Originally Posted by chunterer
Councillors said it was a huge money loss but i remember a massive crowd for that final year so it must have been a pretty good tourist attraction.
This may be apocryphal, but I believe it lost money because an offer to underwrite the race by Marlboro was turned down, and minor sponsorship from an anti-smoking group taken instead. Fair enough as a political decision, but you can't blame the race for losing money as a result.
I went to every one, and what a fantastic event it was. It was before I started marshalling circuits, so I was a spectator and managed to see the whole circuit over the years. I used to watch parctice and qualifying from the grandstand on the right hander after the Middleway as it was free, and that gave you a good view all the way up the straight and back, most of the way to the left hand kink before Ferodo, and across into the chicane round the roundabout. Race day was varied. I watched two from the hairpin, one from the first corner and two from Ferodo, including the shunt and boxing match between Sytner and Cleland after Frank 'assisted' John's entry speed into the hairpin. I also remember Derek Higgins guest drive in the CRX ending in a shower of tyres all over the circuit after the car got away from him in the fast left.
Donnely went well in a car that was half white and half yellow after it was apparently totalled when he abandoned it on the exit of the first corner. That race was won by Alesi, I think.
vna der Poele was masterful the year he won, simply keeping Apicella in sight. The car was clearly smoking from early on, and obviously getting worse, and I'm sure he just sat back and waited for it to go pop before striding away into the distance.
Some of the support races were pretty good too. CRXs were good value. Mike Jordan's Porsche Turbo was terrifying and fantastic in equal measure, and all those Sierra Cosworths...