Residents rev up for racing celebration at BRM Day

Damon Hill driving his father Graham's BRM racing car in Bourne
Damon Hill driving his father Graham's BRM racing car in Bourne
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The town was “buzzing” on Sunday when thousands of people packed into the town to celebrate its motor racing history at BRM Day.

Two of British motor-racing’s most famous names drove classic cars through the closed off streets of the town to celebrate 50 years since the Formula 1 World Championship was won by the Bourne-based British Racing Motors, known as BRM.

Sir Jackie Stewart and 1996 World Champion Damon Hill were cheered on by the grandstand crowds erected in Abbey Road and at the bus station and by thousands of fans packed along roads five deep in places and hanging out of the windows of terraced houses.

It was an emotional day for Damon and former BRM team member Sir Jackie Stewart

Damon, who drove the BRM P578/1, nick named Old Faithful, which his father Graham used to win the World Championship in 1962 with the BRM team and Sir Jackie drove a BRM P261 alongside dozens of other drivers, including other ex-BRM workers.

Damon was clocked speeding along the roads at 45mph but was just pipped by Sir Jackie who hit 46mph.

Damon was presented with a Dartington Crystal glass award to commemorate the anniversary of his father becoming the world champion and to mark the fact that they were the first father and son to be World Champions in Formula 1.

Damon said: “A lot of things have happened here in Bourne that are very important to the Hill family and I want to say thank you to the town.”

His mother Betty said: “The people of Bourne have come out in their thousands, it is absolutely marvellous.

“To come out in force like this is unbelievable I am speechless.

BRM Day organising committee chairman Rick Hall said: “It is great to get Bourne buzzing.

“All the community and businesses have got involved and it is fantastic.”

Sunday’s event dwarfed the last major celebration of BRM in Bourne back in 1999, attracting cars and motor-racing fans from around the world.

With a soundtrack of 1960s music, drowned out at times by the powerful Formula 1 engines, the town came alive with activity on Sunday as businesses, schools churches and charities opened their doors to the masses.

The normally peaceful Abbey Lawn were transformed into a swarming hive of activity, with trade stands, food stalls, exhibitions and live music keeping the crowds entertained between breaks in the action on the road.

Classic pre-1963 vehicles parked along West Street for the public to get a closer view, and for a small fee racing fans could view the BRM cars in the paddock in front of the Corn Exchange.

Money raised at the event will go towards Bourne Outdoor Pool and the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.