The latest incarnation of the Silverstone Classic took place around the full Grand Prix circuit on the weekend of July 24–26, 2009. This event was once the leading historic motor sport gathering in Europe, and in recent years a succession of promoters have made brave attempts to revive former glories. There was certainly no shortage of quality or quantity among the grids for the 21 races, with many full fields of 45 cars and numerous reserves. Attracting celebrities to participate was no problem either, with Sir Stirling Moss, Bobby Rahal, and Le Mans winners Richard Attwood, Jackie Oliver, and Andy Wallace joining the cream of the historic and vintage racing fraternity. The world economic situation may not be restricting the activities of the majority of the racers, but it is the paying public who largely decides the fate of these events, and it remains to be seen if sufficient numbers went through the gates to assure the future of the Silverstone Classic in its present form.
On-track action certainly wasn’t found wanting, with most major categories represented from Pre-War Sports Cars right through to Group C, via Masters Series for 1966–1973 GP cars and World Sports Cars, Formula Junior and pre-1963 GT cars, among others. Eighteen-year-old Michael Lyons took two dominant wins in the GP Masters races with his 1975 Hesketh 308E, while in the first Group C counter Chris Buncombe’s Jaguar XJR9 fended off Gary Pearson’s Jaguar XJR11 and Andy Purdie’s Nissan R90C. Purdie got the better of Buncombe in the second Group C round, taking the win from Justin Law in the recently restored Jaguar XJR. For many spectators the star Group C entry was the 1988 Sauber Mercedes entered by Rob Sherrard that took 4th place in the second race after a spin. The 90-minute World Sports Car Masters race ran into the early evening with the Lola T70 Mk3B of Nick Linney and Simon Hadfield taking victory over a field that included a Ferrari 512S, and two Alfa Romeo Tipo 33s, with an additional host of Lolas, and Chevrons making a spectacular sight.