Track record smashed at Crystal Palace

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Motorsport at the Palace, which took place on 25-26 May, saw records tumble as Gary Thomas' Force PT single-seater blew the course record into the weeds after setting a time of 32.58 seconds.

More than 5000 spectators turned out to cheer on the drivers, showing particular enthusiasm for the headline grid of 1971 Osram saloon cars, which  commemorated the infamous race between Mike Crabtree, Gerry Marshall and Martin Thomas.

Crabtree took the wheel of his Ford Escort RS1600 for the first time in over four decades, while race-winner Marshall's son Gregor drove a replica Vauxhall Viva GT and John Shoesmith completed the front row in his Chevrolet Camaro, which was driven in period by Thomas.

The atmosphere was made all the more electric due to the original commentary – with the unmistakably excitable voice of Murray Walker – being broadcast over the loudspeaker system.

Mike Crabtree appeared visibly moved by the event, saying afterwards: "Everyone was so friendly. The Escort went well and it was terrific to be driving the car again after 43 years". 

 

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