Look ahead to this years Silverstone Classic

With less than a month until the Silverstone Classic we look at what’s in store in July at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival. Drawing crowds from across the country to the Northamptonshire circuit  the July festival grows year on year. In no small part due to the quality of racing content, breadth of vehicles on display and unrivalled access. The festival is rightly a highlight for motorsport fans of all ages.

Silverstone Classic is well known for supporting tributes to individual marques or series celebrating milestones, and this year is no exception. There will be celebrations of Formula Ford reaching its 50th anniversary, 40 years since Williams debut in Formula 1 and a look ahead to next year’s Formula Junior Diamond anniversary.

As Jaguar becomes official partners with the Silverstone Classic in 2017, a major celebration will be 25 years since the introduction of the XJ220. More than 40 of Jaguar’s fastest ever production car are set to appear for the first time, a record breaking achievement and an unmissable event.19575159_10154689185707543_2498067264640410593_o

Just some of the other special anniversaries being celebrated include 50th Anniversary of the Ferrari Owners Club, 60th anniversary of the GAZ M21 Volga, 50th of the Triumph TR5 and the 60th birthday of the Lotus 7. More than 100 car clubs are set to take part across the weekend and more than 10,000 privately owned vehicles.

Those with a love of classic racing bikes will also be catered for. Yamaha are now on board sponsoring the return of World GP Bike Legends on the Saturday where former GP stars will be in attendance with a variety of 2 stroke machines for a thunderous parade.

Former GP champions Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer were on hand at the launch press conference as the duo join the growing list of celebrities participating in the Celebrity Challenge Race. 40 celebrities are lined up to race in the Austin A35 individually and as members of themed teams for a £10,000 charity prize pot.

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Already confirmed are Theo Paphitis, Dennis Taylor, Stan Boardman, Travis drummer Neil Primrose, Mike Gatting, Olympians Amy Williams, Jason Kenny, Mark Hunter and Greg and Jonny Searle.  Also signed up are Tiff Needell, Charley Boorman, Sir Steve Redgrave, Steve Parish, Maria Costello and TV presenter Ant Anstead.

Among those cars on display at the very well attended media launch was a Jaguar XJR-14, Tiff Needell’s Formula Ford Lotus 69F, John Surtees Lola T70, Mercedes-Benz C11 as driven by Michael Schumacher and Don Laws Racing’s stunning XJ220’s.

Revving up for a “sound off” was the V12 engined XJR12, the Lola T70, F2 Cooper Bristol, Mini Cooper S and Freddie Spencers two-stroke Yamaha YZR 500, allowing just a small taste of the sights and sounds of Silverstone Classic.

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Also appearing will be Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer as he returns to the event with his car clinic and the enormously popular Restoration Live both in association with eBay.

There is live music across the weekend from the likes of The Bootleg Beatles, The Dire Straits Experience and Tony Hadley. Other highlight’s will be the evening aerial displays from Twister Aerobatics and stunning hot air balloon displays. With a vast shopping village, vintage fair and live demonstrations, there really is something for everyone, ensuring that Silverstone is the place to be on July 28th to 30th.

 

Allison Remzi        Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Blancpain Circuit Paul Ricard, Bentley Team M-Sport success

It was a fantastic win for Team M-Sports Andy Soucek, Vincent Abril and Maxime Soulet at the Paul Ricard circuit, the first for Bentley in the Blancpain Endurance series since 2014 finishing more than a minute ahead of the SMP Racing Ferrari 488 of Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon and Viktor Shaytar. Completing the podium was the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team of Antonio Garcia, Nico Müller and René Rast.

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Again Barwell Motorsport were successful after the #77 Lamborghini Huracan driven by Martin Kodric, Patrick Kujala and Adrian Amstutz took the Pro_Am cup win with #36  Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW of Walkenhorst, Schiwietz and Vancampenhoudt taking the Am Cup win.

The 6 hour race saw the #99 ROWE Racing BMW of Martin, Sims and Eng take the lead until 3 hours in technical issues meant the M6 GT3 dropped down the field before eventually retiring. This left the battle to #72 SMP Racing Ferrari 488, #8 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental plus #50 Spirit of Race Ferrari and #4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon. However both cars had to retire in the later stages of the race leaving the Bentley crew to take the momentous win.

 

The series moves to Spa for the Total 24 Hrs on 27th-30th July

 

Allison Remzi   Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Britcar Endurance Silverstone, Ferrari Dominates

The series continued at Silverstone this weekend with a large grid including entries by Beechdean AMR with TV Chef Paul Hollywood joining Andrew Howard behind the wheel of the teams Aston Martin Vantage. Jonny Mowlem the former Le Mans driver continued his campaign in the Ferrari 458 alongside co driver Bonamy Grimes and Honda factory team Synchro returned with drivers Alyn James and Daniel Wheeler.

Qualifying found Ferrari locking out the top two places with the pairing of Witt Gamski and Ross Wylie taking pole for race one with Calum Lockie and David Mason just behind them, Manuel Cintrano and Javier Morcillo in the Mosler MT900 on P3 and Bonamy Grimes and Jonny Mowlam completing the second row.

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Jonny Mowlam

As race one got underway the #43 of Wylie and Gamski was quickly overtaken by the #7 Ferrari 458 of Lockie and Mason with the MacG Racing Taranis of Jonny Macgregor and Ben Sharich just behind, knocking the pole sitters into 4th place behind Grimes and Mowlams #5 Ferrari 458. 

Lockie and Mason held their lead throughout until the closing laps when Wylie and Gamski fought back to front of the field with just 5 laps to go. Meanwhile the #5 car carried out a battle for second consistently holding pace until taking the #7 car which eventually finished third securing a Ferrari dominated podium. The Aston Martin Vantage #407 of Paul Hollywood and Andrew Howard eventually finished 11th place.

In the final race in the Sprint category the win went to Lockie and Mason who finished just over a minute and a half ahead of the Porsche 997 of Colin and Oliver Willmott, with Stewart Lines in the Seat Leon completing the podium.

As the Endurance race continued, again it was the #43 Ferrari of Gamski and Wylie that took the chequered flag after the #4 Ferrari of Leyton Clarke and Graham Lucking dropped back after holding the lead throughout most of the race, their position briefly taken by the #5 of Mowlam and Grimes until being overtaken by the #43 car, the position they held until the fag dropped, followed by Lucking and Clarke, third place going to Macgregor and Sharich. B45G5060

Beechdean’s Aston Martin of Hollywood and Howard finishing 6th and Synchro’s Honda Civic finishing in 11th.

 

The next round of the Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on the 29th of July.

 

 

Allison Remzi     Images © Andy Fitzpatrick

Additional Images of Beechdean AMR & Paul Hollywood Courtesy of  ©David Stockley

British GT’s Jonny Adam thrills at Le Mans

It was a great weekend for British Gt and World Endurance Championship contender Jonny Adam who in the #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage and took top of the podium at Le Mans 24hr in the GTE PRO class.

The race was a thrilling one as Adam went into battle with the #63 Corvette driven by Jordan Taylor. Throughout the race the rival crews hadn’t clashed due to conflicting strategies, however in the last hour the Vantage pitted early and the stage was set for an epic battle for top of class. The Corvette managed to stay ahead of the Vantage allowing Adam to overtake on the Arnage bend before quickly resuming its lead position however a trip into the gravel then skimming a curb left the Corvette with a puncture in the final lap, limping in third and to the delight of Brit GT fans everywhere a win for the Aston Martin Racing crew of Jonny Adam, Darren Turner and Daniel Serra.

Jonny Adam who has also competed in the British Touring Car Championship joined the British GT series in 2011 with Beechdean Motorsport. Adam went on to win the Championship with Beechdean AMR in 2015 and again with TF Sport in 2016.

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Jonny Adam in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage in the British GT Championships Silverstone 500 round.

Other British GT names who competed in this years Le Mans 24hr include Ross Gunn, factory Aston Martin driver and Andrew Howard both racing with former British GT Championship winning team Beechdean AMR who took 4th place in the GTE AM class and finished 30th overall. Matt Griffin who competes in the British GT Championship alongside Duncan Cameron for Spirit of Race was behind the wheel of the Clearwater Racing #61 Ferrari which finished in 31st place and 5th in class, while his teammate Cameron became his rival for the weekend in the Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 which finished in 28th place and second in class.

The British GT series continues at Spa Francorchamps on July 7th-8th

 

Allison Remzi       Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick   ©Allison Remzi

 

 

Le Mans 24 Hrs Porsche triumph again

It was a race of surprises in the 24 hour race at Le Mans this weekend as the pole sitters Toyota lost two of their cars, handing the win to the #2 car of Porsche driven by Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. Leading car #7 driven by Kamui Kobayashi, had to retire 10 hours in, after a gear problem caused the car to stop out on track. The #9 Toyota was knocked out of the race just 20 minutes later after a collision with the #25 Manor LMP2.

It later transpired that Kobayashi mistook Algarve Pro Racing team driver Vincent Capillaire for a marshall in the pit lane, Capillaire raised his hand as a sign of encouragement to Kobayashi who was waiting to enter the pit lane with clutch problems, on seeing the hand gesture Kobayashi started to make his way into the pits before being told to stop again via his radio, an action that meant he had to use the clutch with the combustion engine to get restarted, with a few other attempted starts the clutch was finished.

Porsche weren’t without their fair share of bad luck, 11 hours in the #1 car with Andre Lotterer at the wheel, suffered an oil pressure problem taking it out of the race. This put the LMP2 #38 of Jackie Chan DC Racing in the lead. A position they held until the relentless pace of the #2 Porsche which had earlier suffered with a front axle motor problem and had been in the pits for a lengthy spell was able to regain lost ground at just under 22 hours.

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Third place originally went to the LMP2 #13 Rebellion Oreca of Nelson Piquet Jr, David Heinemeier Hansson and Mathias Beche inheriting third position with less than an hour to go after the preceding car #35 Signatech Alpine driven by Andre Negrao span off and out of the race. However post race checks found that the #13 Oreca had breached regulations with modifications being made to the bodywork, so were later disqualified handing third place to #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car of Alex Brundle, David Cheng and Tristan Gommendy.

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In GTE a terrific clash between Aston Martin and Corvette led to some thrilling racing and a nail biting final lap after the #97 Vantage of Jonny Adam, Darren Turner and Daniel Serra did battle with the #63 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, resulting in the Corvette suffering a puncture and the #97 car taking the victory shortly followed by the #67 Ford GT of Harry Tincknell, Pipo Derani and Andy Priaulx with the #63 Chevrolet taking third place.

 

Allison Remzi       Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

British GT Silverstone 500 Triumph for Parfitt and Morris

It was an emotional finish to the weekend for Rick Parfitt Jr and Seb Morris when they took the win in the 500km British GT race at the Northamptonshire circuit, which now puts them a mere 4 points behind current championship leaders Barwells Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen. WEC_4115A visibly emotional Parfitt dedicated the team’s win to his late father.
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As overall winners the Team Parker duo were awarded for the first time, the 1932 RAC Trophy. The award first presented in 1932 to the winner of the 500 mile race at Brooklands, will continue to be presented to the winners of the Silverstone 500, the British GT’s 3 hour, blue riband event. They were also awarded the Blancpain Gentlemans Driver award.Parfitt Jnr quickly took the lead

Parfitt Jr took the lead from pole sitter Macmillan AMR’s James Littlejohn and the Team Parker Racing duo held it throughout the race eventually finishing with more than a minutes lead on Littlejohn and Mitchell.

Ian Loggie in the second Team Parker Bentley fought a tough campaign for third place, however a crash later on in the final hour took Loggie and Calum Macleod out of the fight, with those honours going to Spirit of Race’s Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin despite a difficult start for Griffin that found him losing his initial third place and dropping several spots down the field.

 

In his final British GT race as he steps back to concentrate on his team management role, Martin Short along with co-drivers Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing’s Richard Neary and Adam Christodoulou finished in 5th place, Christodoulou during his stint fighting hard with Team Parker Racings Loggie.

 

In GT4 pole sitters Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton didn’t have the race they had hoped for when after only two laps the HHC Motorsports Ginetta G55 suffering driveshaft failure, was returned to the pits. Macmillan AMR’s William Phillips and UltraTek Racing Team RJN’s Kelvin Fletcher fought hard, outpacing Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty but eventually it was Adam Balon and Adam Mackay in the Track Club McLaren who pushed through with the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin of Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore taking second place barely ahead of third place sitters IN2Racings Marcus Hogarth and Matthew Graham.

In their new PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsports Mclaren 570S, current champs Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson finished in 6th place while their teammates for the occasion in the Ginetta G55, Bradley Ellis and Ade Barwick completed the race just behind in seventh place.

 

This now leaves everything to play for in the Championship standings as Alex Reed and David Pittard sit less than 4 points ahead of Adam Balon and Adam Mackay.

 

The next round is at Spa-Francorchamps July 7th-8th

 

Allison Remzi         Images©Andy Fitzpatrick

                         Pit Photography ©Allison Remzi

BTCC crash at Croft

A huge crash at the North Yorkshire circuit in the British Touring Cars Championship qualifying today, resulted in both Jeff Smith and Luke Davenport being cut from their cars and airlifted to hospital. Aron Taylor Smith was also involved in the incident at Barcroft corner and received medical attention on site.  

All three competitors have withdrawn from the round. Davenports team Motorbase Performance released a statement confirming that he had been safely extricated from his car and airlifted to hospital. No further information has been released as yet regarding either his or Jeff Smiths condition.

Following the crash the top three places on the grid for race 1 tomorrow have been secured by Ashley Sutton on pole position with Colin Turkington in second place and Mat Jackson in third.

Racing resumes at midday on Sunday.

 

Allison Remzi         Image courtesy of BTCC media

British GT Silverstone Qualifying

GT3- Macmillan AMR’s James Littlejohn and Jack Mitchell claimed pole position for tomorrow’s Silverstone 500 race. Littlejohn completed the 10 minute qualifying session with a lead of just over a second on the Bentley of Team Parker Racing’s Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt. WEC_8836While in third place Matt Griffin brought the Spirit of Race Ferrari in just ahead of fourth place Barwell’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

GT4-Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton lead the way In GT4, ahead of closest championship rivals, Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell. However the invitational cars which are not running to GT4 specifications take first and third place. WEC_9498Stratton Motorsports Lotus Evora, sits just ahead of HHC’s Ginetta G55 with the Toyota GT of GPRM behind it in third.

 

The 3 hour race gets underway at 1.35 tomorrow.

 

Allison Remzi    Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

British GT Silverstone Free Practice

Ahead of this afternoons qualifying session fastest in FP1 was Team ABBA Rollcentre Racing. The team who say goodbye to Martin Short as a driver as he concentrates on his team management role, have drafted in Adam Christadoulou for the Silverstone 500 event and to partner Richard Neary for the rest of the season.

Just behind them were the two Bentleys of Team Parker Racing, with the number 7 of Ian Loggie and Callum McLeod pipping the #31 of Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris in crossing the line.

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The Track Club McLaren took a trip into the gravel

Of the two invitational entries the GRPM Toyota GT86 came in just fractions of a second ahead of the Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 which returns to the series with Adrian Barwick and Bradley Ellis at the wheel.

 

In FP2 Barwell Motorsport continued to dominate with the #33 Lamborghini Huracan of Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw finishing just under a second ahead of the Aston Martin Vantage of Macmillan AMR’s James Littlejohn and Jack Mitchell, while Optimum Motorsports Ginetta G55, which returns with Alexander Schjerpen and Charlie Robertson came in third place.

Stratton Motorsports Lotus Evora, the second invitational entry completed the practice session in 13th position.

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The 500 km race takes place tomorrow afternoon.

 

Allison Remzi           Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

Look ahead to British GT Silverstone 500

With an increased field of 30 cars, this weekends British GT Silverstone 500 is set to be a memorable one.

A number of drivers have been added to the roll-call for the occasion including Struan Moore, Nissan Blancpain GT driver who joins Kevin Fletcher and Tim Eakin at Ultratek while Team ABBA with  rollcentre add Adam Christadoulou to their driver line up alongside Richard Neary and Martin Short, who then retires from driving with the team to concentrate on team management.

Optimum Motorsport have changed from a Ginetta to a McLaren, however they will still field a G55 with Ade Barwick and Bradley Ellis at the wheel for the event.

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Century Motorsport’s Ginetta G55 returns with Alexander Schjerpen and Charlie Robertson undertaking driving duties after Harry Gottsacker and Parker Chase returned to the US to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship prior to the Snetterton round.

Stratton Motorsport also make  an appearance with their Lotus Elvora with AMR driver Stuart Hall and former Brit GT driver Gavan Kershaw.

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Barwell Motorsports Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw top the Championship standings with 101 points with Team Parker Racings Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris behind them on 77.5 while HHC Motorsports Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton lead in GT4 ahead of Alex Reed and David Pittard of Lanan Racing.

The 500 kilometre, 3 hour race gets underway on Sunday afternoon with qualifying completed on Saturday.

 

Allison Remzi     Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick Allison Remzi

Williams 40th Birthday Celebrations Silverstone

Williams Racing celebrated their 40th year with a fan event held at Silverstone, open to 50,000 of the teams fans. The celebrations included on track action by some of their heritage cars, driven by some big Williams names, including Felipe Massa and the teams heritage division driver Karun Chandhok.

Fans were able to join in pitwalks where the great and good of Williams, past and present were in attendance including Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Keke and Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Riccardo Patrese to name but a few.

But the real stars of the show were the cars, from the car that started it all the beautiful March 761/7 to the iconic 6 wheeled FW-08 to the highly anticipated inclusion of Nigel Mansells FW14B, which took to the track for the first time in 25 years.

The celebrations continue in July when some of the iconic Williams cars will be on show at the Silverstone Classic.

Allison Remzi                   Images ©Allison Remzi & Amy Remzi

Audi dominate Blancpain Zolder

It was an Audi lockdown at Zolder  for round 5 the series Sprint Cup, with the #2 Audi R8 of  Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s Will Stevens and Markus Winkelhock taking the win.

Completing the podium was Clemens Schmid, Filip Salaquarda of ISR in second place and Stuart Leonard, Robin Frijns of WRT in third, with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s  Marcel Fässler and Dries Vanthoor running in 4th.

Stevens gained advantage, leaving the pit lane seconds ahead of Salaquarda, his lead looking to be challenged by Frijins but Stevens held the position. In the last 15 minutes of the race contact between the two Mercedes AMG cars meant the safety car was out, and no time difference between the lead cars. With just over a lap to go and back on green, Stevens was able to get away leaving the ISR Audi of Salaquarda to hold off Frijns’ attempts to break through.

Stevens and Winkelhook now stand second in the Championship behind Franck Perera and Max Buhk.

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The next round is 23rd/24th June at Circuit Paul Ricard

 

Allison Remzi         Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick