70 Years Since Historic Road Race

8th May 2017

Exactly 70 years ago today Maseratis and Bugattis were racing along Victoria Avenue in the first Jersey International Road Race.

The post-war lack of UK racing tracks led to a major coup for the island, with a street circuit on the St Helier seafront attracting top international drivers from the Formula One of its day.

The anniversary is being celebrated with an exhibition of race memorabilia, and a display of classic jaguars.

Photos, film footage, press cuttings and trophies are on show at the Town Hall between 11am-4pm.

*The first race was held on 8th May 1947.
*The circuit ran from West Park to Bel Royal along Victoria Avenue, returning via St Aubin’s Inner Road (3.2 miles)
*Cars included ERAs, Maseratis, Delages and a Bugatti with well known drivers including Reg Parnell and Louis Chiron.
*They reached average speeds of 94mph, and top speeds of 120mph.
*There was a break in 1951, and the 1952 race was to be the last because the Grand Prix cars had become too fast for the circuit.
*The last race was won by Ian Stewart in a Jaguar XK120C
*There was one fatality in the event’s short history. Kenneth Bear crashed his 3.3L Bugatti into the crowd at Bel Royal, killing himself, a police officer and another spectator.

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