It’s the biggest historic motorsport meeting in the UK, and with 22 races over three days plus a wide variety of off-track attractions, the Silverstone Classic should be a firm diary fixture. Words: Simon Marshall. Photography: Jakob Ebrey
An Aston Martin display and the celebration of the 50th birthday of the DBR1 will be at the centre of Silverstone’s, bigger, better Classic on July 28-30.
You can expect to see a truly mouth-watering array of machinery – grand prix cars from across the eras to sportscars of all types, touring cars and Formula 2, Formula Junior and other single-seaters. The Classic will feature 22 races over three days and a wealth of entertainment from the expected entry of around 600 cars.
Formula Junior kicks off the race action on Friday afternoon with drivers competing for the Colin Chapman Trophy and you can expect strong representation for the Lotus marque. It’s the first of a series of races offering trophies named after drivers and team bosses with a particular link to the formulae involved.
Single-seaters will fill nine of the race grids including two races each for HGPCA Pre-60 and Pre-66 F1s – with trophies named after 1959, ’60 and ’66 world champion Jack Brabham, and his boss during his first two title-winning campaigns, John Cooper. More recent F1 cars have two races for James Hunt and Silverstone trophies and there are also two outings for the successful mix of pre-80 F1, F5000, F2, F3 and FAtlantic cars from the Derek Bell Trophy series.
Sportscars also have a strong presence with everything from the pre-war sportscars which close the Saturday race bill to the Aston Martins, Jaguars and other GTs contesting Friday’s one-hour endurance event for the Innes Ireland Trophy, and the Group C and GTP cars of the ’80s and ’90s, which have outings on both Saturday and Sunday.
There are also races for pre-56 sportscars – expect more Jaguars, and a smattering of Ferraris and Maseratis – and BRDC Historic sportscars (Lister-Jaguars, Cooper Monacos, Lotus 11s and the like). The Lola T70s and friends from the World Sportscar Masters series race for the Denny Hulme Trophy on Saturday. More American V8 power will be on display when the Can-Am McLarens and their rivals from the Orwell Supersports series race for trophies named after American F1 and Can-Am greats Mark Donohue and Peter Revson.
Tin-top fans haven’t been forgotten either: you’ll be able to see Cortinas, Jags, Minis et al racing for the Jack Sears Trophy. There are even two ’bike races for classic 750cc machines.
The Roy Salvadori Trophy for Aston Martins will also be a highlight, while off-track the classic British sportscars star too in the middle of an almost overwhelming quantity of things to see and do. Aston Martin’s display includes the DBR1 and a variety of contemporary Aston racers including DBR9, DBRS9 and prototypes.
There will also be a glut of classic road cars on display at a host of car club stands. The Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, AC, Ferrari, Lotus 7 and Maserati clubs will have major display, with around 100 cars from each expected, while BMW CC hosts the biggest UK meeting of pre-war 328s.
Aircraft will also play a part, with a display of 30 vintage planes, a Spitfire flying display, parachute drop-ins and hot-air balloon fly-outs all planned.
For many, though, the best bit, racing aside, will be the chance to have a good look round the paddock and get close to the cars. The people who drive and run them will be there too and many of them like nothing better than to chat about their charges.
For historic motorsport fans it should be close to paradise.
Tickets from 08704 588290 or www.silverstoneclassic.com