Your Track Test of Aintree was of great interest to me. For 15 years I have been bringing my Lotus 15 to Europe for the historic seasons, but have never driven up to Liverpool to look at what was the inspiration for our Warwick Farm circuit in Australia, another track based around a famous horse racing venue.
Not only was Aintree our inspiration, but my Lotus was driven to victory there in July 1959 by Graham Hill in the sportscar support race for the British GP of that year. There were only two events on the schedule, the grand prix and the sportscar race, with generally the same drivers in each.
The programme for this event reveals that the secretary of the meeting was Geoffrey Sykes,who was later lured to Australia in late 1959 by the Australian Jockey Club, owners of Warwick Farm, to oversee the planning and running of the new motor racing facility.
It was through Geoff that motor racing came of age in Australia, with Moss, Clark, Ireland etc heading up an all-star field for our first International events of note. Geoff and I became close friends and his death some years ago created a void that has never been quite filled. Warwick Farm closed in the 1970s when our motorsport controlling body, CAMS, insisted on a major upgrade of safety fences (long overdue) and other improvements. The AARC did not have the funds and the AJC wanted motor racing out of the picture; so came the demise of a wonderful venue.
I AM, YOURS ETC,
Paul M Samuels, Bowral, NSW, Australia