Crystal Palace Sprint 2014
Crystal Palace Sprint 2014 Photos and Stories.
Crystal Palace is a lovely event with the primary purpose to have fun with cars and without large corporate budgets, 2014-05-25, Crystal Palace, London, UK
Photos and story provided by Mark J Willison Contact Photographer for Information.
Crystal Palace Sprint 2014
Crystal Palace Sprint 25th and 16th May 2014.
Since the 7oaks & District Motor Club have taken on the responsibility of running the Crystal Palace Sprint as Motor Sport at the Palace event at what was London's Own Circuit in what was the (unique) in as much as it is the only circuit accessed by the London Underground.
The full circuit operated between 1927 and 1972. The trees of the beautiful parkland setting would have witnessed true greats most of whom have achieved legendary status amongst the fans interested in the history of the sport. All competed; including Jochen Rindt, who achieved the first 100mph lap in a Formula 2 Lotus 69- Ford in 1970. The results list of the circuit, when in full operation reads like a who's who of the greats and legends of the sports. Fairly sure that Rindt and other greats, such as, Tony Rolt, James Hunt, Graham Hill, Ronnie Peterson and Mike Hailwood are looking down through the trees and enjoying the proceedings of the two days.
The lost architecture of Crystal Palace in the grounds of the 1853 exhibition, which showcased the wares of the then British Empire. Intriguingly, the prototype, development idea of Sir Joseph Paxton for the Crystal Palace remains intact to this day at Syon Park in West London, which so happens to be the venue of the Salon Prive, which is to be held 3rd to 5th September and is also a favourite event, as it show-cases the best manufacturers. The event, held over two lawns includes a Concours D'Elegance for exceptional coach built vehicles and could be listed as the English Pebble Beach? The event is also a showcase for the best in new supercar creators.
Such occasions are all about memory's. It was the '01 event that I first attended, before Bromley Council decided to suspend proceedings with the idea of building homes on the site. Fortunately, being Green Belt/ Parkland in the London area, it failed. Now in it's 8th year, the sprint is just as it was; fortunately. During the '01 event, there was an interesting tussle between a Westfield V8 and a Lotus 7, with a trick K-series engine; Torque v Power through revs, on a short and twisty course.
A highlight of this year's event was to include a special area of the paddock dedicated to the Class of '71. Just before lunch the cars took to the track for some untimed demonstrations: Some were more demonstrating then others. The Chevolet Camero taking it exceptionally carefully. And sadly the pilot of the Gerry Marshall Vauxhall Viva GT forgot to look at the course map before setting off: much to the good humour of the course marshal's.
The event now has a run "what you brung" feel to the proceedings, covering all of the events rich history. Road legal Imprezza's along side Supercharged Wolsley's to modified Ferrari and GT3's all mix it up to entrench the gathering. The atmosphere is so relaxed, especially wondering around the paddock: Castrol R hanging in the trees along with the complete lack of awnings, tents, motor-homes and oil mats protecting the grass: All helps create a by-gone era of the sport we all enjoy. It is also a tangible reminder of how certain other events that have had to grow and encompass large corporate budgets to exploit brands and bring in more cash.
Crystal Palace is a lovely event with the primary purpose to have fun with cars and without large corporate budgets: Long may it continue. And don't tell the corporate bean counters.
Many thanks to Tracey Neil and staff of the club and marshalls, who as always give their time for free to ensure safe and fluid proceedings for the event and not least to Ancaster for their sponsorship of the event and assistance for creating this article.
Mark J Willison©
Under clear blue skies, it was the awesome Force, PT piloted by Gary Thomas, which eventually smashed the course record and claimed Fastest Time of the Day and consequently, this year's event. Gary, who already held the course record, hurled his machine through the park at blistering pace, recording a time of 32.87, a second quicker than last year's record.
Sevonoaks' own Jason Andrews topped class 4, navigating the course in his Sunbeam Tiger with a time of 42.6, while Andrew Webber won class 5, setting a new class record of 39.15 in his Lotus Elan Plus 2. Other class records went to Peter Vlasak, driving an Impreza WRX (38.03), Laurie Hatchard in the Dax Rush Cosworth (37.72) and Andy Laurence, who prevailed against mechanical gremlins to post a time of 34.32 in his ADR Sport 2. Away from the track, congratulations go to the Stag Owners Club, which took home the esteemed Best Club Display, despite heavy competition!
Again, our thanks go out to all the officials, marshals, spectators and competitors who helped make this the most successful and enjoyable event yet (and that's saying something!). With the last of the exhausts silenced and the park again a haven of quiet tranquillity, we've got a few weeks to reflect on a thoroughly enjoyable two days of racing before we turn our attention to next year, when we'll fire up the engines again and bring motorsport back to Crystal Palace. See you there!
The "Jack" sets them off
That is one 'line'
This is another
McLaren MP4-12C hard on the brakes. Note the rear spoiler position
The new Alfa Romeo 4C 2015
Triumph TR3 having a go
A very lovly Lotus
The ever present Fords
Still racing the family Jaguar
This one looks very quick
As the beautiful little Cooper Bristol driven by Jonathan Harmer took the chequered flag this afternoon and the crowds slowly dispersed, we were left to reflect on two wonderful days of motorsport. With the spirit of the Palace gazing down approvingly from its vantage point near the chicane, the on-track action was fast and furious, much to the delight of the thousands who lined the track, basking in the glorious late May sunshine.