Inside line -- John Sinclair

Aintree Circuit Club

Whose idea was it to bring racing cars back to Aintree?

I was the person who thought up the idea in 1996, but Gary Millar made it possible. A lot of people said it could never be done. We have an annual contract with the race course management until at least 2008.

What major problems do you face?

There are some logistical problems. But the racecourse owners can close the Melling Road up to 12 days a year and horse racing doesn’t take up anything like that. The local authority is very positive and the local police are right behind us. We’ve not met any negative attitudes.

Are you hoping to rival Goodwood?

I don’t think this can be a Goodwood of the North. Goodwood is unique and has a different character. We should aim to be a big club meeting; an event for the drivers and the enthusiasts, not necessarily for the celebrities. But the return of racing is the ultimate goal.

How did you feel about seeing cars back on the GP circuit?

I was on a high. When the first cars ran round I choked up. It was very emotional for me. It’s the first time since 1964 that we’ve had racing cars on the Grand Prix circuit. We want to build on this year’s success.

What happens next?

We now push on for a date in July or August 2005. We want competitive motorsport, if not necessarily racing. Everyone has been very positive and they want to come back. We’ve made a great start — it would be a waste not to carry this on.