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F1 in Cornwall
publication date: Aug 11, 2014
author/source: Tony Lewis
Cornwall had its own F1 circuit at Davidstow, a former RAF base on Bodmin Moor between Launceston and Camelford.
Ken Tyrell won the last race there – an F3 event in 1955 – and in 1996 wrote the foreword to a book by Peter Tutthill, published that year by West Country Motor Books, which outlines the history of the circuit.
It’s a well illustrated and comprehensive book of 108 pages covering a circuit that had a very short life – just three years from 1952 to 1955.
In that time it staged three F1 races in less than 12 months providing Lotus with its first F1 victory, a fact the author notes that is ignored by almost all the record books.
Apart from Ken Tyrell, those of a certain age will recognise the names of racers such as Arthur Mallock, who went on to build eponymous sports and race cars and Tony Brooks , although his surname is spelled differently in the official results.
Allards, MG TCs, Coopers, Connaughts and various Jaguars feature prominently.
And there’s one other fact to take away from this lovingly researched book: Davidstow Moor was the highest operational airfield in the UK at 970 feet above sea level. A flying club was still using it in the 1990s.
Sounds like a good pub quiz question.