Ferrari 512

Silverstone Classic 2012 – Report and Photos

The Silverstone Classic 2012 was held 20-22 July at the famed 3.6 mile Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire, England, featuring over 1000 classic race car entrants spanning the spectrum of motorsport history.

The 2012 edition of the Silverstone Classic saw the return of the Group C endurance racing cars with two feature races, World Sports Car Masters, three Formula 1 and Grand Prix grids showcasing over 100 GP cars spanning the fifties to the eighties, Formula Junior, the beautiful and charismatic 1950’s sports cars, Under 2-Litre Touring Cars, two grids of GT cars and the Jaguar E-Type Challenge.

Event director Nick Wigley commented, “Summer returned in style just in time for another truly memorable Silverstone Classic. There were so many highlights with fantastic racing, amazing parades, the birth of AA World and some fabulous live music and, not surprisingly, taking all that into account a new record crowd.”

Similar to the 2010 and 2011 races, Senior Photographer Tim Scott also documented the 2012 edition of the Silverstone Classic, offering the following images that capture the massive field of entrants and the close historic car racing action. To see more of Tim’s work, visit fluidimages.co.uk.

Silverstone Classic 2012 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)

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Silverstone Classic 2012 – Saturday Race Report

Two incredibly close opening races set the tone for the rest of the day one as capacity grids of saloon, GT, single-seater and sportscars worth millions of pounds wowed visitors to the 2012 Silverstone Classic. The action closed spectacularly with iconic Le Mans 24 Hours cars, headlights ablaze, taking the chequered flag in a twilight finish.

Jon Milicevic was the first winner of the day in Historic Formula Juniors but only after race-long rival David Methley spun in the closing stages. Michael Lyons won the first of two Peter Gethin Trophy races for thundering Formula 5000 and howling Formula 2 cars from the Seventies in a desperately close finish. Simon Hadfield led much of the race but, after a wheel-to-wheel dice, was passed by Lyons and spun. Martin Stretton then joined in to finish just yards behind Lyons at the line.

Lyons had later been on course for another victory, in the recreated Daily Express International Trophy race for Formula 1 cars, only for his Hesketh to cruelly stop while leading comfortably with just a few miles to go. This gifted victory to Bill Coombs’s Tyrrell.

Driving solo, Shaun McInerney won the 50-minute Alan Mann Trophy for under 2-litre Sixties touring cars as just two seconds covered the top three finishers.

Alex Buncombe was twice a winner – first sharing with Chris Ward in the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-61 sportscars and then on his own in a race for Jaguar E-types. So too was the Minshaw family with brothers Jason and Jon in races for rear-engined Formula 1 Grand Prix machines and then sports cars pre-dating 1966 respectively. Another pair of brothers, Gary and John Pearson, also stood on the top step of the podium when, together, they triumphed in the RAC Woodcote Tourist Trophy encounter for pre-63 GT cars.

Philip Walker headed a Lotus 1-2-3 after nine laps of pre-1961 front-engined GP car action, while Rick Pearson got the measure of current British Touring Car ace Frank Wrathall to win a one-off race for touring cars spanning three decades (1970-2000).

Meanwhile soap actor Kelvin Fletcher (Emmerdale) was untouchable as he led all the way from pole position to win the Classic’s annual Celebrity Challenge race for famous faces in identical race-tuned Morgan sportscars. Musicians AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay were next up as funds for three charities – Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and the RPJ Chron’s Foundation – were raised.

Completing the day’s on-track action just as Eighties chart-topper Adam Ant was taking to the stage on the Silverstone infield was a stunning into-the-dark sprint event for Group C endurance racer cars, won in style by Gareth Evans.

Silverstone Classic 2012 – Saturday Race Results

Historic Formula Juniors (9 laps)
1. Jon Milicevic, Cooper T59, 21m18.420s
2. Sam Wilson, Cooper T59, +6.856s
3. David Methley, Brabham BT6, +12.308s
Fastest lap: Wilson, 2m20.297s (93.63mph)

Peter Gethin Trophy for F2 & F5000 (11 laps)
1. Michael Lyons, Lola T400, 21m39.553s
2. Martin Stretton, March 742, +0.144s
3. Simon Hadfield, Trojan T101, +24.735s
Fastest lap: Stretton, 1m56.266s (112.98mph)

Alan Mann Trophy for Under 2-litre Touring Cars (18 laps)
1. Shaun McInnerney, Ford Lotus Cortina, 50m30.874s
2. Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield, Ford Lotus Cortina, +1.401s
3. Andrew Banks/Max Banks, Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA, +2.005s
Fastest lap: Hadfield, 2m32.591s (86.08mph)

Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre-61 Sportscars (21 laps)
1. Alex Buncombe/Chris Ward, Lister Jaguar Costin, 51m32.021s
2. Graeme Dodd/James Dodd, Cooper Monaco T49, +12.039s
3. Ewan McIntyre/Jamie McIntyre, Lotus 15, +12.530s
Fastest lap: Buncombe, 2m22.974s (91.88mph)

Daily Express International Trophy for Grand Prix Masters (8 laps)
1. Bill Coombs, Tyrrell 009, 15m32.745s
2. Steve Hartley, Arrows A4, +5.388s
3. Michael Fitzgerald, Williams FW08, +14.038s
Fastest lap: Michael Lyons, Hesketh 308E, 1m53.696s (115.54mph)

HGPCA pre-66 Rear Engine Grand Prix Cars (9 laps)
1. Jason Minshaw, Brabham BT4, 21m02.114s
2. John Harper, Brabham BT4, +15.609s
3. Rod Jolley, Cooper T45/51, +18.451s
Fastest lap: Minshaw, 2m18.908s (94.56mph)

Masters ‘Gentleman Drivers’ pre-66 GT (20 laps)
1. Jon Minshaw/Martin Stretton, Jaguar E-type, 50m38.979s
2. Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield, AC Cobra, +7.908s
3. Pearson, Jaguar E-type, +17.679s
Fastest lap: Mike Whitaker Snr, TVR Griffith, 2m25.270s (90.42mph)

Jaguar E-type Challenge (9 laps)
1. Alex Buncombe, 21m58.232s
2. Jason Minshaw, +4.702s
3. Jon Minshaw, +7.977s
Fastest lap: Buncombe, 2m22.733s (89.89mph)

HGPCA pre-61 Front Engine Grand Prix Cars (9 laps)
1. Philip Walker, Lotus 16 368, 21m51.384s
2. Roger Wills, Lotus 16 363, +3.035s
3. Eddie McGuire, Lotus 16 362, +44.521s
Fastest lap: Walker, 2m23.910s (91.28mph)

Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy 1970-2000 (9 laps)
1. Rick Pearson, Nissan Primera, 20m17.982s
2. Frank Wrathall, Vauxhall Cavalier, +13.122s
3. Richard Hawken, Nissan Primera, +25.685s
Fastest lap: Pearson, 2m13.402s (98.47mph)

Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge (8 laps)
1. Kelvin Fletcher, Morgan Lightweight, 21m05.479s
2. Brian Johnson, Morgan Lightweight, +7.513s
3. Jay Kay, Morgan Lightweight, +9.246s
Fastest lap: Fletcher, 2m34.990s

Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-56 Sportscars (12 laps)
1. Gary Pearson/John Pearson, Jaguar D-type, 31m44.086s
2. John Young/Andrew Smith, Cooper Jaguar T33, +10.449s
3. Nigel Webb/Anthony Reid, Jaguar C-type, +16.659s
Fastest lap: Gary Pearson, 2m32.293s (86.25mph)

Group C Endurance Race Cars (15 laps)
1. Gareth Evans, Sauber Mercedes C9, 31m02.729s
2. Roger Wills, Lancia LC2, +4.906s
3. Chris D’Ansembourg, Porsche 962, +38.662s
Fastest lap: Evans, 1m54.393s (114.83mph)

Silverstone Classic 2012 – Sunday Race Report

The second day of racing at the 2012 Silverstone Classic started with wins for two drivers who narrowly missed out on victories on Saturday. David Methley and Simon Hadfield, who both spun away their chances yesterday, were this time not to be denied as they triumphed in Formula Juniors and the Peter Gethin Trophy for F5000 and F2 cars. Coincidentally yesterday’s two winners Jon Milicevic and Michael Lyons both retired while Sam Wilson and Martin Stretton again took runners-up results.

John Young and Andrew Smith won the Woodcote Trophy for Pre-1956 Sportscars race but it wasn’t enough to prevent yesterday’s winners, brothers John and Gary Pearson who finished second today, from claiming overall victory when the two results were combined.

Gary Pearson and past Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jackie Oliver looked set to clinch the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for pre-1963 GT cars until their Ferrari stopped in the pit lane. Nick Naismith and John Young’s Aston Martin breezed by for the win.

It was the same top three as yesterday in both the HGPCA pre-1961 front-engined GP cars and Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy races, Roger Wills and Rick Pearson first past the post respectively.

Bill Coombs made it a double in the Daily Express International Trophy for Grand Prix Masters in arguably the most exciting race of the weekend. While he held the lead throughout, his Tyrrell was in a seemingly constant wheel-to-wheel dice with Steve Hartley’s Arrows. Both then came under threat from mid-distance from the rapidly closing Michael Lyons who was unfortunate not to win yesterday. Lyons briefly made it into second before settling for third.

Similarly, Gareth Evans added to his Saturday victory with a second Group C Sportscar win and also set the fastest race lap of the weekend, but only after a ferocious battle with Herve Regout who was dramatically passed for second just a few corners from home by recent Le Mans 24 Hours star Nicolas Minassian. Evans’ ‘Silver Arrows’ Sauber Mercedes C9, Minassian’s Lancia LC2 and Regout’s Porsche 962 were among the most evocative cars seen during the weekend.

Earlier Woodcote Trophy winner Andrew Smith then teamed up with Oliver Bryant to win the mini-endurance race for Sixties Le Mans cars. Bryant needed to call on all his skill, though, to see off Martin Stretton whose Ferrari 512M – another of the event’s stand-out cars – had briefly nosed ahead just a few laps from home. Stretton would later be declared ‘driver of the weekend’ and received a top of the range B.R.M watch from event director Nick Wigley as his reward.

Finally Jason Minshaw and Alex Buncombe achieved dominant wins in pre-66 rear-engined GP car and Jaguar E-type races as the sun set on another unforgettable Classic weekend.

Silverstone Classic 2012 – Sunday Race Results

Historic Formula Juniors (9 laps)
1. David Methley, Brabham BT6, 21m21.193s
2. Sam Wilson, Cooper T59, +1.896s
3. Andrew Hibberd, Lotus 22, 11.178s
Fastest lap: Wilson, 2m20.093s (93.76mph)

Peter Gethin Trophy for F2 & F5000 (11 laps)
1. Simon Hadfield, Trojan 101, 21m54.553s
2. Martin Stretton, March 742, +0.124s
3. Neil Fowler, March 752, +15.883s
Fastest lap: Stretton, 1m57.680s (111.62mph)

Woodcote Trophy for Pre-56 Sportscars (12 laps)
1. John Young/Andrew Smith, Cooper Jaguar T33, 31m40.580s
2. John Pearson/Gary Pearson, Jaguar D-type, +6.077s
3. Nigel Webb/Anthony Reid, Jaguar C-type, +32.132s
Fastest lap: Reid, 2m32.452s (86.16mph)

Combined Result (inc Sat’s race):
1. Pearson/Pearson, 1hr03mins30.743s
2. Young/Smith, +4.372s
3. Webb/Reid, +37.714s

Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars Pre-63 GT (19 laps)
1. Nick Naismith/John Young, Aston Martin DB4, 51m04.925s
2. Ben Adams, Turner Mk2, +19.774s
3. Wolfgang Friedrichs/David Clark, Aston Martin DP212, +39.554s
Fastest lap: Martin Hunt/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, AC Cobra, 2m35.217s (84.63mph)

HGPCA pre-61 Front Engine Grand Prix Cars (9 laps)
1. Roger Wills, Lotus 16 363, 21m50.119s
2. Philip Walker, Lotus 16 368, +33.697s
3. Eddie McGuire, Lotus 16 362, +45.259s
Fastest lap: Walker, 2m23.785s (91.36mph)

Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy 1970-2000 (9 laps)
1. Rick Pearson, Nissan Primera, 20m16.125s
2. Frank Wrathall, Vauxhall Cavalier, +11.861s
3. Richard Hawken, Nissan Primera, +20.985s
Fastest lap: Pearson, 2m14.260s (97.84mph)

Daily Express International Trophy for Grand Prix Masters (11 laps)
1. Bill Coombs, Tyrrell 009, 21m18.563s
2. Steve Hartley, Arrows A4, +0.210s
3. Michael Lyons, Hesketh 308E, +4.123s
Fastest lap: Lyons, 1m53.548s (115.69mph)

Group C Endurance Race Cars (15 laps)
1. Gareth Evans, Sauber Mercedes C9, 30m11.736s
2. Nicolas Minassian, Lancia LC2, +2.125s
3. Herve Regout, Porsche 962, +5.416s
Fastest lap: Evans, 1m52.483s (116.78mph)

World Sports Car Masters (23 laps)
1. Andrew Smith/Oliver Bryant, Lola T70, 51m45.466s
2. Paul Knapfield/Martin Stretton, Ferrari 512M, +0.802s
3. Steve Tandy, Lola T70 Mk3b (c), +39.078s
Fastest lap: Stretton, 2m07.888s (102.71mph)

HGPCA Pre-66 Rear Engine Grand Prix Cars (9 laps)
1. Jason Minshaw, Brabham BT4, 21m02.658s
2. John Harper, Brabham BT4, +10.692s
3. Rod Jolley, Cooper T45/51, +22.596s
Fastest lap: Minshaw, 2m19.177s (94.38mph)

Jaguar E-type Challenge (9 laps)
1. Alex Buncombe, 22m01.750s
2. Gregor Fisken, +15.141s
3. John Pearson, +19.533s
Fastest lap: Buncombe, 2m24.289s (88.92mph)

[Source: Silverstone Classic; photo: Tim Scott / Fluid Images]