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.
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.
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.
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