The dust is settling over another outstanding Silverstone Classic where a record crowd witnessed a bumper schedule of 22 races, celebratory parades, two rock concerts, iconic classic car displays and a packed line-up of family entertainment.
The Silverstone Grand Prix circuit has been basked in glorious sunshine throughout the event, which commenced with the qualifying action on Friday. The packed ran from dawn until dusk on Saturday, concluding with the twilight run Group C race followed by the Bonnie Tyler concert late into the evening.
Today’s action was also relentless with celebratory displays for Maserati’s centenary and a record collection of Grand Prix cars to mark the 50th Grand Prix at Silverstone. The on-track action came thick and fast as the final ten races brought the curtain down on a memorable weekend…
Brian Henton Trophy For Classic Formula 3
The Silverstone Classic Sunday sprung into action with the second race for the Classic Formula 3 cars, which are making their first appearance at the event this year. It was another strong performance from Nick Padmore, who led from the off to eventually win by just over eight seconds. Martin Stretton and David Shaw comfortably secured the final two podium slots, but behind them there were some superb battles that went all the way to the flag. In particular the #30 Argo JM6 of Paul Dibden, #2 Martini MK39 of Eric Martin and #38 Chevron B38 of Hugh Price were tussling for a place in the top seven, all crossing the line within half a second of one-another in seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.
1) Nick Padmore (March 783): 10 Laps
2) Martin Stretton (Martini MK39): +8.045
3) David Shaw (March 803B): +16.043
Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for Pre ’56 Sports Cars
The spectacular showdown for pre ’56 sports cars had all the hallmarks of a classic endurance race, with pit-stop dramas and amazing drives through the field, the hour-long spectacular wowed the Sunday morning crowds. The Cooper-Jaguar T38 led from the front with Frederic Wakeman at the wheel, pulling out a sizable lead during his stint. Positions looked to be set stable as the race neared mid-distance, but as ever the pit-stop phase shook everything up and left some very quick drivers scattered throughout the order. The leader emerged from its stop just 11 seconds ahead of the #115 Kurtis 500S in second, and the gap remained constant for much of the remainder of the contest. Further back there was an amazing drive through the field from the beautiful #7 Jaguar D-type. Following John Pearson’s opening stint in the car, his brother Gary took to the wheel and set about speeding up the order and into contention for a podium. Lapping several seconds per lap quicker than the drivers ahead, Pearson made it through to third and then closed down the Curtis of Charles Knill-Jones at an impressive rate, with the mounting pressure forcing a mistake and allowing the Jaguar to sweep through into second place. There wasn’t quite enough time on the clock for the flying D-type to challenge for the lead, and it eventually crossed the line 13.376s behind the winning Cooper T38.
1) Frederic Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper T38): 23 Laps
2) John Pearson/Gary Pearson (Jaguar D-type): +13.376
3) Geraint Owen/Charles Knill-Jones (Kurtis 500S): +37.082
Peter Arundell Trophy for Historic Formula Junior
Sam Wilson secured a stellar double in the Formula Junior contests although his task was made more comfortable when pole-sitter David Methley suffered a setback for the second consecutive day. Methley spun his Brabham BT6 out of contention while fighting Wilson for the lead in yesterday’s race and this time he bogged down off the line, losing nearly 20 places in the process. Meanwhile Jonathan Milicevic grabbed second after getting the better of Michael Hibberd’s Lotus 27 in an early battle, but all eyes were on Methley as he produced a determined comeback drive. Pass after eye-catching pass followed and he finally secured a podium that his undoubted pace deserved when he nipped by Hibberd late on.
1) Sam Wilson (Lotus 22/20): 9 Laps
2) Jonathan Milicevic (Cooper T59): +2.054
3) David Methley (Brabham BT6): +4.632
RAC Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre-63 GT)
One of the great duels of the weekend was played out in the RAC Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre-63 GT) as Ferrari versus Jaguar evoked Le Mans memories of yesteryear. Jackie Oliver – former winner of the classic 24-hour race – emerged with an early lead in the glorious yellow Ferrari 250 GT after a trio of cars ran three abreast on the opening tour. A rare mistake followed, however, as Oliver slid wildly across the line in a dramatic moment. The talented and extremely experienced pilot saved the car but lost three places in the interim, relinquishing the lead to the Jaguar E-type of James Cottingham. Oliver gradually made his way through the order before an intense battle ensued with Cottingham over several laps. The cars ran side-by-side for a number of corners, and even touched during the scrap, before Oliver retook top spot prior to the compulsory pit stops. Whilst the cars were evenly matched the race was effectively won when Cottingham had his own moment through the gravel after sliding on dropped oil through the Maggotts/Becketts complex. Oliver’s team-mate Gary Pearson had taken over driver duties by that point and scampered away to victory. The fight for the final podium place was no less dramatic as the AC Cobra of Martin Hunt and Blakeney-Edwards made a last lap pass by the Jon Minshaw E-type.
1) Jackie Oliver/Gary Pearson (Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB): 19 Laps
2) James Cottingham (Jaguar E-type): +20.541
3) Martin Hunt/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (AC Cobra): +49.633
FIA Masters Historic Formula One
Just when we thought the racing at the 2014 Silverstone Classic couldn’t get any better, the FIA Masters Historic Formula One field stunned the huge Sunday crowds with one of the most intense battles the series has ever seen. In the opening laps the race one winning #55 Fittipaldi F5A of Ollie Hancock held station at the front of the pack as an out-of-position Michael Lyons carved through the order from 13th on the grid. Within a couple of laps Lyons’ Hesketh was with the leading group, as Hancock came under pressure from Martin Stretton in the Tyrrell 012 and the Arrows A4 of Steve Hartley. Lyons’ car then appeared to suffer some mechanical issues and he couldn’t make further progress, but ahead Hancock, Stretton, Hartley and the Williams of Christophe D’Ansembourg were trading places at almost every turn. Stretton managed to pull out a couple of seconds, and despite the best efforts of Hartley, who set the fastest lap in the final few minutes of the race, held on to take a stunning victory.
1) Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012): 11 Laps
2) Steve Hartley (Arrows A4): +2.675
3) Christophe D’Ansembourg (Williams FW07/C): +8.528
Group C Endurance
The superlative Group C Endurance cars contested their second race of the weekend in glorious sunshine, and the Mercedes C11 continued its domination at the head of this field of ultra-rare racing machinery. In the hands of Bob Berridge it led from lights-to-flag, crossing the finish line almost 30 seconds ahead of the field after 30 minutes of flat-out racing. Behind the Silver Arrows was Justin Law’s Jaguar XJR8, which took the position from Steve Tandy’s Nissan R90 at mid-distance. Another Nissan looked set for a podium place, as the R90CK of Katsu Kubota – which took second in yesterday evening’s race – surged through the field before a spin put him out of contention. Tandy held on to take the final podium spot by less than a second ahead of Adrian Watt’s fast-charging Spice SE89.
1) Bob Berridge (Mercedes C11): 16 Laps
2) Justin Law (Jaguar XJR8): +28.488
3) Steve Tandy (Nissan R90): +56.732
Jet Super Touring Car Trophy
A sensational day of racing continued with the second of the weekend’s Jet Super Touring Car Trophy contests. The cars, most of which originated in a golden period of touring car racing from the 1990s, blasted round the Grand Prix circuit for 20 sensational minutes of racing. World Touring Car star Rob Huff made an amazing start and slotted into second place in the Ford Mondeo behind the Honda Accord of James Dodd. Dodd – who won the first race yesterday – defended valiantly for the first couple of laps before Huff made a move stick. The Honda stuck to the rear bumper of the Ford for the whole contest, but Huff was able to withstand the pressure to win by just 0.710s. The race also featured superb comebacks from double BTCC champion John Cleland, who was tipped into spin in the first corner on lap one, and fellow BTCC hero Patrick Watts, who started at the back of the field after retiring from yesterday’s race. The pair finished just off the podium in fourth and fifth respectively after epic drives through the pack.
1) Rob Huff (Ford Mondeo): 10 Laps
2) James Dodd (Honda Accord): +0.710
3) Stewart Whyte (Honda Accord): +23.542
Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy for Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars
It was an interrupted second contest for the pre ’66 Grand Prix cars, as an accident early on brought out the red flags. At the restart, Jason Minshaw pulled away in his Brabham BT4. He was chased down for much of the race by another Brabham – this time a BT11 in the hands of Jon Fairley. When it looked as though Minshaw had things wrapped up he ran wide at Copse and almost lost the lead. Fairley closed to within a second, but didn’t have the pace to make a pass, eventually crossing the line 1.4s behind. The drive of the race, however, went to Miles Griffiths. Starting well down the order, he made up a wealth of places with some bold manoeuvres coming into the top five by mid-distance. He managed to make up two further places before the chequered flag came out to complete another sensational Silverstone Classic podium.
1) Jason Minshaw (Brabham BT4): 7 Laps
2) Jon Fairley (Brabham BT11): +1.482
3) Miles Griffiths (Cooper T51): +8.216
Maserati Centenary Trophy for HGPCA Pre ’61 Grand Prix Cars
It was a repeat result for the second running of the Maserati Centenary Trophy, as Philip Walker claimed a double victory around the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit. A slow getaway meant that the Lotus 16 driver had to work harder for his victory this time around, as Julian Bronson’s Scarab Offenhauser put up an impressive defensive display in the first part of the race. With the lead pair pulling out a sizable lead another duel developed behind, as the #35 Kurtis of Fred Harper went up against Tony Wood’s Maserati TecMec. Their battle was cut short as the Kurtis had an issue that dropped it down the order, handing Wood a comfortable podium at the flag. Just outside the podium spots in fourth was the incredible Ferrari 246 Dino – the last ever front-engined car to win a Grand Prix in the hands of Phil Hill at Monza back in 1960.
1) Philip Walker (Lotus 16): 8 Laps
2) Julian Bronson (Scarab Offenhauser): +3.146
3) Tony Wood (Maserati TecMec): +24.029
Mustang Celebration Trophy Proudly Presented by Pure Michigan
The racing at the 2014 Silverstone Classic ended as dramatically as it started a full 34 hours earlier. The 22nd race of the weekend was decided on the very last lap, as the duelling Ford Falcons of Leo Voyazides and Mike Gardiner repeated their incredible battles from yesterday at the head of the field. For almost the entire race it was Gardiner who led, having lost out in the first Mustang Celebration Trophy by just 0.799s. Just as it seemed that he would take a well-earned win, he pushed the #37 car just beyond its limits rounding Copse corner and spun away his winning trophy. As Voyazides powered through to take his second win, Gardiner just held on to second place ahead of the Mustang of Tom Roche, completing an identical podium to the first race. This frenetic flourishing finale was a fitting end to an incredible Silverstone Classic.
1) Leo Voyazides (Ford Falcon): 8 Laps
2) Mike Gardiner (Ford Falcon): 19.353
3) Tom Roche (Ford Mustang): 21.489
So the sun has set on another sizzling and spectacular Silverstone Classic but plans are already well underway for the 2015 edition of the World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival, which will mark the 25th anniversary of this great event.