Teenage clicks

Michael Cookson had a photographic eye from a young age. His shots from local haunts Aintree and Oulton Park, plus images from Monza, are proof

"The opening of Oulton Park and Aintree in the 1950s was marvellous for me, living in Cheshire," says motor racing fanatic Michael Cookson. Later in life he would become a circuit commentator at Oulton, a role he still enjoys today. But back in the early 1960s he was just another teenage enthusiast — who just happened to take superb photographs of the action.

It was during a family holiday to Lake Como in 1960 that the 18-year-old paid his first visit to Monza. "My father simply announced that he had bought tickets for the Italian Grand Prix," he remembers. "He hadn't told us before we left the UK in case it put my mother off!"

Michael captured some superb images — and Enzo's autograph — on that memorable day. But similar track access at home allowed for local creativity, too.