So the people in charge of Aintree racecourse have built grandstands on top of Tates Corner on the old grand prix circuit, but should we be bothered? It was, after all, never one of the great tracks and hasn’t hosted a front-line motor race since 1964. If it was that fabulous a place, why has it been ignored for over 40 years? Is there really that much to be fussed about?
I think there is. Good track or not, it is a place of great sporting significance. It is where Stirling Moss — probably the greatest racing driver this country has produced — won his first grand prix. Two years later, in 1957, he shared a Vanwall there with Tony Brooks and they became the first Britons to win a British Grand Prix in a British cat It is not just some redundant bit of road. It is, or should be, a national monument which should not be allowed to be desecrated in the interest of increasing the profits of the Aintree Racecourse Company Ltd. What can be done about it? Not much, although you could always exercise your right to free speech. The telephone number is 0151 523 2600, or drop them a line at [email protected] — I’m sure they will be delighted to hear from you.
Ferrari is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, and under the circumstances it seemed only right to carry a significant amount of Maranello content this month. But this year also marks another significant anniversary — the half century of the Caterham (nee Lotus) Seven. As you will read, I was lucky enough to become briefly reacquainted with the Ferrari F40, but you might be surprised to learn that, as I drove, it was Colin Chapman’s miraculous little sports car that kept popping into my mind. They possess the same focus, the same immediacy, simplicity and purpose. The only difference is that you need £200,000 for a decent F40, or about ten times what’s required for a similarly second-hand Caterham quick enough to scare you similarly witless. Long may it last.