The media day for the 2014 Silverstone Classic was a reminder quite how big the event was. Many historic meetings featuring less cars than were on display for the gathered media. The 2014 meeting from the 25th to the 27th of July promises to be for unmissable historic motorsport enthusiasts, with a mix of old favourites and intriguing new events:
“This event is quite simply the pinnacle of classic car racing,” said Silverstone Classic Event Director Nick Wigley. “It’s the sheer quality of the cars and competitors, plus the level of passion for motor sport, that helps to create the most incredible weekend of racing and entertainment around.
“Our regular and long standing races form the core of our programme, but we’re always looking to add a new flavour to the event and this year we’ll be welcoming two fantastic racing additions from iconic eras. We’ll be showcasing the single biggest gathering of 1990s GT cars since they raced in-period and we’ve also invited F3 cars from 1971 to 1984 to make their debut at the Classic, which was a period that included drivers like Jacques Laffite, Alain Prost and of course Ayrton Senna. Further to these enhancements we’ll also be aiming to complete a world record parade of well over 100 Grand Prix cars led by Sir Stirling Moss OBE.
“Overall, the interest levels in the Silverstone Classic are at a real high and we’re seeing record advanced ticket sales for this year’s event, so everything is shaping up nicely for another wonderful weekend in July.”
This year’s highlights include:
Famed Senna era of F3 to make its Classic debut
To mark the golden anniversary of the modern era of Formula Three (introduced to replace Formula Junior in 1964), the unrivalled line-up of epic races at this summer’s Silverstone Classic will include two showdowns dedicated to stunning cars from what’s widely regarded as F3’s most glorious generation. Back in the seventies and early eighties, F3 was the global proving ground of future world champions. It was where legends such as Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alan Jones and Alain Prost all earned their fledging spurs en route to international stardom. Many of the actual cars raced by these legends will be back in action at Silverstone as part of the biggest F3 grid ever seen.
90s GT Legends
A field of evocative GT cars from the 1990s will be make their first appearance at the Silverstone Classic with an all-new grid planned for this year’s event. More than 40 blockbuster machines are expected from an era that included the McLaren F1, Lister Storm, Porsche 911 GT1, Chrysler Vipers and many more. These stupendous cars will be in action both on all three days.
Celebrating a champion on two wheels and four
After last year’s inaugural BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner honouring the remarkable achievements of double world champion Jim Clark, this year’s special Friday evening celebration will pay tribute to another racing legend: John Surtees. It was 50 years ago in 1964 that Surtees became the first man to win world championships on both two and four wheels, and he will be guest of honour for what promises to be another memorable dinner. Tickets are available to BRDC members and Silverstone Classic competitors with a limited number on general sale via the www.silverstoneclassic.com website.
From dawn until dusk
The Silverstone Classic will be the only place in the UK to watch the legendary Group C Le Mans racers this year as the flame-spitting sportscars make their annual pilgrimage to Northamptonshire. What’s more, spectators and enthusiasts will get to see the 200mph monsters twice in racing action at the 2014 Classic. Group C will bring Saturday’s action to a close with a blast into dusk and darkness, before they return to the track in Sunday’s packed programme.
Three for the price of (Formula) One
Fans of Formula One will be spoilt rotten during the Silverstone Classic weekend as three iconic eras of cars are unleashed around the legendary Grand Prix circuit. HGPCA Pre ’61 Grand Prix Cars and HGPCA Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars always prove to be a real fans’ favourite, but it’s arguably the FIA Masters Historic Formula One series that tops the bill. A golden age for 3-litre engined F1 machinery from 1966 through to 1985, this emotive category stirs high emotion as cars run in their period livery, delivering a superb spectacle of sight and sound, then as now.
Super Touring on tour
Ever since the Silverstone Classic provided the launch pad for Super Touring cars to return to action interest in the category has grown dramatically; so much so that the previous arrangement of invitational races has now developed into a full-blown championship. The Super Touring Car Championship reawakens memories of a golden era of saloon car racing, when a multitude of major manufacturers and leading drivers from all over the world clamoured to compete in the British Touring Car Championship. Not only does the Silverstone Classic provide the championship with its flagship event, but also drivers from the famous tin-top age such as John Cleland, Tim Harvey and Patrick Watts all plan to be involved.
BTCC champion steps back in time
Among the other motor racing stars joining the Classic action this summer is three-time BTCC champion Matt Neal. The Birmingham-born driver famously made his name during the Super Touring-era before going on to win a hat-trick of titles in Honda machinery in 2005, 2006 and 2011. This summer Neal will be going back to a time before his own, as his Team Dynamics squad has purchased a Lotus Cortina which the 47-year-old will pilot in two saloon car contests. The event marks Neal’s first ever form of historic racing, and he got his first laps in the Cortina at Silverstone yesterday.
Mustang at 50
Historic racing’s biggest and busiest event has been chosen by the Mustang Owners Club for its official golden anniversary homage to the most celebrated of all American muscle cars, and a host of dazzling displays, pulsating parades and dramatic demonstrations are planned. The fantastic festivities, though, are topped by a pair of very special showdowns staged on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit which will be two of the major highlights on the weekend’s action-packed racing schedule. These will feature a record number of competition-prepared Mustangs with cars coming from all over the globe to join the celebrations, whilst a number of star-studded movie Mustangs from the likes of ‘Bullitt’ and ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ will also be on show.