‘Brands Hatch; the Ascot of British motor racing’ is how the rather lively Pathé-style announcer introduces this excellent video reviewing the 1968 British Grand Prix. Two years after the Goodwood circuit was closed and mere months since the passing of the incomparable Jim Clark, the Grand Prix circus descended upon this challenging and undulating part of Kent.
A youthful Prince Charles was in attendance chatting with established stars like Vic Elford and Jack Brabham. The cars themselves though were suffering a bit of an identity crisis at the time, with rudimentary wings being nailed on using a variety of methods as the black art of downforce was being openly explored. Crash helmets also were evolving and where the old-style ‘fuselage’ cars were having wings added to them so some of the drivers were dragging headgear technology along by fitting ‘full-face’ visors to the traditional ‘open-face’ helmets. Jackie Stewart’s looks good, but surely Jacky Ickx’s effort @ 40 seconds surely takes the prize?
We don’t want to give the game away for those who don’t know the result, but suffice to say the Lotus 49s with their (then) revolutionary Cosworth DFV motors were clearly the cream of the crop. Despite this though, you still might not guess the eventual winner who,upon climbing the podium is presented with a trophy big enough to double-up as a boat anchor!