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Snetterton Circuit
Norfolk NR16 2JU

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Historical Snippet Part 2 - 14 Aug 2013

1964 was quite a year for Jackie Stewart. He was club racing driver of the year in 1963 for his many successes in the Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro sports car and Snetterton had become almost a home circuit for him, as Royston based Tojeiro tested at the circuit so often.

In March '64 he made his single seater racing debut at the circuit. In Ken Tyrrell's Cooper he dominated the F3 race in monsoon conditions, rapidly becoming a man to watch.

Six months later and here we see Jackie making his F2 debut, again at Snetterton. It is the Autocar Championship F2/F3 race on September 26th 1964 and Jackie is in a rare Lotus outing, driving the Ron Harris Lotus 32. Starting from third on the grid he led the 100-mile race from start to finish. Frank Gardner finished second in the Willment F2 and Tony Maggs third in a Lola. Stewart's team mate Mike Spence put his Lotus 32 on pole but fell down the order to finish 5th.

This F2 contest was the support race for the 1964 Autosport 3-hour event. The following year and Jackie was in Formula 1 with BRM, scoring his first Grand Prix win at Monza. But Snetterton was still a familiar place to him as the circuit was BRM's home test track, he tested the F1 cars and gas turbine Le Mans car during '65 & '66. He also took part in sportscar and ETCC races at the circuit in the mid sixties, his last race there was back with Ken Tyrrell in a Matra in the 1967 F2 event. 

 It was an important place later on in the Stewart story too..his son Paul first tested his Van Diemen FF car at the circuit in 1987, Jackie drove it too that day. In 1989 Paul scored his only F3 win there in the family team, albeit spinning backwards across the finish line!

The same day at the circuit Jackie & Paul Stewart Racing signed David Coulthard to their team for 1990 in Formula Vauxhall Lotus. Jackie had also been at several Ford corporate events at the track, including driving Nick Whiting's fearsome supersaloon V6 Escort in 1978.

But an amusing memory was testing the Ecosse Tojeiro in 1963. Police invaded the place, hundreds of them from every direction, looking for train robber Roy James. They had a tip-off James was testing there in his Formula Junior, but he was nowhere to be seen, Jackie's Tojeiro team were the only ones at the circuit! A giant in the history of the sport and Snetterton played an important part in his early career

Photo by R. W Pearce. Potted History by Andrew Kitson - local artist and motorsport historian.