September 23, 1972 – The last professional race at Crystal Palace circuit

The Crystal Palace circuit, a motor racing circuit in Crystal Palace Park in south London, England, saw its final professional organized race on this day in 1972. Club events would continue through 1974 before the track closed for good. The circuit opened in 1927 when a motorcycle race took place on May 21 of that year. The original one mile circuit ran existing paths through the lake, including what was known as the infield loop past the lake. The surface featured tarmac bends and hard packed gravel straightaways. At the end of 1936 track improvements were begun, which increased the track to two miles. The first London Grand Prix was held at the circuit on July 17, 1937 and was won by Prince Bira in his ERA R2B with an average speed of 56.5 MPH. Later that year, during the International Imperial Trophy meeting, also won by Bira, the BBC broadcast the first ever televised motor racing event. The park was taken over by the ministry of defense during WWII and the track wouldn’t see a race again until 1953. Outcry by the public limited races to only five per year.  The track was shortened to just under 1.4 miles, yet a variety of races continued to take place, including sports cars, Formula Three, the London Trophy for Formula Two, and non-championship Formula One races. The last organized race took place on this day in 1972. Starting in 1997 occasional club races began to take place on parts of the track, but no mainstream racing is conducted there today. Pics:Diagram of track from speedhunters(dot)com

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