Silverstone Racing Circuit

Like many tracks in the British Isles, including old favorites and newer (but equally notable) additions like the TopGear Test Track at Dunsfold Aerodrome, Silverstone was once a Class A airfield used by the RAF. During the war, the No. 17 Operational Training Unit operated the Vickers Wellington bomber, famous for its unusually strong but complex geodesic structure. After the war, the idle airstrips were leased by the Royal Automobile Club, and soon afterwards a crude course was set up using the airstrips as parts of the course. In 1948 the inaugural RAC Grand Prix was held. While racing changed significantly over the next several decades, the basic Silverstone circuit remained relatively unchanged through 1974. Afterwards, a series of modifications helped slow the rapidly increasing speeds of the fastest cars—the old Woodcote bend after Farm Straight could be taken nearly flat-out in perfect conditions, sometimes at speeds nearing 160 mph. The addition of the Bridge Section, and eventually the Luffield complex, made the course significantly safer—as did the number of additional turns added over the years. The 3.2-mile Grand Prix circuit is home to a wide variety of racing series; Silverstone is most famous, however, as the home of the British Grand Prix (historically an honor sometimes shared with Brands Hatch). Silverstone is also a major venue for BTCC touring car racing, the Le Mans Series and FIA GT sportscar series, and even the host of the occasional D1 Grand Prix drift event. Despite the additions over the years to slow the course down, you’ll find Silverstone to be a quick track that will require skill and dedication to master.

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