In our latest look at the huge amount of racing in store at this weekend’s Silverstone Classic, we look at the three saloon and GT grids supplied by Masters Historic Racing, which total 175 cars. They are fielding three capacity grids for pre-66 GT and touring-car contesting the International Trophy for Classic GT Cars, the Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars and a special Mini Celebration Trophy.
In the GT race – again honoured with the historic International Trophy moniker – you will see 12 Jaguar E-types and no less than 16 Lotus Elans take on two Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupés, eight regular Cobras, four TVRs (two Griffiths and two Granturas), three Corvettes, Mustang GT350s and Big Healeys each, a couple of Morgan SLRs, a bunch of MGBs and the odd Porsche 911 and Ginetta G4R.
Maximum variety is assured by the likes of Mark Burnett bringing his Ogle SX1000 and Wolfgang Friedrichs adding his Aston Martin DP214 to the show. The driver corps is simply outstanding with BTCC stars like Jake Hill and Tom Ingram taking on the cream of British historic motor racing with a touch of foreign interest supplied by drivers from Holland, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Australia.
The Transatlantic Trophy for the Masters Pre-66 Touring Car grid will be as transatlantic as it can be, V8-engined behemoths from the Ford factories in Dearborn taking on their nimbler rivals from the UK and the European continent. Some ten Mustangs, arguably led by the winning examples of Craig Davies and Rob Fenn/Jake Hill, will take on three Falcons in the THA class, as GT incumbents Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus and Jeremy Welch have surprised us with an additional example.
However, Bill Shepherd’s Galaxie – with Stig Blomqvist as his co-driver – will probably blast by them all on Hangar Straight! Meanwhile, Tom Sharp in the single THB-class BMW 1800 TiSA will take on a fleet of more than 15 Lotus Cortinas in the THC class, some of which are well capable of mixing it with a few of the ‘Stangs – as is the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA of David & Olivier Hart. 20-odd Minis of the Austin and Morris Cooper S variety complete the field. No doubt, several quick Mini pedallers will do their best to prevent the amazing Tom Bell from making it five class wins from five attempts so far this season.
Even more Minis – 57 of them! – will be out in the special Mini races celebrating the 60 years since the car’s birth. In contrast to the 60-minute race with driver changes we had at Donington, these will be two 20-minute single-driver dashes to the line. And despite them all being Minis, the cars will not all look the same. Under the bonnet will be 1000cc, 1275cc and 1300cc BMC engines, while the 50-odd Austin and Morris variants from 1962 to 1967 will be joined by Mark Burnett’s lone – and very quick – Mini Countryman.
Mini specialists like Endaf Owens (the Donington winner), Jonathan Lewis, Chris Middlehurst, Ian Curley, Jeff Smith, Elliot Stafford and Nick Paddy will take on internationally acclaimed competitors such as Darren Turner and Patrick Watts – and watch out for the lady drivers too, as Ellie Birchenhough and Tina Cooper join the grid.