Celebrating 75 years of motor racing heritage, at the home of British Motorsport.
Ferrari 246 Dino
A year of celebration and change at the home of British Motorsport. Silverstone celebrated 75 years of motorsport at the Northamptonshire circuit, Ever since 1948, when the first license was granted to the Silverstone Aerodrome to hold the RAC International Grand Prix, racing has grown from strength to strength on the old airfield, now the biggest and best racing facility in the UK, home to the British Grand Prix, MotoGP, and until recently, a round of the World Endurance Championship. The fast, flowing 3.66 mile circuit is a favorite with drivers the world over, with the thrilling Copse corner and Becketts and Maggots undoubtedly in the conversation when it comes to the best racing corners the world over.
A rebranding with an unerring Motorsport focus
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the three days of historic racing, formerly known Silverstone Classic, now rebranded into the all-encompassing Silverstone Festival, albeit with the beating heart of classic Motorsport still at the forefront of its focus, but with an array of other attractions, seeking to spread the appeal to a wider audience. Huge car club presence sees the infield awash with eclectic collections of rare, unique and quirky motors, indeed, one could easily spend a day wandering around the seemingly endless lines of immaculately presented cars, basking in their elegance. The prestigious Silverstone Auctions, now operating under Iconic Auctioneers saw some spectacular lots offered with many auction world records broken, the undoubted star of the show being the ex-Colin McRae Subaru Impreza 22B, Chassis 000/400 selling for £480,500. One of three prototype 22Bs built, and offered on the open market for the very first time.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of motorsport at Silverstone, the expected partnerships with Masters Historic Racing, HSCC, HGPCA and Masters Racing Legends offered a bumper timetable throughout the weekend, with grids seemingly offering more depth and diversity than has been seen over the past couple of editions, certainly a fine way to celebrate this landmark year in the history of Silverstone. The HGPCA in particular, holding the 75th Anniversary Trophy for front engine Grand Prix cars from 1948-1960, harking back to the very start of Silverstone’s racing history, with a field featuring imperious cars such as the Maserati 250F, Ferrari 246 Dino and Talbot Lago T26 to name but a few.
Formula One Celebrations
Some of the most mesmerizing and spellbinding moments of previous Silverstone Classic events have been provided by the special demonstrations that form an integral part of the on track action over the course of the weekend. There was no exception this year, with a superb demonstration of some of the loudest and dynamic Formula One cars to have graced the circuit in period to celebrate 75 years of action at Silverstone. The deafening roar of the Williams FW19, and screaming Dallara F191 rolled back the years as the grandstands reverberated to the sound of the now unthinkable V10 engines, while the gracious Mercedes F1 W04 in the hands of the supremely talented Esteban Gutierrez brought a more contemporary celebration. They were of course joined by a diverse grid of other Grand Prix greats, reaching back to the halcyon days of the 1970s, where cars like the sublime Tyrrell 001 wowed spectators with the raw blend of speed and innovation.
75 Years of NASCAR
A rare treat on these shores, but a welcome follow up to the superb NASCAR demonstrations at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, a wonderful display of NASCAR Stock cars, ranging from the 1958 Ford Thunderbird, through to contemporary giants, like the 2017 Ford Mustang and 2012 Chevrolet Impala, showcased the brute force and thunderous rumble of the iconic American race cars. In a year when the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 wowed crowds at the 24h of Le Mans, running under the Garage 56 rules, and an expanded programme for the Whelan Euro NASCAR Series, European fans have been treateSd to a special year in chances to witness the powerful V8 powered stock cars, paying tribute to 75 years of the highly successful race series. While the weather curtailed the chances for the NASCAR display on Saturday, those who stuck around til Sunday were treated to a wondrous display, with a soundtrack that epitomized the drama of this thrilling race series.