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had only just been finally race prepared during the practice sessions, Brack had managed an hour on the Brooklands Track a few days before setting off for France. In the end the results were most satisfying – Dobson and Brack came in third, covering some 2,006 miles at 83.61mph, with Selsdon and Waleren following in fourth, with 2,000 miles at 83.35mph to their credit. Brack also had the highest average speed of the four drivers at 86.78mph. The Lagondas were first and second in their class and W O and the staff at the Staines works were delighted. Two months later and the V12 Lagondas were entered for the BARC August meeting. 12th August was to be the last day of racing in Brooklands’ 33-year history. Brack came in first in one of the Outer Circuit Handicaps at 118.45mph, with his fastest lap at 127.7mph. Ebblewhite’s re-handicapping frustrated any further ‘firsts’, but at least Brackenbury had the honour of being amongst the last to take to the Brooklands concrete. His contact with Brooklands was not finished


however, as he took over the Brooklands Road garage, previously owned by Fernihough. ‘Brackenbury’s Garage’ as it was known was in business from around 1939 until 1959. During World War II Charles served in the


Home Guard, leading his mobile unit around Weybridge on his Four Square Ariel motor cycle. His lust for motor sport had not diminished and


As Tony Brooks describes it in his book: ‘A rather grainy shot of the sleepy four-pump petrol station I bought in December 1959’ (Brooks Family Archive).


in 1949, 50 and 54 he once again drove an Aston Martin at Le Mans, although he non-started in 54. He also appeared in the 1949 Belgian 24-Hour Race. 1955 saw Charles and his Aston Martin take sixth place in the Hyeres 12-Hour Race. ‘Rufous, burly of build, perennially hatless, always short- sleeved in summer and winter’, the Brack died in November 1959. ‘Most under-rated ever’ ‘According to Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks is the most under-rated racing driver there ever was,’ Alf Francis, the racing mechanic, said. ‘How he goes so quickly can only be explained by the fact that he is a born racing driver,’ Denis Jenkinson wrote in Motor Sport, ‘I had seen him once... and could not fail to see an inborn talent and sense of balance and artistry that made most people look like amateurs.’ Brooks’ racing career began at Goodwood in 1952 driving a Healey Silverstone, one of the seven meetings he competed in his first season. When not racing Tony was studying to be a dentist in Manchester, taking his final exam in 1956, by which time motor racing had become a


‘The sleepy petrol station turned into a garage with a showroom, workshop, accessory shop and new petrol forecourt’ (Brooks Family Archive).


40


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