Many will be aware of the history of Crystal Palace, despite the track having now been moribund since 1972. Having played host to races on two wheels and four, featuring drivers and riders like James Hunt, Sitrling Moss, Jochen Rindt and John Surtees, the Palace's reputation was assured during the glory years of the 50s and 60s.
Gerry Marshall won the last race held at Crystal Palace, held on September 23rd 1972, driving a Lister-Jaguar - quite an appropriate way to bow out. It wasn't until 1997 that sprint racing returned, only to be stopped again in 2001 thanks to millennium redevelopment plans for the park. Undeterred, the Sevenoaks and District Motor Club continued their campaigning, and the Motorsport at the Palace sprint weekend has run successfully every year since its reintroduction in 2010.
And now PH is involved! Taking place this Bank Holiday on Sunday and Monday, the MATP weekend comprises a car show and bike display as well as the competitive element. It's a proper event, too, with dozens of cars across a variety of classes. The entry list is full of cool stuff: E-Type Jaguars, Lotus Cortinas, Fraser Nashes, Morgans, Caterhams, Cobras... and a Ford Ka. Uh oh.
The mighty little Ford is entered into Class 7 (2000-date) for Road Going Series Production Cars. There's also a category for Road Going Specialist Production Cars, Sports Libre Cars, and then racers up to 1,600cc. At the time of writing the Ka is up against cars including a Clio V6, an Impreza, three Elises, a JCW Mini and even a Mitsubishi Airtek. The Ka is not returning with a podium again in other words - but it still promises to be a lot of fun.
You'll find it and me at Crystal Palace on both days, so do come and say hello if you're around. And if you're not yet but would like to be - and who wouldn't? - then tickets are available here.
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