The organisation and promotion of the Silverstone Classic has been sub-contracted for at least the next five years as Silverstone’s management focuses its efforts on running the British Grand Prix.
In a deal described as a “win-win situation”, the Motion Works company headed by Roger Etcell has taken complete responsibility for the annual July event, which is Silverstone’s flagship classic race meeting.
“We’ve got a licence from Silverstone for a minimum five years to take over the organisation and promotion of the Silverstone Classic,” said Etcell. “It is a commercial exercise and it is a risk, but it’s an event that we feel has great potential.”
Etcell’s vision is to return the July 26/27 event to its glory days in the 1990s when crowds of 90,000 people attended the Coys Historic Festival. The event withered and died during Octagon’s management of Silverstone.
“For Silverstone the Grand Prix is extremely important and the Classic is an event that needs specific expertise and 12 months of resource behind it,” said Etcell. “This arrangement allows Silverstone to focus on the British Grand Prix.”
Etcell expects the event to deliver more income to Silverstone than over the past three years and the contract has both a flat fee and a performance element that works for both parties. For 2008 Etcell has already unveiled the race content, topped by both classic 3-litre F1 race series (see above), Group C/GTP and a host of other major races.
Initial developments will focus on an improved paddock layout to give fans better access, an increased marketing effort and filming for TV. Etcell has also pledged that Silverstone and BRDC branding will remain at the heart of the event.