Wearing the classic family helmet, Damon Hill drove “Old Faithful,” the BRM P578 that carried his father Graham to his first World Championship and gave BRM its one and only Constructors crown.
Photo: Pete Austin
Situated on the edge of the Lincolnshire Fens, the sleepy market town streets of Bourne came alive to the sound of music, or to the noise of roaring racing engines on this occasion, to paraphrase the words of Oscar Hammerstein. The event was BRM Day, the 50th Anniversary celebration of Graham Hill’s first F1 Driver Championship, and the one and only time the famous BRM marque took the F1 World Championship crown. Bourne was the home of Raymond Mays, who established British Racing Motors there in 1947, and the whole town embraced the spirit of the occasion. Mays lived in Bourne and employed many inhabitants of the town and surrounding villages in his tireless effort to achieve Grand Prix greatness with the marque. The team remained there until finally closing the workshop doors in the mid 1970s.
The main streets were closed to allow outstanding displays, parades, processions and demonstrations of roadcars, racecars and the great and the good all associated with the BRM team including former drivers, mechanics, team personnel and relatives of the same. One of those involved was David Owen, son of Sir Alfred Owen, representing the financier of the team, “Owen Racing Organisation,” which was emblazoned on the cars during the 1960s. He was overjoyed to see such a turnout, “It’s just tremendous! To think, what my father started all those years ago, through the ups and the downs, should culminate into such celebrations as we have here today. It’s almost a David and Goliath story that a little team based in rural Lincolnshire should take on and win the Formula One World Championship, driven by the wonderful Graham Hill. It’s good to think that the legend lives on, equally for BRM, Graham Hill and, of course, British engineering.”
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