Ayrton Senna was clearly a megastar of the future to Nigel Bland, who sent a selection of shots from the 1983 Formula Three season and some material from the Brazilian’s early Formula One career. Senna narrowly won the ’83 British F3 title after an amazing fight with Martin Brundle, who was driving for the Eddie Jordan racing team. Adding further spice were the European championship races in which Jordan ran the ’82 British champ. Tommy Byrne. “Unfortunately the season also included tragedy” points out Mr Bland. “After Brundle won the Austrian GP support race the Jordon transporter crashed on the way back to Britain, killing Rob Bowden his chief mechanic. The transporter in the bottom of an Austrian gorge was quite a shock as I began the long drive home.”
– Senna moved into F1 with Toleman in 1984. Here he is at Brands Hatch.
– The Brazilian in his West Surrey Racing Ralt-Toyota at Donington Park.
– Irishmen at Silverstone: Byrne chats with team boss Jordan.
– Silverstone commentator Ian Titchmarsh with Brundle, Byrne.
– Poor Rob Bowden was killed when the EJR truck crashed in Austria.
– A youthful looking Senna cracks a smile at the Silverstone pits.
Just days afyer leaving school, Derbyshire reader Fred Drabble turned up at Silverstone for the 1971 British Grand Prix, where he took these atmospheric shots from the pits and paddock. “I borrowed an Anglia van and set off for Silverstone” he remembers. ” I had decided to go for qualifying on the Thursday, reasoning that it would be quiet and I would get a better view and photos than on race day. It is interesting to parallel the degree of sophistication, freedom of access and friendly atmosphere on a GP practice day at the time with a 750 Motor Club meeting of the present day. I’m sure that goes a long weay to explaining where I am to be found most weekends of the summer now.” We particularly like the cluttered area between the March and Lotus teams — look out for the No 3 turbine Lotus of Reine Wisell. Also of amusement, in the top right pic is the dark blue transit of the Williams team. A far cry from the paddock paraphernalia of today.
– Pescarolo’s Williams-run March finished in fourth place.
– Sea of red as March and Lotus cars are scattered around.
– Surtees recruit Derek Bell crouches beside ‘Big John’.
– Beltoise’s Matra; John Bolster in his deerstalker!
The letter had a string of colourful South African stamps on it, so imagine our surprise when we opened it up to find a succession of photos from a national-level meeting at Brands Hatch in 1962. “My sabbatical from the colonies was due to end in June ’62” says David Pearson, “and I was determined to see as many race meetings as possible. I even bought a Russian 35mm camera for five pounds from an impoverished Australian. Goodwood, Silverstone and Aintree were not the best places for the camera, but Brands was better. And easy to get to. Just a quick hop from Earls Court onto a Greenline bus, that infuriating detour into a village on the right, just before Brands, and an agonising delay to cross the main road. Then there I was.” Bizarre shot of the month is surely the one of Innes Ireland and Roy Salvadori with a model from the National Bedding Federation. It was Ford-powered by the way.
– Charles Kelsey (Chevy II) heads Salvadori’s Jag in tin-top battle.
– Salvadori, now in an Aston Zagato, took second to Ireland’s Ferrari.
– And here’s Roy in bed at Druids with Innes and a model.