London Grand Prix

Hope springs eternal. With all the talk of closing public roads for rallies or races there is speculation once again about a London Grand Prix. I floated the idea in Sunday Magazine in 1981 with WHY NOT A CITY CENTRE GRAND PRIX. In 2012 Bernie inevitably encouraged the idea of one round the Olympic Stadium. I had only been reviving a 1930s proposal with Innes Ireland, who had come to lunch and drew up a Hyde Park course with racing cars tearing down Park Lane at 180mph, braking hard for a sharp right hander at the Hilton and going flat-out in fifth past the Serpentine.
Grand Prix cars only had five gears then and were racing round some unlikely places, like the Caesar’s Palace car park in Las Vegas, and inaugurating street courses in Montreal, Long Beach and Detroit. Lunch with Innes was always entertaining.
Whitehall, Birdcage Walk and The Mall are being talked about. Hyde Park was probably practical; Grosvenor House and The Dorchester would have been good viewing points. Decent breakfast and all-day bar. The Parliament Square picture was a product of artist Geoff Hunt’s imagination.
Nothing’s new really.