Roger Etcell, the man behind Silverstone Classic, has pledged to make it the best motoring festival in the world and to attract 90,000 visitors to the Northamptonshire track during the three-day event.
Etcell’s Motion Works operation has taken over the contract to organise and promote the event from Silverstone Circuits Ltd, and he believes he can expand it into a complete motoring festival with a high-quality classic race meeting at its core.
Etcell was speaking at the launch of the 2008 event, which runs on July 25-27, where he introduced Murray Walker as ambassador for the Classic. “It is a very special event,” said Walker, who did his first BBC commentary at the 1949 Grand Prix at Silverstone. “I’m sure the event will build and build over the coming years.”
The 2008 edition will feature 21 races and 650 entries with 750 drivers, and Etcell is determined to have capacity fields for most of the races. Over 130 Grand Prix cars, from the 1930s through to the ’90s, will be in action, including those in an F1 quadruple, made up of double-header races for both the FIA Historic F1 Championship and Grand Prix Masters. To mark the 60th anniversary of the first GP here, a demonstration run of cars from that race will be flagged away by Roy Salvadori, the only surviving driver from the 1948 race.
Up to 24 hours of live TV coverage will be screened by Motors TV, broadcasting from 9am to 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday, while an hour-long highlights programme will run on Channel 4 during August.