Rare shot of the BMW 328 being driven by the legendary Grand Prix ace Richard Seaman at the 1938 RAC Tourist Trophy race at Donington Park.Seen here the car is apparently being driven into the pits before practice (no crowd visible in the background and Seaman wears no helmet or goggles.
Seaman was one of several BMW drivers in the event including the Frazer Nash ace AFP Fane and the famous Prince Bira, (see our store for a photo of them in this event).The RAC TT had been held on the road circuit at Ards near Belfast for the previous 10 years but a serious of serious accidents on the tricky course, including a fatality had seen the event moved to the newly extended Donington Park.
Seaman rocketed to fame driving an ERA in 1935, fell out with the team and bought a Delkage in 1936 which he used to such effect that Mercedes Benz signed him for the Grand Prix team in 1937. He quickly grew in confidence and won the 1938 German GP, sadly being killed while leading the Belgian GP at Spa a year later.
He married Erica Popp who's father was, I believe, an executive at BMW, which no doubt accounts for Seaman driving the car at Donington. He didn't have a good race and finished a lowly 21st just ahead of team mate Bira.Lovely shot printed up from an original 35mm negative held in our archives.
10x8 inch (254x203mm)