Kovalainen at Brooklands Festival

 The Double Twelve as historic links strengthen

Brooklands Motoring Festival: The Double Twelve, is shaping up to be a Formula 1™ delight as organisers today confirmed a driving appearance by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ newest racing star Heikki Kovalainen. 

Support for the weekend-long event, over 28-29 June 2008, is quickly growing.  In addition, Heikki Kovalainen’s team mate, Lewis Hamilton will also appear.  And the historical context of the event is being boosted by racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, and involvement of the Brooklands Society.

Originally from Finland, Kovalainen, 26, is quickly making a name for himself during his first season with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, securing a stunning podium finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Peter O’Halloran, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz World, commented: “Brooklands is the home of motor-racing as we know it today and, in particular, of the British Grand Prix, first held here in 1926. Given that this year’s Festival falls the week before the current British Grand Prix, it seems only fitting to have such a large F1 presence.”

Brooklands Society’s 41st Annual Reunion The heritage of Brooklands will also play a large part of ‘The Double Twelve’ through its competition element and the involvement of the Brooklands Society.  For 40 years the Brooklands Society has held its annual reunion at the end of June, to celebrate the heritage of the Brooklands site. These reunions have rightly achieved fame for attracting large numbers of original Brooklands cars and motorcycles and then-surviving Brooklands drivers and riders were amongst the large crowds.

This year, the Society’s 41st reunion is to form an integral part of the Brooklands Motoring Festival on Sunday 29 June, with the special invited marques for the year taking their place on this bigger stage, some special parades and an exlcusive celebratory reunion lunch in the historic Clubhouse.

Picking up on the Double Twelve theme, the Society is assembling grids of cars which took part in the original Double Twelve races in the 1920s and ‘30s, and these cars will run in a re-enactment of those famous races.

The principal featured reunion marque is Riley, whose cars were amongst the most successful at the track in the 1920s and ‘30s, and special displays and parades will include Rileys from the early days right up to the end of production in the 1970s. They will include the “Brooklands” sports/racing version of the company’s famous “Nine” model, as well as the sporting saloons of the post-war era. Backing the Rileys up will be a fine display of veteran De Dion Boutons, representing one of the most important early motor manufacturers.

Festival organisers Mercedes-Benz World and the Brooklands Museum have created a competition which combines a Concours d’Elegance with driving tests, using many of the test layouts used in the 1939 Junior Car Club (JCC) Rallies at Brooklands.

Competitors will have their vehicles judged against the exacting criteria of a Concours d’Elegance, while the tests will take place in thrilling and evocative environments such as the Members’ Banking and the notorious Test Hill of the original circuit, as well as on the modern handling circuits at Mercedes-Benz World.

Points awarded for both car and test will be added to give an overall score, ensuring that the overall winner will be the best driver using the best-kept vehicle.

Allan Winn, Director of the Brooklands Museum, commented: “We will be replicating the exact tests undertaken in the past so it will be interesting to observe whether driving skills have advanced or diminished in the 80 years since these Rallies were first held.

“We aim to make ‘The Double Twelve’ the UK’s premiere Concours event which will rival the best in the world, so drivers competing in the inaugural event will be making history.”

Competitors will tackle a wide range of driving tests over the two days, including:

Test Hill: The car is driven up the Test Hill, stopping on the steepest part, and must then be restarted without rolling backwards.  The car must climb the rest of the hill without stopping, to cross a finish line on the flat area beyond the top of the hill.

Wiggle Woggle: The car must be driven forwards, undertake a three-point turn, drive a figure of eight around two markers, drive forward and perform another three-point turn before driving to the finish.

Half Mile: Each car must do three laps of the Mercedes-Benz World circuit.  The object of the test is to complete the laps within a set time.

Quick Start: When the clock starts, the driver must run to the car, start it and do a reverse-and-forward manoeuvre to reach the finish line.

The Festival, which will take place over 28-29 June 2008 in Weybridge, Surrey, will be an action-packed weekend of entertainment.  With scheduled performances including the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows Display Team and the Blue Eagles Helicopter display team the weekend is set to appeal to everyone from motoring and motor sport enthusiasts through to families looking for a special day out. 

To book tickets or for further information please call 0844 8472421 or visit brooklandsfestival.com.  Prices start from £25.00 for Adults, £10.00 for Children or £60.00 for a family ticket (two adults, three children).

Brooklands Double Twelve

The Brooklands Double Twelve, first run in 1929, was the JCC’s imaginative solution to the problem of running a 24-hour race at Brooklands.  Overnight racing had been banned at Brooklands shortly after the course opened in 1907 when SF Edge drove non-stop for 24 hours, setting a world record but earning the wrath of local residents. In the Double Twelve, cars ran for two 12-hour stints from 8am to 8pm and were locked away overnight in secure garages so they could not be worked on during the resting period.

JCC’s Members’ RallyThe JCC’s Members’ Rally in the 1930s featured complex driving tests laid out on various parts of the Brooklands circuit, and also included a half-mile high-speed run on the banking against a target time. Almost 150 cars, driven by a mix of notable Brooklands drivers and amateurs, took part in the last one in 1939.

Mercedes-Benz World and Brooklands MuseumMercedes-Benz World is a brand experience centre featuring simulator rides, interactive challenges, enthralling exhibits and, most excitingly 2.5km of handling circuits and a 10 acre off-road terrain course. 

You can begin your tour in the theatre, accelerating from the birth of the car to the latest innovations in eight eye-opening minutes. After that, you can set your own pace as you explore the glorious past and present of Mercedes-Benz. Automotive legends like the Patent Motor Wagen and the Gullwing are on display, and you’re free to see, touch and sit inside more than 100 Mercedes-Benz models at your leisure.

If you want to discover what it’s like to be a Mercedes-Benz on its journey of creation, you can find out at ‘Build’ before pulling over for lunch in the stylish Gullwing Restaurant or enjoying a relaxing pit stop in Café 1886. 

No visit to Mercedes-Benz World is complete without booking a sensational driving experience; whether for adults, kids or the whole family.

Mercedes-Benz World is open every day from 10am to 6pm, seven days a week and admission is free.  For more information or to book a Driving Experience call 0870 400 4000 or visit mercedes-benzworld.co.uk

Next to (and sharing its entrance with) Mercedes-Benz World is Brooklands Museum, the cradle of British motor racing and aviation. Founded in 1987, the independent Museum is open every day. 

Its 30-acre site still features many of the original buildings including the 1907 motor-racing Clubhouse, the 1-in-4 Test Hill and the steepest part of the Members’ Banking, re-opened to the public in 1991. 

The Museum now chronicles the achievements of the pioneering men and women who advanced technology on the ground and in the air. Its superb and ever-growing collection of vehicles, aircraft and memorabilia includes the 24-litre Napier-Railton (the fastest car ever around the Brooklands Outer Circuit), the “Loch Ness” Vickers Wellington Bomber “R” for “Robert” and G-BBDG, the Brooklands Concorde, as well as modern Formula One race cars, the Raleigh Cycle Collection and historic motorcycles.