Silverstone will host the first classic Le Mans-style start in Britain for over 50 years after Motorsport UK granted permission for the dash across the track to be used as part of the 100 years of Bentley celebrations this month.
The Vintage Sports-Car Club has teamed up with the Benjafields Racing Club to coordinate a field of 40 classic Bentleys for a race at the Northamptonshire circuit on April 13/14. After qualifying, the cars will be lined up in order on the National Circuit pit straight before drivers will run across the track to their cars to begin the race.
The traditional Le Mans start had been in place since the 1920s, but was outlawed when the introduction of seatbelts meant drivers often rushed fastening safety devices, or skipped doing it entirely to gain an advantage. The RAC outlawed the use of the start in the UK in 1962, but it continued at Le Mans until 1969 when John Woolfe was killed in a first-lap accident having not done up the belts in his Porsche 917. At Silverstone, the period Bentleys will not run with belts.
A VSCC spokesperson said: “It will be a historic sight to behold, and we can’t wait to bring this iconic type of start back.”
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