On Thursday 12th July a magnificent new painting by Tim Layzell, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading motoring artists, was unveiled by Sir Jackie Stewart OBE at the Royal Automobile Club, Woodcote, Epsom.
The painting, in acrylic on canvas, depicts Stewart in his French racing blue Matra MS80-Ford in the 1969 British Grand Prix having just overtaken his great rival and friend, Jochen Rindt at Stowe corner. After more than 30 position changes during the course of the race Stewart took his maiden British Grand Prix victory – at the unveiling of the painting Sir Jackie was also re-acquainted with the winner’s trophy. Stewart went on to secure the World Championship in 1969, winning six of the 11 races.
Sir Jackie Stewart said: “This is a wonderful painting by Tim Layzell in his unique style and brings back fond memories of my first British Grand Prix win in the year I first won the World Championship. It was a great thrill not only for me but for Ken Tyrrell for whom I’d been racing for five years.”
Following the unveiling, Sir Jackie drove the actual car (chassis MS80/2, which was rebuilt in the 1990s and driven by him at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed), up the Captain’s Drive to officially open the principal approach to the clubhouse.
Nicknamed the ‘Flying Scot’, Stewart started as an apprentice mechanic in the family car dealer business in West Dunbartonshire turning to motor racing in 1961. Many wins followed and his talent was recognised by Ken Tyrrell who was running the Formula Junior team for the Cooper Car Company. In 1964 Stewart drove in Formula 3 for Tyrrell, cruising to a dominant win in his debut race. Invitations to drive in Formula 1 soon followed and he raced a Lotus and then BRM, while continuing to win for Tyrrell in F2 events. For 1968 he stayed with Ken Tyrrell who had moved in to F1 with Matra MS10-Cosworth cars and while he won races, he narrowly missed the driver’s championship. The next year, still driving a Matra for Ken Tyrell’s team, Stewart was dominant – he won six races, some by huge margins – to become the first World Champion in a French car.
In 1913 the Royal Automobile Club purchased Woodcote Park near Epsom racecourse as a Country Club to complement the Pall Mall clubhouse. Located on the site of a historic 12th century abbey, it was a mansion built in 1679 by Richard Evelyn (brother of diarist John), and mentioned in his diaries by Samuel Pepys. In 1934, Woodcote Park was razed to the ground by fire, re‐opening only 21 months later in May 1936. World War II saw the country club assume a new role, as a training centre for thousands of troops with the grounds ploughed for agricultural purposes. Woodcote Park’s strong motoring heritage is reinforced by the fact that it gave its name to the world famous Woodcote corners at the legendary Goodwood and Silverstone race circuits.
Tim Layzell was born into a family with a passionate interest in historic motor sport and while still in the pram he was taken to Vintage Sports Car Club events at famous venues such as Silverstone, Prescott and Shelsley Walsh. In 1995, at the age of 13, Tim won the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s prestigious Young Motoring Artist Award. Part of his prize was to have his winning paintings – of the winning C-type Jaguar during a pit stop at the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours race, and Duncan Hamilton drifting through one of Silverstone’s fast corners in an HWM – exhibited alongside some of the world’s greatest motoring artists at that year’s Coys International Historic Festival at Silverstone. Today, Tim’s refreshingly different paintings, both in subject and style, are immensely popular at the venues at which he continues to exhibit, such as Goodwood, Silverstone, Pebble Beach, Paris and Monaco.’