Report and photos by Tim Surman
The Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival 2013 was held 15-16 June at Brooklands in Surrey, England. If you have a whiff of petrol in your veins, the name Brooklands may conjure up images of huge Bentleys thundering around the Byfleet Banked concrete circuit, leather caps and goggles. Driving towards Brooklands now, you enter a thoroughly modern business park, with large HQ buildings made of concrete and glass. Follow the signs and above the tree line you’ll see the top of a building that stands apart from the surrounding buildings – the Brooklands Clubhouse. Step though the gates and you can feel the petrol in your veins start to rise, most of the track maybe long gone, but the place still has it soul intact. This is still a special place. Many of the old garages and surrounding buildings remain, along with many aircraft hangers showing how the importance of Brooklands changed during WWII and peace time too. Brooklands is the home of Concord, where over 30% of the airframes of the British-French plane was manufactured. The clubhouse looks the same as it would have back in the hay days of the 1930’s, back when Brooklands was classed as the “Ascot of Motor Racing”, the playground of high society.
One of the annual races held at Brooklands, organised by the Junior Car Club, was the Double Twelve. Held between 1929-31, this was a 24-hour race with a difference. Due to Brooklands’ neighbours objecting to nighttime racing, the race was split into two sessions. The first 12-hours of racing was held on the first day, then the cars held in Parc Ferme over night ready for the second day of 12-hours of racing. What a great idea, it’s a shame that circuits don’t hold a modern Double Twelve.
With most of the Brooklands circuit gone, holding the race again would be impossible, so now the Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival is a celebration of the back-to-back 12-hour race. The Festival is two days of vintage motorsports organised by the Brooklands Museum and the VSCC. Time trials are held on the first day around the Mercedes-Benz world circuit with the huge Mercedes building as a backdrop. Day two and the action continues on the only surviving part of the Byfleet Banking with driving trails. These take their inspiration directly from the trails organised in the 1930’s by the Junior Car Club at Brooklands.
Brooklands must be on the list of “must attend” motorsport places for anyone with a whiff of petrol in their veins. For more information on Brooklands Museum and the history of Brooklands, visit www.brooklandsmuseum.com.
Brooklands Double Twelve Festival 2013 – Photo Gallery
Brooklands Double Twelve Festival 2013 – Overall Winners
1. David Bracey, 1935 Aston Martin Mk II
2. Mark Garfitt, 1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 319/33 Sports
3. Neil Manley, 1962 Jaguar E-Type
Amelia Wooding, 1966 MG Midget Mk II
Corrado Lopresto, Alfa Romeo 6C 1750
[Source: VSCC; Tim Surman]