200 MPH at the Brickyard - 1909!?

Attachment Brooklands121209 contains a tiny article noting the speed records at the Brooklands track in Surrey, England with those at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Atlanta Speedway. It was published in the Indianapolis Star on December 12, 1909.
In these pioneering days much was made of a venue's bragging rights for sheer speed. While both speedways in Indianapolis and Atlanta wanted to insist they were fastest in the world the concrete paving and ultra-steep banking of Brooklands made comparisons pretty silly.
This article reports that Brooklands could claim the world records for:

  • Half mile: 127.877 MPH or 14.076 seconds.
  • Mile, flying start: 115.923 MPH or 31.055 seconds
  • 100 miles: 89.70 MPH or 1 hour, six minutes, 53.49 seconds

By comparison the article reports speeds in America as the following:

The article reports that the fastest American half mile recorded up to that time was by Fred Marriott in the Stanley Steamer at Ormond Beach at a time of 28.2 seconds. This is an error in that this was not for a half mile, but a full mile. The time is correct and the speed at that distance was 127.659. The article closes by saying the drivers expected to hit 200 MPH at the newly brick-paved Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That was an over-the-top prediction but it was an over-the-top age. This article was published just days prior to the December time trials event at the Speedway.

Brooklands121209.pdf691.64 KB