A Sign of Hope: Crystal Palace Reborn

Maybe our fretting about lost tracks isn’t all for naught, as the long defunct UK racetrack, Crystal Palace, is reopening. After 10 or 20 years (depending on who you ask) of disuse, the track is set to once again host vintage and modern racing cars for the British Bank Holiday in May.

This is fantastic news. That UK motorsport sanctioning bodies and businesses have found the funds to reopen Britain’s first ever purpose-built track (it opened in 1899) gives us hope that crumbling Stateside tracks like Paramount Ranch and Willow Springs can too find backers to bring racing back to these classic locations. Coupled with major track developments (the racetrack country club phenomenon), and redevelopment efforts (the Brainerd update), there’s hope that we might once again be entering a period of growth for all aspects of motorsport, and not just the super-speedway variety. Octane reports that the track will use much of the old course, including the North Tower Crescent and Big Tree Bend.

More information at Crystal Palace’s site and on Octane.

DISCUSS (1 Comment)

  1. Mike Jacobsen

    Whoops! Willow Springs is a very active track today and has been since it opened in ’54! I went out to Crystal Palace in 1968; I was in London as a Grad Student on a research trip, saw a bus in central London that had Crystal Palace as its destination, and got on! No racing that day (and also no Palace, which of course burned in the 19th C). Its a pity that plans to run partly on the old Golden Gate park circuit a few years ago fell thru. `Aside from Paramount, other tracks that could be renovated and used again include Vaca Valley, Pomona, Palm springs (either the airport or the roads used in the ’90s), Santa Barbara, Sacramento Fair Grounds and numerous other airports (Madera, Santa Maria, Stockton, March Field, etc.). The site of the Agoura hillclimb is now partly under housing, but Sandberg Ranch and Arrowhead springs roads are as they were. These are all California sites. Mike Jacobsen

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