From the motorsport archive: on this day in 1947

99 Gransden Lodge racing

Cambridgeshire airfield attracts 15,000 for day of racing

What links Goodwood, Silverstone, Snetterton and Thruxton?

Each started as a wartime RAF airfield. Others were used but didn’t become permanent, most notably Gransden Lodge, which held the first post-war race on 15 June 1946.

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A year on, this five-turn track near Cambridge heard racing’s roar once more. The first race, for unblown sports cars, was a trifle messy, as several came a cropper – and then the winning Delahaye was disqualified for lacking an entry.

The following race for 500cc cars was a fiasco, as by the end of the second lap only two cars were left – and soon there was just a Cooper left to cruise home.

The two five-lap all-comer handicaps that came next were much more like it: first, the three fighting fiercely up top were caught unawares by an Emeryson; and then there was a “great tussle” between an HRG and a Riley.

The big race of the day, though, was the 20-lap Gransden Trophy – £100 reward – with 20 starters.

“The pack rounded the hairpin in a scrapping, fighting mass” while an Alfa Romeo monoposto shot into a lead that it would hold throughout, the only drama thereafter being the runner-up Bugatti needing hand-pumping to cough past the flag.

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Source: Autocar

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