Racing at the Palace

The UK has a long history of motorsports, with events and meetings happening throughout the year. The big names like Goodwood or Silverstone dominate the headlines and become popular for not just attracting the cars and famous names, but the hospitality and corporate connections. However, there are a large number of events that have illustrious pasts which continue to cater specifically for grassroots and a more hands-on approach to motorsports.

Crystal Palace is one of those venues and happened to be one of the oldest motor sport venues in the world. Located in the south of London, the venue sadly closed its doors to competitive motor sports in 1972, but fortunately several sections of the ground has remained free from modern development and has allowed Sprint racing to return to the Palace.

Organised by the Sevenoaks & District Motor Club, the event has been gaining momentum year by year thanks to the impressive calibre of the cars and drivers. The event is also supported by a static classic car show and with visitor attractions. The circuit is part of the Crystal Palace park with the Italian Terraces and various vantage points help evoke memories of its motor racing past.

Maurice Fitzgeralds Autibianchi Abarth A112 parked up in the paddock area, a temporary shower over lunchtime forced people to shelter under the many trees.

John Scotts 1964 Ford Anglia was one of the fastest pre ’65 cars.

Reflecting the venues illustrious past, a wide variety of vintage machinery lined up for test runs.

This Pandora Sport racing car driven by Andrew Prill was the fastest car of the day, with an overal time of 42.46.

The Honda Club displayed an impressive line up of cars, including three of the iconic S800s.

Ford have a loyal connection with this part of London, with cars like the Lotus Cortina being raced here in their heyday.

Leo Martorana’s beautiful Fiat 124 Abarth never got the opportunity to run on the day.

Angus Dents Aston Martin DB6 was not necessarily the fastest car on the day, but it was a crowd favourite.

K11 Micra’s have a loyal following in motorsports, they’re tunable and cheap so lend themselves as ideal starter cars for the fledgling competitor.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica provided some entertainment for the young at heart.

Owner Colin Robbins built this Vauxhall Viva as a tribute to Gerry Marshalls who raced at the same venue in the early ’70s.

Kevin O’Keeffe Volvo Amazon was beautifully restored for competition use, highlighting the expense and dedication that goes into event.