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A journey about speed

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It is not difficult to imagine a Lola T70 Mk III let loose on this Northumberland tarmac, threading the needle’s eye at 180mph, a Chevrolet V-8 thundering towards the northern light.  This was a car I sketched on the cover of many a school exercise book, the perfect shape, the perfect mid-engined configuration, radiator to the front, the engine in front of the rear wheel line, two seats in the middle.  There are many other examples from the same era; powerful, fragile cars offering minimal protection to the fearsome professional race drivers of the late 1960s.  The version in the picture was driven by New Zealander, Paul Hawkins, approaching Lodge Corner at Oulton Park on a very wet afternoon, in practice for the RAC Tourist Trophy, May 25th 1969.  I stood happy in the rain, clicked my Dad’s 35mm Werra camera and captured the monster, nose-dipped under braking, hunting a dry line.