dashboard photographs.

Click on any of the hyperlinks at the top or bottom of the page to see information on the races, cars, drivers etc. Have fun - or if you're in the USA - enjoy!


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

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Photographer: Robert Titherley