Apart from the famous Weybridge Motor Course in this country, a correspondent reminds us of another Brooklands race track, that which was founded in 1932 at West Subiaco Aerodrome (now Perry Lakes) in Perth, Australia. It was a one-mile circuit, compared to the British Brooklands 2 3/4-miles, consisting of two straights linked by two more straights, of unequal length, the turns banked. The surface was of cinders over a limestone base, and it was lapped in a clockwise direction. Separate pits for car drivers and motorcycle riders were erected, there was a grandstand, and a public-address system. By a superhuman effort the track was got ready for the opening meeting at Easter, 1932, the ceremony performed by the Acting Mayor of Subiaco, Cr. L. Boas, who referred to the new track as the first artificial speedway in Australia, having overlooked the Marobra track.
There were three car races, run in two heats and a final, and others for motorcycles, but the loose surface proved tricky. The cars entered comprised five Triumphs, two Salmsons, A7, Bugatti, Ford Special, Buick, 60 M Special, Wolseley and a FWD BSA Special. It is interesting that one race was called the Lightning Short Handicap This and the Brooklands Handicap were won by a 20-year-old calling himself -Ralph de Palma” to disguise his presence from his parents, at the wheel of a Triumph, and the Directors Cup race was won by another Triumph driven by Derek Rosman. The race finals were over a mere four laps. The second race meeting was held on June 25th., 1932, but although some 3,000 spectators attended, only about 750 paid to get in, as the track was still unfenced. The big race was the All-Powers Handicap, in which the heats were won by an A7 and a Model-A Ford, the Final going to Cranston’s Model-A Ford. Alas, an accident involving an aeroplane and some of the spectators resulted in severe injuries to E. Marshall, one of the Directors of Brooklands Pty. Ltd., and the track was not reopened, except for events put on by the Harley Davidson MCC, which held a lease. after the Company owning the course had gone bankrupt.
Until quite recently it was possible to drive round the track, but now the McGillivray Oval and the CSIRO building at the corner of Underwood Avenue and Brockway Road have obliterated most of it, although a remnant can still be seen, where one of the bankings stood. — W.B.