2015 Event was a total Success
A hint of Castrol R still lingered on the breeze as the last spectators made their way through the park gates and the sun began to set on the old foundations of the Crystal Palace. The cars and motorcycles which had thrilled the fans a few hours earlier were quietly being loaded onto their trailers, their work done, their drivers still laughing at the day’s adventures: a little too much kerb on the exit of Big Tree Hairpin; a little too much speed on the way into North Tower. Heart-in-the mouth stuff, just like Jim and Jochen and Stirling must have laughed with their mechanics so many years ago, after the crowds had gone home and the adrenalin had subsided. And still that smell, Castrol R, pungent on the wind.
There’s a lot to be said for progress; it makes our lives that much easier in so many ways. But what is progress without history? And what is history but the collective memory of yesterday’s heroes. It’s the memory of those men and women who raced here among the trees, who grazed the railway sleepers and scrubbed the Armco, that we celebrate at
Motorsport at the Palace. And in the process, we make our own memories; memories which today’s youngsters might recount in years to come as they recall the bone-shaking roar of Ian Wright’s Chaparral as it powered away from the lights in a cloud of tyre-smoke, or the inch-perfect lines taken by David Seaton as he drove his Pilbeam to Fastest Time of the Day and overall fastest time of the event. Rob Hume’s ‘disposal’ of some straw bales will no doubt live long in the collective memory of those watching at the chicane (!) and none of us will forget the glorious sight of those wonderful vintage motorcycles and karts that helped make this year’s event such a treat for all who came.
We made some great memories this year, and our thanks go out to all the competitors, spectators, sponsors and volunteers who helped us create them. Now it’s back to work, stripping engines, cleaning brakes, planning and organising for next year’s show.
It seems a long way off, but the future always does and in truth, it’s often closer than you think. In the meantime, if you get the chance, wander down to the park on a quiet morning; stroll among the rhododendron bushes and rest up against one of the trees that line the track. Then take a deep breath; you might just catch a whiff of Castrol R on the breeze.
2015 Classic Car Show
See our event as featured on TV's Classic Car Show, just click here!
2015 Poster Launch
We are pleased to reveal the poster design for this year’s Motorsport at the Palace. Advanced publicity is so important to the success of the event, so if you’d like to help by displaying a poster you can download and print a copy via this link (when file available), alternatively, if you are able to help with the distribution of posters, please contact
The Motorsport at the Palace team
Motorsport at the Palace 2015
We’re delighted to announce the sixth annual Motorsport at the Palace Sprint meeting, held association with The Ancaster Group amid the delightful environs of Crystal Palace Park. The two-day motorsport festival returns to the famous South London venue over the Bank Holiday weekend of Sunday and Monday 24thand 25th May.
If you were one of the many hardened souls that braved last year’s inclement weather in 2014 you’ll be delighted to hear that we’ve scheduled two sunny days of action for 2015. We’ve analysed the feedback and after careful consideration, we’ve determined that sunshine is the preferred option.
Motorsport at Crystal Palace – Day Two , a day of change ... a rally car took the spoils!!!
Mud, mud, glorious mud, there’s nothing quite like it for making a rally car look proper! So once again, we must thank the Spirit of the Palace for providing a timely deluge or two that turned the grass into a quagmire and added greatly to the authenticity of more than one Ford Escort! This is the first time in five years that we’ve had anything like real rain at Motorsport at the Palace and it was wonderful to see so many people in attendance despite the inclement weather. And what a day to brave the rain!
The on-track action was never less than thrilling, as the cars slid and squealed their way around the truncated course, struggling to determine the fastest line around the slippery track. More than one driver tested the absorbing capacity of the tyre-wall down at Big Tree hairpin, but on the whole, it was only egos that took a dent.
Our congratulations go to Justin Andrews who set fastest time of the day in his Subaru Impreza, with an impressive run of 31.19 seconds; a sterling effort given the conditions and well deserving of the day’s accolade.
Aside from the on-track excitement, today’s main event was the wonderful reunion of the Class of ’71 cars and drivers, which lined up on the Terrace straight just as they had 43 years ago. Sevenoaks’ Jason Andrews was clearly bursting with pride as he introduced this once-in-a-lifetime display and well he might have been; his efforts and those of the Sevenoaks volunteers resulted in a truly emotional show that took all involved, and so many spectators too, back to the halcyon days of motorsport at the Palace. The Murray Walker commentary was the icing on the cake!
So we come to the end of another celebration of this pretty South London park’s unique racing heritage. Two days’ of excitement, nostalgia and fun, fuelled by a passion for motorsport that was obvious in the smiles of so many spectators and competitors alike. Our thanks, as always, go to the audience who braved some pretty foul weather at times, the drivers, who coped admirably with the mixed conditions, the Ancaster Group, for its on-going support, Mike, Martin, Gregor and the owners of the cars of ’71, and to everyone else who helped make this a genuinely memorable and thoroughly enjoyable event. The Class of ’72 beckons…..
Motorsport at Crystal Palace – Day One , a day of sunshine and history
Day one of the fifth annual Motorsport at the Palace proved a wonderful celebration of classic and modern motorsport. As the sun blazed down it was Gary Thomas who posted fastest time of the day, powering his Force PC around the course in a stunning time of 32.58 seconds, in the process setting the fastest ever time around the sprint track. Andy Laurence in his ADR Sport 2 was second overall today, with a time of 35.12, while David Seaton in the Pilbeam MP43-BMW was third (35.61).
It was a day when old met new, with the reunion of the Class of 1971 proving a very popular draw, while the immaculate Alfa Romeo 4C showed that modern doesn’t have to mean dull, attracting plenty of attention among the many cars on the Ancaster Group’s display.
We hope everyone who came along today, either to compete, spectate or help organise, enjoyed themselves; now let’s look forward to another exciting day’s Motorsport at the Palace tomorrow!
Please click on the Spectators tab above for directions, tickets, times and related information. We’re looking forward to a great two-days of action and excitement; can’t wait to see you there!
- The MIA wishes to register support for the excellent concept which should attract great support, both from an audience and competitors at Crystal Palace. Chris Aylett, Chief Executive Motorsport Industry Association (MIA).
- The return of this special event would revive the spirit and history of motor racing at Crystal Palace, allowing young and old to enjoy the paddock atmosphere of an eclectic mix of vintage and more modern racing machinery, while mixing with the equally eclectic owners and drivers. From the Crystal Palace Community Association .
- In my youth I never missed a motor race meeting at the Palace I was (am) an avid supporter of the marvellous Spring Bank Holiday events.
Chair Crystal Palace Community Association
- I found the whole experience most enjoyable. Set amongst lovely parkland and the spectators are always the cherry on top. I do appreciate performing in front of a crowd. I’ll be back for 2011, for sure.
Fastest Historic 1999.
- As you know CPF have always been supporters of sports events in the park and will be happy to publicise it as before. We should like to do a display as well. Melvyn Harrison Chairman Crystal Palace Foundation .