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Old 14 Mar 2006, 22:14   #16
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i was at the test day in 1986 spectating...i marshalled the last 2 years..1989/90.i luv'd it !!! i always refer to the birmingham superprix as 'MONACO OF THE MIDLANDS'.i only wish they could do it all over again..my name would be first on the volunteering list !!!!byron matthews
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Old 14 Mar 2006, 22:29   #17
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I also did the last 2 years first year on the straight by the Mosque and the second at the last corner onto Bristol Street. In 89 all I can remember the bass beat coming from the local pub over the race engines. In 90 two fires on car 5 TVR when he hit the armco in practice and the race. Also the flag marshals with singed legs from the RS500 touring cars as they came onto Bristol Street. Great fun had by all.
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Old 14 Mar 2006, 22:32   #18
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Hi Bigears.

I was present at ALL the Birmingham Super Prix - and I have the badges to prove it!

Brian Jones was the main commentator in a wooden shed on top of the porta-cabins at Bristol Street Motors where the "pits" (haha) were located. I was his lap-charter and 'gopher'.

The first year it rained a bit (!!!!) and you had to see the sparks that came off the monitors - no windows in the shed you see. I still have the mildewed lapchart for the only race to take place.
The next year it was warm (!!) and we roasted - because now we had windows.

But mainly I remember the evenings in the Hotel after the Races - well actually I don't!!
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 00:21   #19
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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...
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 00:33   #20
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I am overwhelmed with information there! I am so jealous that you all went there (I was only 3 years ago when Hurricane Charley hit the BSP track )

I decided to post some photos to get your tastebuds going!

(Except I've deleted every one because they all breach copyright laws - Just giving credit to Autosport, Encyclopedias, and a 'certain Belgian friend', isn't sufficient, I'm afraid, you need written permission, and I'm betting you don't have that! - JT)

Hopefully this will help more members to post in here!


Keep posting those excellent stories (or maybe some photos? ) chaps!

Last edited by John Turner; 15 Mar 2006 at 07:36. Reason: Please don't just post images that you don't own - see FAQs
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 00:46   #21
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The big bump was going into the Halfords Hairpin where there was a major step over the camber in the road surface just at the braking point. Many of the F3000s were briefly airborne over it, and Jean-Denis Delatraz's rear suspension failed on landing on the first lap (1989?). They added a tyre barrier to the inside to force the cars away from the worst part, but this sadly ruined the overtaking opportunity. It also got demolished several times as TVRs and Fiestas seemed to be attracted to it.
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 00:49   #22
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Waaay! I got the colours right! Not bad for 15 years ago.

Actually, I'm going to merge this thread and the marshals one, but I'll leave a redirect over there. Better to have all the tales in one place.
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 01:12   #23
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No problem, thank you for sorting this out.
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 07:53   #24
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simon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I have two friends who race dat the first one I think. One of them (who shares my car in the long distance races) was in the tin top race although it didnt happen due to the rain. By coincidence on his way to racing Gp C he spent a season in F3000. Another co incidence is that we were chatting about that race at lunch on Sunday!
The other mate ran in the Thundersports race and I think took a class win. Both said it was a great event.
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 07:53   #25
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Like Jim i also marshalled all five but the best one for me has to be the first one.

I was in a fire tender ( Transit pick-up with big fire bottles strapped to the back)
in the pit-lane and spent all sunday and monday laughing and joking with James Hunt.

I could tell you some stories about him but the mods wouldn't print them.
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 08:31   #26
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Went to every one,missed just one saturday.Have hardly been to any other british racing since as circuits are so boring compared to Birmingham!
Actually,I thought we had already discussed this,and I recall sending some of my photos to 'bigears'- or was it that other forum we are not allowed to mention?
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 08:47   #27
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simon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I also have a sense of deja vous but its a great subject!
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 12:20   #28
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Rob, yes you have already sent your collection of BSP photos last year.

Nice to see you in this forum by the way

rescue dude, if you got anything what James Hunt said about the Birmingham Superprix, you can PM me?
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 13:14   #29
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I went in 86 and 88, the latter was complete chaos due to the crashes, and not much of a race as I recall. 86 was the worst weather I ever experienced at a track. The Pavesi Ralts made the rest look silly, Perez Sala I think could be another of our "he looked really good, why didn't he do better in F1...".
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Old 15 Mar 2006, 13:19   #30
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But Sala made a mess of his lead when he spun into the barriers and losing his nose cover. He lost a lot of ground when Pierluigi Martini and Michel Ferte caught him up. But Sala was saved by the bell when Andrew Gilbert Scott spun into Alain Ferte's abandoned car before the chicane resulting the red flag to be brought out.

Sala won the race when the chasing duo finished about three seconds behind.
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