Well, what a weekend that was....
Not only did I manage to pack in 36 hours at the Silverstone Classic 2018 (a huge thanks go to Don Hands for getting me there), I also just managed to get back to catch some of the horse racing at Newton Abbot on Sunday and host my brother in law who was over from the US!!
The Silverstone Classic, for those that don't know, is a major event hosted each year at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in Northamptonshire. The event attracts close to 100,000 people over 2 days and is a major attraction for racing enthusiasts as well as families. Inside the circuit is everything from childrens attractions, market stalls, car parts sellers, car auctions, food and drink and much more plus you get unfettered access to the pits where cars are being worked on and prepared for racing. With 21 races across the two days with everything from vintage F1 to classic cars from every era, there is definately something for everyone. The races generally run every half hour from 9am through to 8pm on the Saturday with a slightly shorter card on the Sunday. In the evenings, there are bands and entertainment enough to keep everyone happy.
Here are just a few photos from the event - click any image for a larger photo.
With an incredible eight decades of retro machinery on show, both on and off- track, the Silverstone Classic is regarded as the zenith of historic motor racing meetings in the world, regardless of genre. From FIA Masters Historic Formula One machinery and Masters Endurance Legends to the JET Super Touring Trophy plus much more, the Silverstone Classic features oversubscribed grids harking back to yesteryear across three days of thrilling track action.
Qualifying got underway for all classes on the Friday ahead of what was a packed programme of 21 races run across Saturday and Sunday. In preparation of the weekend’s racing action, many of this year’s competitors had the final chance to put finishing touches to their machines during testing around the famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. Among them was six-time Olympic gold medallist and 11-time cycling World Champion Chris Hoy. The Scottish sporting legend got his first taste of a 2007 Courage LC75 LMP2 first seen tackling the Mulsanne Straight at 200mph in the Le Mans 24 Hours. A seasoned racer himself having swapped his cycle helmet for a racer’s one in more recent years, Hoy – who competed in the 2016 edition of the round-the-clock French classic – drove an open-top sportscar in the exciting new Masters Endurance Legends category and was delighted to add another credential to his illustrious sporting repertoire.
With numerous highlights to keep visitors of all ages entertained, the weekend tipped a nod to where it all began with celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the first Royal Automobile Club International Grand Prix in 1948, held at Silverstone. A number of the cars that competed in the historic inaugural race were involved in a very special display for us to admire and they also hit the track for a not-to-be-missed parade ahead of the race featuring the machines these beautiful racing showpieces would go onto inspire, the Adrian Flux Trophy for Pre-1966 Grand Prix Cars (HGPCA).
The Silverstone Classic also set the scene for a particularly special tribute to the British Touring Car Championship, which itself celebrates the milestone of 60 years in 2018. In what was hailed Tin-top Sunday, the packed itinerary includes the Transatlantic Trophy, Historic Touring Car Challenge, Gallet Trophy for under 2-Litre Touring Cars (U2TC) and the JET Super Touring Trophy, starring legends of the discipline over the decades. In honour of the special celebrations, Rickard Rydell was reunited with the Volvo S40 he drove to BTCC title glory in 1998. He also participated in a special 60 car parade at the wheel of the truly iconic Volvo 850 Estate that made headlines around the world when it debuted in 1994.
With more than 10,000 stunning classic cars on display amidst the racing action, a plethora of entertainment for the entire family to enjoy and terrific weather conditions throughout the weekend, Silverstone hosted yet another memorable extravaganza for the 100,000+ visitors who attended, myself included.