In offering the British Racing Drivers Club very sincere congratulations on its sixtieth birthday, we present this pictorial review of its celebrated Brooklands 500-Mile Races, highlights of its pre-war calendar at a time when it also ran the British Empire Trophy races at the Track and at Donington Park.
We concentrate on the “BRDC 500”, then the fastest long-distance track race in the world, because it is perhaps the only aspect of the history of this highly-respected Club which has been somewhat neglected in its magnificent jubilee book Pole Position (see page 1244).
But the only club which bestows full membership only upon proven racing drivers has far more to its credit than those pre-war events. It was largely responsible for the revival of British motor racing after the war at Silverstone, a circuit which it now owns and operates so effectively. It has more famous drivers among its members, numbers more celebrities among its officials (for instance HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as its President-in-Chief, and the Hon Gerald Lascelles as its President), and has presented more important racing trophies than any other similar organisation.
It all began in 1927, evolving from the dinners which keen Bentley driver Dr J D Benjafield gave for his fellow competitors, and the first outer-circuit BRDC 500-Mile Racc was run in 1929. Today the Club has 262 life members, 174 full members, 30 associate patrons, 72 associate mechanics, 78 associate general and 76 honorary members.
The continual development and improvements of Silverstone into the veritable “Home of British Motor Racing” sets the BRDC on a very special pinnacle, although some might consider its annual dinners to be the most enjoyable of its achievements!
MOTOR SPORT was once the official organ of the British Racing Drivers Club. In 1987, suffice it for us to offer it our very best wishes for equal success over the next 60 years, for it is indeed a unique and benevolent power in the motor racing firmament. WB
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