70 Years Since Historic Road Race

8th May 2017
jirr

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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