On Track Action at Silverstone Classic

With 16 classes of track action being held at the Silverstone Classic it was a packed back to back timetable of historic racing. Ranging from Formula Ford which celebrates its 50th anniversary with a large grid of over 50 entrants including Tiff Needell in his Lotus 69F and winner of both races Michael O Brien in the Merlyn MK20A, to the increasingly popular Group C Le Mans winning cars of the 90’s.

Also boasting a huge field of competitors was the Commander Yorke Trophy for Historic Formula Junior. The series which celebrates its Diamond Anniversary next year ran a predominantly Lotus heavy grid but other marques competing included Lola MK2, Elva 100 and Brabham BT2. Again both races were won by the same driver Sam Wilson in the Lotus 20/22.

In Group C both races on Saturday and Sunday the class was hit with difficult conditions due to heavy rain, but in race one on Saturday Steve Tandy took the top step of the podium in the 1990 Spice SE90 GTP, while Sundays race saw Kriton Lendoudis in the 1990 Mercedes C11 take the win.

While in the Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre’61 Cars, current British GT Championship leader Jon Minshaw was behind the wheel of a Lister Knobbly. Cars of note in that category included the beautiful ‘Birdcage’ Maserati T61 of which only 16 were built and Cooper T39 Bobtail previously raced by Stirling Moss. The race win went to Chris Ward driving a 1959 Lister Costin.

 

The John Fitzpatrick Trophy for Under 2 Litre Touring Cars saw a range of pre 1966 cars from the Mini Cooper to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA and notable drivers such as Martin Stretton, Mark Sumpter and Steve Soper.  Mark Sumpter eventually claiming victory in the race after coming second behind Steve Soper in qualifying.

Again there was a large field of entrants for the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for pre ‘63 GT Historic Cars including marques such as the Ferrari 250 GT “breadvan”,  Porsche 356 Speedster and Aston Martin DB4. Ex British GT champ Calum Lockie took to the track in an Austin Healey 3000, finishing 10th in qualifying and 50th in the race, the win going to Wolfgang Friedrichs and Simon Hadfield in the beautiful Aston Martin DB3S.

 

The Pre’56 Sports Cars Trophy saw the Cooper T38 of Frederic Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards triumph in a packed field that included Le Mans winner Andy Wallace behind the wheel of the oldest C Type Jaguar in the world.

Stepping further back in time to the Kidston Trophy for Pre War Sports Cars, the Frazer Nash Supersports of Frederic Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards took the top of the podium. The marque was produced from 1925 to 1930 numbering around 165.

Another popular category and one that produced sights, sounds and smells to cheer any F1 fan was the FIA Masters Historic Formula One with cars such as the beautiful Arrows A3 driven by Jonathan Kennard which took pole position in the first race eventually finishing second to Nick Padmore in the Williams FW07C while in race two it was Michael Lyons who took top step of the podium in the Williams FW07B,

apt that both races should be won by Williams cars as they continued their 40th anniversary celebrations at the Silverstone Classic. Another car of note was the Hesketh 308B driven to victory by James Hunt in the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix.

 

The Classic GT Cars Pre’66 saw a wealth of beautiful entries including a 1965 Porsche 911, 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and a 1964 Sunbeam Le Mans Tiger. It was the AC Cobra driven by Oliver Bryant that won the race narrowly beating the stunning Bizzarrini 5300 GT of Roger Wills.

Taking the win in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race was the Chevron B19 driven by Martin O Connell. The large grid also saw Jon Minshaw at the wheel of the Lola T70 fight his way up from 13th place to finish the race in 8th after incurring a time penalty for exceeding track limits.

In the Classic Jaguar Challenge it was the E Type of Gary Pearson that took the win while Calum Lockie also in an E type finished in 40th place.

The Jet Super Touring Car Trophy was practically a Minshaw takeover as Jason Minshaw took pole in qualifying then took the win in the first race just ahead of his brother Jon driving an Audi A4. In race two Jason Minshaw again took the the podium in second place just behind James Dodd in the Honda Accord. Another car that looked fantastic on track was the JPS liveried BMW 636csi of Jim Richards that won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1985.

The race concluded a weekend of excellent racing yet again at the Silverstone Classic.

 

Allison Remzi    Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick  ©Allison Remzi