Paddock Hill Bend, so-called because the Brands Hatch paddock lay just outside it, is a dramatic and challenging semi-blind high speed corner which drops sharply downhill. Here we are at the start of the 1964 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch on July 11, 1964 as the field rushes toward us. This was the first running of the British Grand Prix to be held at Brands Hatch, replacing Aintree which had often been used in the 1950s and 60s. Jim Clark with his Lotus 25 is at the left from his pole position with Graham Hill’s BRM 61/2 behind him having had a slightly slower start and Dan Gurney in his Brabham BT7 on the right. The huge crowd packs the grandstands all along the undulating Top Straight, now renamed the Brabham Straight.
Brands Hatch, situated in Kent some 25 miles southeast of London, started as a short kidney-shaped dirt motorcycle circuit which was later paved for automobile racing. The original circuit of 1.2 miles in length lies in a natural amphitheater and can be seen entirely from just about any vantage point. Today it is known as the Indy Circuit. In 1960 the original circuit was lengthened by a new section which went out into the woods to the south to create the Grand Prix Circuit of 2.4 miles in length on which the British Grand Prix was held, usually alternating with Silverstone, between 1964 and 1986.
In the race, Clark was initially followed by Gurney and Hill, but Gurney soon had to pit with an electrical problem, lost five laps and was never in contention thereafter. Hill followed Clark closely for the entire race, looking for any mistake by the Scotsman, and was 2.8 seconds back at the finish. The only other car on the lead lap was John Surtees in third place with his Ferrari 158/63.
Photo by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
To see more photos from our archive go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx