2 October 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the opening of the legendary Silverstone racing track.
After the Second World War, in the spirit of optimism and the hope of bringing back national motor racing, the Royal Automobile Club arranged a lease with the Air Ministry to utilise the site of a former Royal Air Force bomber station into a racing track. In 1948 the circuit opened with the three existing runways being used as the track but by 1949 it included the perimeter road. The first British Grand Prix took place at Silverstone in 1948 and was won by Italian driver, Luigi Villoresi, who was driving a Maserati and completed the race in 3 hours 18 minutes 3 seconds.
This oil canvas painting entitled The Start of the First Grand Prix, by British automotive artist Michael Turner, depicts this first race at Silverstone, an exciting moment in the history of motor sport. Turner is famous for his dramatic, atmospheric and technically accurate motor sport and aviation paintings. This painting was commissioned by the Club and was displayed in the Brooklands Suite at Silverstone on 12 July 1998 before being brought to the Pall Mall clubhouse for permanent display. It currently hangs in the Segrave Room, but will will be loaned temporarily to the new SIlverstone Museum next year.