Taste of good height
Britain’s round of the World Rallycross Championship is shifting from spiritual home Lydden Hill to Silverstone
Silverstone has pulled out all the stops as it hosts the British round of the World Rallycross Championship for the first time. Rather than relying solely on the thrills of the main attraction, this event has been dubbed ‘Speedmachine’ with a festival atmosphere to complement the action on track over the weekend of May 25-27.
The championship, which began in the middle of April, is intensely competitive and boasts some star names such as nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sébastien Loeb, 2003 WRC winner Petter Solberg and reigning WRX champ Mattias Ekström. The supercars accelerate from 0-60mph in 1.9sec utilising the full bore of their 600bhp powerplants and, as you might expect, the racing is appropriately ferocious.
The festival aspect of ‘Speedmachine’ makes it potentially one of the most engaging new features on the 2018 motor sport calendar. Prodrive will be displaying some of its iconic racing cars from the last three decades alongside a host of Group B machines, drifters will tear across the asphalt and car manufacturers such as Renault will let punters test their latest models, bookable at the event itself.
Beyond the motor sport, there’s an esports competition, a host of food stalls and, if you’re looking for a soundtrack, Dizzee Rascal and Basement Jaxx will be headlining the event each night, supported by Craig Charles, Razorlight and Lethal Bizzle, among others.
All of that is included in a weekend ticket price from £95 for adults and £60 for teens, with under 11s entering free of charge. Early booking could secure you a complimentary roving grandstand pass.
HOW TO GET THERE
Silverstone’s location in the middle of the UK makes it easily accessible from London, Birmingham and beyond using the A43, M40 or M1. Camping is available with a comfortable range of amenities. There are shuttles to the event from the Woodlands campsite.
ALSO GOING ON
Qualifying for the esports competition is open now, if you have a copy of Codemasters’ rally game Dirt 4. The prize is a passenger ride in an RX2 car, powered by a spec-310bhp engine. RX2 will also be supporting the main supercar series during the weekend.
Ultra4 racing buggies will be supporting the event, demonstrating their abilities to crawl over any terrain, whether it be rocks or rubble. Unlimited by regulations, they compete in races worldwide – an eye-catching addition to the weekend programme.
May 3-5, WEC, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium The WEC ‘Superseason’ begins with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. There is a surprisingly healthy LMP1 class and the ever-competitive GT teams will be looking to hone their cars for June’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
May 5-6 DTM, Hockenheim, Germany Mercedes-Benz’s final season in the German touring car championship starts with a double-header at a venue that began hosting events in 1932 and has been a mainstay of the DTM calendar since 1984. Since 2000, Mercedes has won 12 of 22 DTM season-openers.
May 10-13, Nürburgring 24h, Nürburgring, Germany The mighty Nordschleife and its adjacent Grand Prix circuit host about 180 cars and more than 700 drivers in a race than has produced an opus of stories since its inception in 1970. Last year, Markus Winkelhock, Connor de Phillippi, Christopher Mies and Kelvin van der Linde won in an Audi R8 LMS.
IN THE UK
May 19-20 BTCC, Thruxton Both Thruxton and the BTCC are marking anniversaries this year, with the circuit 50 years old and the championship 60. This high-speed fixture at the Hampshire airfield is a fitting choice for any spectators who fancy a celebration or two.
May 27 Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis, USA Thirty-three drivers will spar over 500 miles for a single bottle of cold milk in one of the most prestigious races on the motor racing calendar.
MAY 06 MOTOGP Jerez
MAY 13 FORMULA 1 Spain
MAY 19 FORMULA E Berlin
MAY 20 WRC Portugal
MAY 20 MOTOGP Le Mans
MAY 27 NASCAR Charlotte
MAY 27 FORMULA 1 Monaco
Ford will be the official partner for the Legends of Le Mans Dinner, set to take place May 17 at the Royal Automobile Club’s Woodcote Park Estate. The 50th anniversary of Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi’s Le Mans win in the Ford GT40 will be celebrated in aid of Hope For Tomorrow, the national cancer charity founded in 2003 to provide Mobile Cancer Care Units for patients across the UK.
Go to www.hopefortomorrow.org.uk for more information