The Bentley Boys were a group of wealthy British motorists who drove Bentley sports cars to victory in the 1920s and kept the marque's reputation for high performance alive. In 1925, as the marque foundered, Bentley Boy Woolf Barnato bought the company, leading to the creation of the famous supercharged Bentley Blower car; the Bentley Boys included: Woolf "Babe" Barnato, heir to Kimberley diamond magnate Barney Barnato Dr. J. Dudley "Benjy" Benjafield Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin Dale Bourne Frank Clement S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis, automotive journalist, Sports Editor of The Autocar John Duff George Duller, steeplechaser Clive Dunfee Jack Dunfee Dudley Froy Baron Andre d’Erlanger, playboy Clive Gallop, engineer Glen Kidston, aviator Bertie Kensington Moir Bernard Rubin, pearl fishery magnate Jean Chassagne, French racing driverThanks to the dedication of this group to serious racing, the company, located at Cricklewood, north London, was noted for its four consecutive victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans from 1927 to 1930.
Their greatest competitor at the time, whose lightweight, but fragile creations contrasted with the Bentley's rugged reliability and durability, referred to them as "the world's fastest lorries". In March 1930, during the Blue Train Races, Woolf Barnato raised the stakes on Rover and its Rover Light Six having raced and beaten Le Train Bleu for the first time, to better that record with his 6½ Litre Bentley Speed Six on a bet of GBP100, he drove against the train from Cannes to Calais by ferry to Dover and London, travelling on public highways, won. The H. J. Mulliner-bodied formal saloon he drove during the race, as well as a streamlined fastback "Sportsman Coupe" by Gurney Nutting delivered to him on 21 May 1930 became known as the Blue Train Bentleys; the "Sportsman Coupe" has been erroneously referred to as being the car that raced the Blue Train, while in fact Barnato named it in memory of his race. A great deal of Barnato's fortune went to keeping Bentley afloat after he became chairman in 1925.
British Racing Drivers' Club Lagonda
Bentley Speed Six
The regular Bentley 6½ Litre and the high-performance Bentley Speed Six were rolling chassis in production from 1926 to 1930. The Speed Six, introduced in 1928, would become the most successful racing Bentley. Two Bentley Speed Sixes became known as the Blue Train Bentleys after their owner Woolf Barnato's involvement in the Blue Train Races of 1930. By 1924, Bentley decided to build a larger chassis than the 3 Litre, with a smoother, more powerful engine; the new chassis would be more suitable for the large, heavy limousine bodies that many of his customers were putting on his sports car chassis, the resulting car would be more refined and better suited for comfortable general motoring. Bentley built a development mule with a 4¼ L straight-six engine derived from the 3 Litre's four cylinder engine. To disguise the car's origin, it had a large, wedge-shaped radiator and was registered as a "Sun"; the chassis was given a large light weight Weymann-type tourer body built by Freestone and Webb. W.
O. Bentley combined one of his road tests of the Sun with a trip to see the 1924 French Grand Prix in Lyon. On his return trip to the ferry at Dieppe, W. O. encountered another disguised car at a three-way junction. W. O. and the Rolls-Royce test driver recognized each other and began racing each other along the routes nationales. This street race continued until the Rolls-Royce driver's hat blew off and he had to stop to retrieve it; the Sun's tyres were worn when W. O. got to the ferry at Dieppe. Realizing from the impromptu race that the Sun had no performance advantage over Rolls-Royce's latest development, W. O. increased the bore of his six-cylinder engine from 80 millimetres to 100 millimetres. With a 140 mm stroke, the engine had a displacement of 6.6 L Like the four-cylinder engine, Bentley's straight-6 included overhead camshaft, 4 valves per cylinder, a single-piece engine block and cylinder head cast in iron, which eliminated the need for a head gasket. In base form, with a single Smiths 5-jet carburettor, twin ignition magnetos, a compression ratio of 4.4:1, the Bentley 6½ Litre delivered 147 horsepower at 3500 revolutions per minute.
Although based on the 3 Litre's engine, the 6½ engine incorporated many improvements. The 3 Litre's cone-type clutch was replaced by a dry-plate design that incorporated a clutch brake for fast gear changes, the car had power-assisted four-wheel brakes with finned drums; the front brakes had 4 leading shoes per drum. By operating a patented compensating device, the driver could adjust all four brakes to correct for wear while the car was moving, advantageous during races. A variety of wheelbases were provided ranging from 132 to 152.5 in. The most popular wheelbase was 150 inches; the Bentley Speed Six chassis was introduced in 1928 as a more sporting version of the Bentley 6½ Litre. With a single-port block, two SU carburettors, a high-performance camshaft, a compression ratio of 5.3:1, the Speed Six's engine produced 180 hp at 3500 rpm. The Speed Six chassis was available to customers with wheelbases of 138 inches, 140.5 inches, 152.5 inches, with the 138 inch wheelbase being most popular. The Criminal Investigation Department of the Western Australia Police operated two saloon-bodied examples as patrol cars.
In March 1930, Barnato raced against the Blue Train in a Speed Six with H. J. Mulliner saloon coachwork, reaching his club in London before the train was due in the station at Calais, it had been believed that the car in the race was a Gurney Nutting Sportsman Coupé, but the coupé had been delivered to Barnato in May 1930, more than a month after the race. The racing version of the Speed Six had a wheelbase of 11 feet and an engine with a compression ratio of 6.1:1 that produced 200 hp at 3500 rpm. Successful in racing, these cars won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1929 and 1930 with Bentley Boys drivers "Tim" Birkin, Glen Kidston, Woolf Barnato, the chairman of Bentley Motors. 6½ Litre: 362 Speed Six: 182 PrintBrooks, Philip C.. Carpenter, Rhonda. "The Mighty Sixes". The International Club for Rolls-Royce & Bentley Owners Desk Diary 2010. Tampa, FL USA: Faircount: 26–35. Culshaw, David. "Bentley". The Complete Catalogue of British Cars 1895 - 1975. Poundbury, Dorchester, UK: Veloce Publishing. Pp. 80–84.
ISBN 978-1-845845-83-4. Feast, Richard; the DNA of Bentley. St. Paul MN USA: MotorBooks International. ISBN 9780760319468. Retrieved 2013-12-24. Johnson, Harvey. Verschoor, Ron, ed. "The Eight-Litre: Bentley's Last is Bentley's Best". The Classic Car. Beverley Hills, CA US: Classic Car Club of America. LIX: 3–11. ISSN 0009-8310. Posthumus, Cyril; the Story of Veteran & Vintage Cars. John Wood, illustrator. Feltham, Middlesex, UK: Hamlyn. P. 102. ISBN 0-600-39155-8. Robson, Graham; the Illustrated Directory of Classic Cars. St. Paul, MN USA: MBI Publishing. Pp. 66–69. ISBN 0-7603-1049-1. Retrieved 2013-12-27. OnlineYoung, Eoin. "Barnato and the Blue Train Mystery – 190". New Zealand Classic Car Magazine. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2013. "History By Chassis – List of all W. O. Bentleys with original chassis nos. 6 1/2 Litre". VintageBentleys. Org. Houston, TX USA: VintageBentleys.org. Archived from the original on 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2012-06-25. "Special Edition: Bentley Arnage Blue Train".
The Car Experience. Barrie, ON Canada: Rayda Sinni. 2005. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2012-04-09
1930 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 8th Grand Prix of Endurance that took place at the Circuit de la Sarthe on 21 and 22 June 1930. It saw the first appearance of the first entry from female drivers. In the smallest field in the Le Mans history there were only 17 starters; this was a race of two halves. At the start the Mercedes of Rudolf Caracciola/Christian Werner was pursued by the supercharged ‘Blower’ Bentley of Tim Birkin. Twice he passed the white car on the Mulsanne Straight and both times he was thwarted by a rear-tyre blowout. Sammy Davis chased in a works Bentley; when that car was put into the sandbank at Pontlieue corner, it was the other works Bentley of Woolf Barnato and Glen Kidston taking up the Germans’ challenge. The lead changed a number of times into the night, until at 1.30am when the Mercedes was retired with a broken dynamo and a flat battery. After that it became a procession for the remaining Bentleys, although both the privateer Blower Bentleys retired on Sunday; the two works cars cruised to another formation finish.
Barnato had won his third consecutive Le Mans, from three starts. Talbot finished third and fourth and took the lucrative Index of Performance prize by the narrowest of margins from the winning Bentley; the Bugatti of Marguerite Mareuse and Odette Siko had a trouble-free run and finished seventh, stealing the contemporary headlines from Bentley. The AIACR Appendix C rules stayed in effect; the biggest change this year was the Automobile Club de l'Ouest now allowing private entrants as well as “works” entries from the manufacturers. This just acknowledged the existing practice of private owners being entered by the car-company. Five engine-classes were specified, with brackets at 3.0, 1.5 and 1-litres. To be eligible, a minimum of thirty vehicles had to have been produced, the cars had to be “as per sales catalogue”. Many small companies were selling bare chassis upon which an owner would get a coach-builder to put on a body-shelled, so the specifications were still quite broad as long as the car had some basic minimum equipment.
As engine power advanced, the ACO once again adjusted the Index target distances. Example targets included the following: The Société des Pétroles Jupiter, Shell’s French agents, provided three standard fuel options: Gasoline, Benzole and a 70/30 blend of the two. Teams were allowed to add up to 2% by volume of their own additives; as before, all liquids could only be replenished after every 20 laps. Night-time, when headlights had to be used, was defined by the ACO for the race as between 9.30pm and 4am. In the middle of the Great Depression, the auto-industry was being hit hard. Only 33 cars entered for the race; that said it was a quality field with two big Bentley entries challenged by a mighty 7-litre supercharged Mercedes and one of the supercharged Alfa Romeos dominating European racing, both entered. France could muster only two works Tractas, a BNC and a privateer Bugatti to their premier touring car race. Note: The first number is the number of entries, the second the number who started.
Defending champions Bentley once again arrived with a solid works team, this year bringing a trio of their big Speed Six model. Introduced in 1928 as a competitor to the Rolls-Royce Phantom I, it had a 6.6-litre engine that produced 190 bhp giving it a top speed of 185 kp/h. Company director, Woolf Barnato would drive the lead car – the same chassis, entered in the 1929 race; this year his co-driver was his wealthy friend Glen Kidston. The other two were driven by 1924-winner Frank Clement with former Stutz-driver Dick Watney, 1927-winner and journalist Sammy Davis with Clive Dunfee. Back in 1928, Barnato’s fellow race-winner, Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin had seen the threat posed by the new supercharged Mercedes and Alfa Romeos to Bentley’s dominance of touring car racing, he had approached Barnato about supercharging the green cars. Barnato was not convinced and W. O loathed the idea, he found an investor in the form of young heiress, keen motorist, Dorothy Paget. The cars were not race-ready in time for the 1929 race.
Based on the 4½ Litre model, a massive, distinctive Roots supercharger was fitted in front of the radiator. This boosted the engine output from 130 to 240 bhp. However, it raised the fuel consumption and its front-end weight gave the car noticeable understeer. Improved over the close-season, a team of three “Blower Bentleys” arrived, managed by former Bentley-driver and Lagonda team-manager Bertie Kensington-Moir. Birkin renewed his 1928 Le Mans partnership with Jean Chassagne, while race-winner Dudley Benjafield drove with former Alfa Romeo test-driver Giulio Ramponi; the third car was driven by Jack Dunfee, Clive's older brother. The first German car to run at Le Mans was a privateer entry. Mercedes and Benz had merged in 1926 and had considerable racing success, but with the Depression the company closed its works racing team. Team manager Alfred Neubauer, convinced the board to bankroll a privateer team; this was run by their top works driver Rudolf “Rudi” Caracciola. The SSK was designed by Ferdinand Porsche as a development of the SS model.
The giant 170 bhp 7.1-litre engine could be augmented by a Roots supercharger to put out 300 bhp. However, unlike the Bentleys, the supercharger was not designed to be run all the time, the team wa
Francis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe
Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon, 5th Earl Howe, styled as Viscount Curzon from 1900 to 1929, was a British naval officer, Member of Parliament, motor racing driver and promoter. In the 1918 UK General Election he won the Battersea South seat as the candidate of the Conservative Party, which he held until 1929. While in Parliament he took up motor racing, won the 1931 24 Hours of Le Mans race, he ascended to the Peerage in 1929. Earl Howe co-founded the British Racing Drivers' Club with Dudley Benjafield in 1928, served as its President until his death in 1964. Francis, Viscount Curzon, joined the Royal Naval Reserve after leaving school, following in a long family tradition. 28 October 1907, Lieutenant Viscount Curzon, RNVR of the London Division, was appointed Commanding Officer of the Sussex Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in Hove, with the rank of Commander RNVR. When World War I started the RNVR was formed into the Royal Naval Division and they were to fight on land like infantrymen not sailors.
Commander the Rt. Hon. Viscount Curzon served as Battalion Commander, Howe Battalion of the 2nd Brigade RND. Howe Battalion saw action at Gallipoli, April 1915 – January 1916. During part of this period Curzon served as aide-de-camp to George V. Following the armistice Viscount Curzon moved into politics. In the 1918 General Election he won the Battersea South seat; when the RNVR was reconstituted in 1921 Viscount Curzon resumed his position as the commanding officer of the Sussex division with the rank of Captain. Following his father's death in 1929 Francis Curzon ascended to the title Earl Howe, making him ineligible for Parliamentary re-election, he was appointed a Privy Counsellor in the 1929 Dissolution Honours. However, during his years as an MP Curzon had begun to become involved in motor racing. An associate of the infamous Bentley Boys, he was instrumental in forming the ideas which led Dudley Benjafield to set up the British Racing Drivers' Club in 1928; the newly ennobled Earl Howe was elected its President at the BRDC's first Annual General Meeting in 1929.
Francis Curzon made his race debut at the comparatively old age of 44, in the 1928 Irish TT with a Bugatti Type 43. After leaving the House of Commons he pursued his driving career with increasing vigour. During the 1930s he became a well known driver, competing in many national and international races, most notably the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he entered the endurance classic six times between 1935, only missing the 1933 event. For the first year he was entered as a part of the Bentley factory team, but latterly he entered his own cars. Driving his own Alfa Romeo 6C with co-driver Leslie Callingham he won the 2-litre class at the 1930 race, he upgraded to an Alfa Romeo 8C for the 1931 24 Hours of Le Mans, won the race outright driving in partnership with Henry Birkin. Away from La Sarthe, Earl Howe drove in a variety of automobiles. Indeed, in the mid-1930s he was credited by Time magazine as having "Europe's most elaborate" collection of racing cars. Although patriotic, he was forced to buy and run cars built outside the UK, as once Bentley had withdrawn from motor sport there were no realistically competitive British-built machines available.
He favored the Bugatti marque and campaigning several Bugattis. He won the Donington Park Trophy race in 1933, added to his victory haul with a win in the 1938 Grosvenor Grand Prix, at Cape Town in South Africa. In addition to these two victories he took podium finishes in eleven other major races between 1933 and 1939, became one of only two men to have competed in every running of the RAC Tourist Trophy at Ards, the other being E. R. Hall. In 1937, Howe was injured in an accident driving his pale blue and silver – Howe's personal racing colours – English Racing Automobiles R8B, while challenging the Thai Royal family competitor Prince Bira for the lead in the Campbell Trophy at the Brooklands circuit. Aside from assuming the Presidency of the BRDC, Earl Howe served as Vice-President of the FIA's Commission Sportive Internationale, the governing body of international motorsport at the time, he kept motorsport issues on the political landscape, with numerous speeches in the House of Lords. The start of the Second World War ended Earl Howe's front line driving career, he returned to the Navy.
At the end of the conflict he moved into race organising, although he continued to prepare and enter cars for other drivers, including Tazio Nuvolari. As President of the BRDC and Patron of the newly formed 500 Club, he was instrumental in the resumption of motor racing and applied political pressure to allow airfields to be used for motor sport, he was involved with organising the first British Grand Prix, at Silverstone in 1948, which gained full Formula One World Championship status at the Championship's inception in 1950. He instituted the annual BRDC International Trophy meeting at the same circuit. Under Earl Howe's 35-year stewardship, the BRDC went from private dining club to one of the most successful and high-profile motor sport associations in the world. Today the BRDC maintains a prestigious award in his memory: The Earl Howe Trophy, awarded annually "to the highest placed British Driver in the Indy 500 race or to the British driver who has established the most meritorious performance
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Brooklands was a 2.75-mile motor racing circuit and aerodrome built near Weybridge in Surrey, United Kingdom. It opened in 1907 and was the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit as well as one of Britain's first airfields, which became Britain's largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918, producing military aircraft such as the Wellington and civil airliners like the Viscount and VC-10; the circuit hosted its last race in August 1939 and today part of it forms the Brooklands Museum, a major aviation and motoring museum, as well as a venue for vintage car and other transport-related events. The Brooklands motor circuit was the brainchild of Hugh F. Locke King, was the first purpose-built banked motor race circuit in the world. Following the Motor Car Act 1903, Britain was subject to a blanket 20 mph speed limit on public roads: at a time when nearly 50% of the world's new cars were produced in France, there was concern that Britain's infant auto-industry would be hampered by the inability to undertake sustained high-speed testing.
King commissioned Colonel Capel Lofft Holden of the Royal Artillery to design the projected circuit and work began in 1906. Requirements of speed and spectator visibility led to the Brooklands track being built as a 100 ft wide, 2.75 miles long, banked oval. The banking was nearly 30 feet high in places. In addition to the oval, a bisecting "Finishing Straight" was built, increasing the track length to 3.25 miles, of which 1.25 miles was banked. It could host up to 287,000 spectators in its heyday. Owing to the complications of laying tarmacadam on banking, the expense of laying asphalt, the track was built in uncoated concrete; this led in years to a somewhat bumpy ride, as the surface suffered differential settlement over time. Along the centre of the track ran a dotted black line, known as the Fifty Foot Line. By driving over the line, a driver could theoretically take the banked corners without having to use the steering wheel; the track was opened on 17 June 1907 with a luncheon attended by most of Britain's motor manufacturers, followed by an informal inauguration of the track by a procession of 43 cars, one driven by Charles Rolls.
The first competitive event was held on 28–29 June, with three cars competing to break the world record for distance covered in 24 hours, the first race meeting was held on 6 July, attracting over 10,000 spectators. Drawing inspiration from the development at Brooklands, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built soon afterwards, held its inaugural race in August 1909; the Brooklands Mountain Circuit was a small section of the track giving a lap 1¼ miles long, running from the Fork to the rear of Members' Hill and back. It was created in 1930 using movable barriers. On 28–29 June 1907, eleven days after the circuit opened, it played host to the world's first 24-hour motor event, with Selwyn Edge leading three specially converted Napier cars around the circuit. A statement of intent had been made in 1906, Selwyn Edge entered into a physical training program to prepare for the event, his car, "804" was extensively modified, having a special fuel tank, bodywork removed, a special windscreen. Over 300 red railway lamps were used to light the track during the night.
Flares were used to mark the upper boundary of the track. Edge drove his car for the full duration, with the drivers of the other two cars taking the more familiar shift approach. During the event Edge covered a distance of 1,581.74 mi at an average speed of 65.91 mph, comfortably beating the existing record of 1,096.187 mi set at Indianapolis in 1905. Women were not allowed to compete for several years. Dorothy Levitt, S. F. Edge's leading driver, was refused entry despite having been the'first English-woman to compete in a motor race' in 1903, holding the'Ladies World Land Speed Record'. Edge completed 2,545 km at a record which stood for 17 years; the first standard race meeting would be held the next week, on 6 July. George E. Stanley broke the one-hour record at Brooklands race track on a Singer motorcycle in 1912, becoming the first rider of a 350 cc motorcycle to cover over 60 miles in an hour; the world record for the first person to cover 100 miles in 1 hour was set by Percy E. Lambert at Brooklands, on 15 February 1913 when driving his 4.5 litre sidevalve Talbot.
He covered 103 miles, 1470 yards in 60 minutes. A contemporary film of his exploits on that day can be viewed at the Brooklands Museum. In July and August 1929, Violette Cordery and her younger sister Evelyn drove her 4.5 litre four-seater Invicta for 30,000 miles in less than 30,000 minutes, averaging 61.57 mph and earning her second Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club. Brooklands closed to motor racing during World War I, was requisitioned by the War Office and continued its pre-war role as a flying training centre although it was now under military control. Brooklands soon became a major location for the construction and supply of military aeroplanes. Motor racing resumed in 1920 after extensive track repairs and Grand Prix motor racing was established at Brooklands in 1926 by Henry Segrave, after his victories in the 1923 French Grand Prix and the San Sebastián Grand Prix the following year raised interest in the sport in Britain; this first British Grand Prix was won by Louis Wagner and Robert Sénéchal, sharing the drive in a Delage 155B.
The second British Grand Prix was staged there in 1927 and these two events resulted in improve
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K