The end of the Second World War had left Britain with no major race track but an abundance of airfields. One of these surplus airfields was located outside the village of Silverstone and being roughly in the middle of England was seen as an ideal location to bring back international motor racing to Britain.
By 1948 The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) had arranged a one year lease with the Air Ministry in the spirit of optimism and possibility which characterised the time. An ex-farmer, James Wilson Brown, was employed by the RAC and given just two months to turn the site from a wartime airfield and farm into a race track for the first RAC International Grand Prix.
On the 2nd October 1948 an estimated 100,000 people flocked to see Luigi Villoresi beat a field of 22 others in his Maserati. Hay bales and ropes protected the piggery and crops in the middle of the circuit, and canvas barriers stopped drivers from being distracted by cars coming the other way. Silverstone racing history had begun.