How BRDC links F1 to GOMW

1966 was a good year for World Cup football but also a good year for F1-loving members of the Guild of Motoring Writers.

Ford, amazingly, built a chalet at Silverstone, for motorsport-nut F1 journos to drink tea and smoke pipes in. Yup, that’s how motor racing was, back in the day. Impossible to imagine it today – particularly on the chosen prime location, next to the Silverstone pit entry.

It was a sister hut to the Guild Chalet at Goodwood, where the annual GOMW Motor Show Test Day had ran since 1948.

If all this history sounds a bit bonkers, bear in mind some of the esteemed members the Guild’s had. Indeed, it was no less than the late 9th Duke of Richmond who, as GOMW President, set up the Silverstone hut. As a founder member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (busy guy), he also established the practice of inviting BRDC pals along, too.

The following year, the Guild Test Day was moved to Silverstone, and based at said hut. It continued there for years, before moving to Donington Park. (Incidentally, why is it not run today? Well, it is: aka SMMT Test Day…)

Today, the hut is history – nowadays, the BRDC base is situated there. A press barbecue hosted by the BRDC on the eve of the British GP gave me the chance to see how the site has been tranformed.

The BRDC building is a genuine landmark, way beyond anything the Guild had there back in the day. As I found on Friday, though, you can still get a cracking cup of tea there…

Look out soon for some views from the night!