Silverstone was originally opened as a World War Two airfield in 1943 but was left redundant following the end of the war like many others in the country. The Royal Automobile Club took an interest in Silverstone and saw it as a potential site for racing and a lease of the airfield was made in 1948. A tight 2 month deadline was given to turn the airfield into a race venue and despite the difficult challenge, the first race took place on 2nd October 1948. The circuit was very undeveloped and drivers were racing in amongst straw bales and ropes but thousands of spectators came to see the return of motor racing following years of war. The race was eventually won by Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati with an average speed of 72 mph and claiming a prize of £500. A year later Silverstone hosted its second major event, the Formula One Daily Express International Trophy in May 1949, which was won by Alberto Ascari. Over the years the circuit configuration has changed many times into what is the current Arena circuit. Drivers have always loved the thrill of racing at Silverstone due corners such as Maggots and Beckets, Copse and Stowe which makes this a truly unique and special circuit. There are many configurations used for the various events the circuit currently holds such as the National, International and Stowe circuit. It plays host to the biggest international events including F1, World Superbikes, World Series by Renault, British GT, the Le Mans series and many more. Since the circuit recaptured the rights to host the British Formula 1 Grand Prix it has been developed into the UK’s most advanced circuit with the new pit complex being an iconic part. This architectural wonder displays some of the most spectacular technical and structural features in the world of motorsport and has secured Silverstone’s status as one of the best circuits and facilities in the world. The circuit is a true modern day multi-purpose motorsport venue offering great corporate opportunities and is the home circuit for many established race teams who fill the motorsport valley in the surrounding area.