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Learn to Skid at Jim Russell’s Racing School – 1959

Submitted by on May 18, 2015

Jim Russell's Racing Driver School

Back in 1959, one pound a week would buy you a year’s worth of monthly racing instruction at Snetterton with cars, track and fuel included, thanks to Jim Russell’s budding racing driver school. Get the pitch and enjoy some classic footage in this brilliant clip from its very earliest days.

“The ignoble and humiliating skid, a thing which everyday motorists hope to avoid like the plague, is deliberately induced during this demonstration on a specially-prepared and very skiddy piece of tarmac. This motorist’s nightmare is located on the famous Snetterton circuit, where new pupils are being taught the rudiments of motor racing.”

Jim Russell built up a formidable reputation racing in Formula Three during the mid-’50s. He won the British Formula Three Championship three times, from ’55 to ’57, claiming some 64 wins in the series. Along the way he would also claim eleven Formula Two wins and six sports car races, before a crash at Le Mans ended his racing career.

He set up his racing driver school a few years earlier, in 1956, and it became an incredible success. So much so that it lives on today, and has helped to develop the talents of drivers like Emerson Fittipaldi, Derek Bell and Jacques Villeneuve.

This video is from 1959 and provides potential podium-sitters the pitch for the school’s many charms. It’s packed with gorgeous machines, terror-inducing safety procedures and period charm. Brilliant.

MORE: Video: Who’ll be the next Moss? (1962)

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