McLaren F1s plus record F1 parade headline programme at Silverstone’s huge historic event
Up to 40 iconic GT cars from the 1990s will run in high-speed demonstration sessions as a major new feature of the Silverstone Classic (July 25-27), the biggest event of its kind.
The GT Legends concept has brought together some of the most evocative cars of the decade, with the current entry list covering five McLaren F1 GTRs, a Porsche 911 GT1, three Jaguar XJ220s, two Vipers, a Lister Storm and cars from Ferrari, Ascari, Venturi, Marcos, Morgan and Harrier. Many of them have not run in public since the turn of the millennium and will now take part in 25-minute demo sessions on each of the three days.
Event director Nick Wigley says the 1990s GT cars could be back for a full race next year. “We’re certainly looking at making it a race for 2015,” he said. “It’s a showcase for these fantastic cars. There has never previously been a collection of any size put together. There’s nowhere else for them to run.”
Formula 1 celebrations
The organisers of the event have traditionally majored on record attempts and this year’s bid is to get 100 Formula 1 cars on track together for a parade, as the event celebrates 50 F1 Grands Prix at Silverstone. Fittingly, the parade will be led by Sir Stirling Moss. With the HGPCA and Masters FIA Historic racers already on site, the target seems achievable and a selection of later cars will swell numbers. Ex-Senna and ex-Warwick Tolemans are confirmed, as is Damon Hill’s 1997 Arrows A18.
The event also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World Championship title for John Surtees.
A special BRDC dinner on Friday evening will celebrate 80-year-old Surtees at a track where he had his first F1 test in a Lotus 18 in 1960, as he considered the switch from motor bikes.
The late Sir Jack Brabham will be honoured in the HGPCA Pre-66 race, while the Pre-61 division will contest the Maserati Centenary Trophy.
A gaggle of famous names will join the established historic racers in a total entry of about 1000 cars. A typical example of competitor support is the Masters Gentleman Drivers race, which had 82 entries for 52 grid places. Among them is WTCC star Tom Coronel, sharing the AC Cobra of David Hart.
Touring car stars Steve Soper and Mike Jordan both race Ford GT40s in the Masters FIA Sports Car race, where they go up against the stunning Porsche 917 of Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson.
The Mustang Celebration Trophy race for Pre-66 saloon cars has an amazing line-up of more than 25 Ford Mustangs, including cars for Jackie Oliver and Patrick Watts, while current BTCC ace Matt Neal fields his Lotus Cortina.
Following a full day of qualifying on Friday (July 25), Saturday offers a mammoth 12 hours of racing with 12 races between 9am and 9pm. The traditional Saturday evening races are always a highlight, although the 2013 weather did its best to spoil the atmosphere. However, the spectacle of Group C cars racing into the dusk with lights on and brakes glowing is a magical element of the weekend. On Sunday, a further 11 races will run from 9am to 6pm. Ticket information and full details about the event are available at www.silverstoneclassic.com