You were there

This month, readers transport us to Detroit and Silverstone for Grand Prix action. We also feature Aston Martin in the 1950s at Le Mans and, er, Seaford


These shots of ’50s Aston Martins were taken by ex-Ilmor engineer Andrew’s mother. “Mum’s cousin is Brian Clayton, an Aston race engineer from that era,” he explains. “Brian would travel from Feltham in a variety of cars to visit Mum’s family in Seaford.” This family is big on racing – Andrew’s wife is Frank Costin’s daughter. {1} Graham Whitehead/Ian Stewart DB3S coupé lies wrecked at 1954 Le Mans after a collision with Pierre Meyrat’s Talbot. The other coupé {2}, driven by Prince Bira and Peter Collins, was fourth when steering trouble precipitated a crash. {3} Suburban setting for Le Mans DB3S which Collins and Paul Frère would take to second in 1955 race. {4} New model disguises are not new – functional Aston prototype visits Seaford…


New Zealand resident John was introduced to motor sport by his cousin, F3 racer Peter Gaydon. He attended many a GP in the 1970s/’80s but the last was at Silverstone ’92 with his friend Divina Galica. {1} Stefan Bellof was an admirable fourth in underpowered Tyrrell at the 1985 Detroit GP. {2} Ayrton Senna at the ’84 race – he crashed his Toleman. {3} Philippe Alliot was another non-finisher in the RAM-Hart, whereas Martin Brundle was an impressive second, only for his Tyrrell {4} to be later disqualified. {5}Ligier pair Andrea de Cesaris/Jacques Laffite were among just 12 finishers on the rough Detroit track in ’85.


An F1 fan since the 1960s, Ian’s early track visits were to nearby Crystal Palace and Brands Hatch just after the GP loop was added. His photos are from the 1965 British GP at Silverstone: “My hero was [and still is] Jim Clark, and to get close to him was amazing, even if he was wearing a cardigan!” {1} Richie Ginther sits near spare Honda V12. He started from the front row but lost power in the race. {2} Clark and Mike Spence’s Lotus 33s sit in the paddock. Spence finished a fine fourth, but knitwear fan Clark {3} could not be beaten by Graham Hill’s BRM, despite the Scot nursing a sick Climax engine to the finish.