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Old 7 Nov 2003, 10:07 (Ref:775784)   #1
diz
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Aintree Circuit Club Race Meetings

I feel a spot of nostalgia coming on. I used to be heavily involved in running the Race Meetings and weekly Tuesday night test sessions for the Aintree Circuit Club in the 70s'

Please share your memories of those days with me.
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 10:49 (Ref:775810)   #2
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you're showing your age now dizzy, how can the rest of us be expected to remember racing at Aintree, apart from the Grand National !
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 11:19 (Ref:775831)   #3
MikeM
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Diz, oh dear - my first visit to a GP was at Aintree, 1958?? A few families got together and arranged a bus for all of us. I only have vague memories - obviously! (I'm only 21 plus VAT) I then ran in sprints from the mid '80s. Long track, two laps, short track - shorter track!!
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 14:53 (Ref:776036)   #4
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Many of "our" Aintree people went on to bigger and better things. I believe that Frank Sytner made his debut there in a Mini and his pit board "hanger outer" was none other than Sir Frank Williams. I also seem to remember Mr Sytner being upside down at Club in a FF1600 - although I might be wrong.
Just some names are :- [and this is not an exhaustive list]

Eddie Jordan, had his first UK win at Aintree, although he had a very good "helper", who modesty prevents me from naming.
Derek Daly [who tried to sneak out in a Le Riche GT, without signing on during a test night - but I collared him. This car was owned by a Charlie O'Hara - an Irish boatbuilder from Blackburn, although I'm not sure which sea runs past Blackburn]
Michael Roe, David Leslie, Gunnar Nillson, Kim Mather, Ken Fildes, Janet McPherson, Richard Peacock, Phil and Andy Middlehurst, Malcolm Barfoot, Alo Lawler, Mike Wrigley, Ray Davies, Harry O'Brien, John Scott-Davies, Derek Bennett [many Chevrons were given their first outings at Aintree], Steve Soper, Ken Bailey, Rob Moores, Vin Malkie, George Franchitti, etc. ..................
The list goes on and on. Those above will give you some food for thought.
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 15:03 (Ref:776042)   #5
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I was only little then !!!

I can remember quite a bit though, more about Tuesday nights
The most memerable had to be 1974ish i was only 5 but after leaving the circuit well beyond the melling rd, Dad decided to do a racing start at the lights of a large crossroads which promptley deposited his avenger gt in the middle of the junction.
I can also recall his V8 supersaloon Daf Oldsmobile (iam sure you rember that Diz)when racing cars were aloud to make noise!!
I also had my first run in a proper racing car at Aintree one of Richards school cars i was no more than about 13 i recall (shushhhh), I think you did the briefing Diz in the main Horse Grandstand , Moose was there also good ole days eh.
J.
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 15:31 (Ref:776066)   #6
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The first time I went to Aintree on a Tuesday evening
newcomers were shown the correct lines by 'experts'.
I was in the back seat of a car driven by a guy who's
name knew from racing saloons. Had I been lucky enough
to have got in the other car I would have been shown
how to do it by..........Diz, or as I knew him then
Mr.Smith..Sir.
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 15:57 (Ref:776085)   #7
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i seem to recall the old clubhouse was a dingey den of eniquety but did have the manditory pool table to keep 6 yearolds happy, i should imagine the police would have had a field day for drink driving in those days. But in those days the police were actualy out catching as my Dad would say "real criminals" and not accountable motorists for cash revenue !!!!
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 16:21 (Ref:776102)   #8
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Originally posted by StephenRae
newcomers were shown the correct lines by 'experts'.
Stephen Rae Pulston-Jones, you disappoint me and not for the first time I might add!!
Had you listened to what you were told, it wasn't the "correct lines by expert drivers", it was a total safety thing on how to join and leave the circuit.
For those of you unfamiliar with the venue, you had to leave the track on the exit of the right handed Club Corner and turn left into the Paddock slip road. To achieve this safely, certain procedures had to be followed. This included exactly where you had to to place your vehicle [on the grass on the right hand side of the track] and follow the entry / exit marshals instructions to the letter. What we had to achieve was getting an old Alexis FF1600 off the track [assuming it was on a good day and you had actually got that far without breaking down, or spinning off] without it being collected by Kim Mather's BRM P153 F1 or even an 850cc Mini. As you will recall, you had absolutely zero rearward vision at this point.
I wonder whatever happened to those fluorescent orange table tennis bats?
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 16:30 (Ref:776110)   #9
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Did sprints used to run on the full circuit? Would have been cool - the "club" sprint is good but only three corners...
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 16:38 (Ref:776120)   #10
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No, only things like the British Grand Prix, Aintree 200 etc., used the full layout
The first race meeting I ever attended was the last ever one on the full circuit in May 1964. I was a Paddock Marshal. I remember Jack Sears in a Ford Galaxie, Sir John [something or other beginning with W] in a Cortina and a Formula Three race.
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 17:09 (Ref:776137)   #11
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Firstly, two lap sprints have been done occasionally but this isn't over the full old circuit, just joins the three corners together with a "hairpin" before the Melling Road.
Diz, I guess you mean Sir John Whitmore who still does driving articles for one of the weekend supplements (Telegraph or Times - I'm not sure)
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 17:19 (Ref:776148)   #12
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Spot on Mike. I was thinking Willment, but knew that was wrong, cos it was the entrant Team Willment. Thanks.
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 18:35 (Ref:776221)   #13
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I'll reply to Diz's insults when I have more time.
My first visit to Aintree was in 1960 or 61, parked the motor bike near the Melling road and walked the entire
length of 'the longest ad. hoarding in the world' to
spectate from somewhere near country, so I never actually
saw cars racing on the GP part of the circuit. I think
Surtees or Hailwood won the (probably) F2 race.
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Old 7 Nov 2003, 22:02 (Ref:776351)   #14
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My first memory of Aintree was being driven around the circuit on my grandad's lap behind the wheel of dad's Titan MK6 following a break down truck with dad stood on the back on his "lap of honour" this was after dad survived a last minute lunge from Frank Sytner despite colliding, Frank came off worst (somethings never change) and dad went on to win. I still remember to this day the stones being thrown up from the front wheels and bouncing off my head : great!!!
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Old 8 Nov 2003, 13:56 (Ref:776898)   #15
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Never seen the circuit, but my '58 Lotus Eleven S2 (4DTN)team car won there with Keith Hall. It's been in the US since 1960 and in my garage since 1985.

I also have some old film footage of the F1 races there in '57 and 58.

Roger
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