World’s oldest racetrack, Brooklands, receives funding boost in restoration bid

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The world’s oldest racetrack, Brooklands, has been handed a £5m ($7.7m) grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund in the UK to aid its restoration and upkeep.

The circuit first opened back in 1907 in the UK, two years before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and played host to the first ever 24 hour motor race the same year. The picture accompanying this piece comes from a race held at the track in 1926.

Brooklands was also established as an airfield and military production centre during the First World War, but the racing track ceased to host racing in 1939 upon the outbreak of the Second World War.

Although the remains of the circuit are still traceable, the most notable attraction on site now is a Mercedes-Benz driving centre as the track has largely fallen into disrepair.

However, the old circuit could soon be given a fresh lease of life thanks to this grant – even if it won’t be playing host to any racing – as part of the “Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track Revival Project”.

“This support from Lottery players is a real vindication of the museum’s vision of bringing a wartime temporary aircraft assembly building back to life as the only place in the country dedicated to showing how aircraft are designed and built,” Brooklands Museum director Alan Winn said.

“This unique exhibition – coupled as it is with a new home for our live aircraft, new workshops and stores, and the restoration of the Finishing Straight of the Race Track to its 1939 appearance – will give visitors of all ages an unmatched immersive and imaginative experience.

“We are now really looking forward to working with our consultants, contractors and volunteers to turn this fantastic vision into an exciting reality.”

Although a small British racetrack may not seem too important in the grand scheme of global motorsport, it is crucial for modern-day racing to remember its roots – something that this grant and the renovation of Brooklands will hopefully aid.

MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign

Photo: Juncos Racing
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.

Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.

“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”

Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”

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