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End of the road for Aintree?

NEWS STORY
02/06/2006

Aintree, the Liverpool race circuit which hosted five World Championship Grands Prix between 1955 and 1962, alternating with Silverstone, looks to have reached the end of the road.

An attempt by race fans to prevent the development of part of the horseracing course, which would see a new grandstand built on the site of Tatt's Corner (part of the motor racing track) has failed.

At a meeting of Sefton council on Wednesday night, the planning committee failed to overturn approval for the construction of the new grandstand - part of a £30m redevelopment programme - despite a petition from local residents, who are against the scheme. It is understood that the circuit club is considering further legal action.

Although the track is unsuitable for contemporary motor racing, it has successfully hosted vintage car shows and demonstrations, the most recent being the Aintree Festival of Motorsport in 2004.

Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks, Jack Brabham, Wolfgang von Tripps and Jim Clark won rounds of the Formula One World Championship at Aintree, which opened for racing in May 1954. Although phased out in the early 80s, the Grand Prix course is still used by TV camera vehicles for the Grand National (horse race).

Members of the circuit club have twice failed to have the track listed by English Heritage, without success. However, they claim that the success of the 2004 festival, which attracted 19,000 spectators, demonstrates the massive potential of the circuit.

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