Silverstone Classic countdown to the big event this weekend

The Silverstone Classic takes over the Northamptonshire circuit this weekend for the huge, three day event, one of the biggest in the classic motorsport calendar.

Among the many on track attractions is the “Twilight Tribute to Le Mans” which will see three sportscar races take place on the Saturday evening. Tom Kristensen, the record breaking, nine time Le Mans winner, was on hand at the media day to launch what will be a must see series of races. The grid will feature 150 cars spanning almost one hundred years of racing.  The races will consist of a mini enduro format including pit stops with a driver change.

A huge draw will be the Masters Endurance Legends which includes prototypes and GT’s that have competed at Le Mans between 1995 and 2012.

Also on the grid will be the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars including entries from the 60’s and 70’s.

Those brands with birthdays that will be celebrated include the Mini, Ford Capri and Bentley. The Mini marks its 60th birthday this year and celebrates in style, the beloved marque will be out on strength at the Classic, with a record breaking grid of more than 50 pre 1966 Minis. At the media day, Mini rally driver legend Paddy Hopkirk was reunited with his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally winning car. Also joining him was fellow mini racers Gordon Spice, Steve Neal and John Rhodes.

Gordon Spice is best know as a British Saloon Car Championship racer behind the wheel a Ford Capri, the Capri  reaches its 50th birthday in 2019.

Bentley celebrates its 100th birthday this year and there will be numerous models of the classic British brand out in force at the Silverstone Classic.

This year the events chosen charity is Alzheimers Research UK, the countries leading charity specializing in finding prevention treatments and a cure for dementia. The partnership will continue over the next three years, with the charity planning many activities and the involvement of Race Against Dementia.

Sir Jackie Stewart will be in attendance as he commemorates the 50th anniversary of his first World Championship title and his first two British Grand Prix wins in 1969 and 1971 both of which took place at Silverstone.

Sir Jackie founded the Race Against Dementia foundations to fund pioneering research into the prevention and cure of dementia. Sir Jackie’s wife Helen was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2014, the foundation aims to apply the innovation, speed, global research and identification of key talents within the field, core principles that are also found within Formula 1.

Also appearing at the Silverstone Classic will be the World GP Bike Legends, with the likes of Wayne Gardner, Freddie Spencer and Raymond Roche out on track on historic GP machines.

Another popular return will be Mike Brewer and the car clinic, the “Wheeler Dealer” star will be running his expert eye over a number of classic cars including a Ford Capri, Chevrolet, Daimler and Dodge.

As ever the attractions cater for all ages off track as well as on. There will be multiple car clubs displaying, vintage fairground rides and shopping village.

Music entertainment will include honouring the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Friday and Saturday evening will pay tribute to the music of Creedance Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Sly and the family Stone, Ten Years After and The Who.

The Silverstone Classic remains one of the highlights of the calendar, with so much on offer it is a must do event for anyone with an interest in classic cars or motorsport. The classic takes place  this weekend July 26th/27th and 28th

Images ¬©Andy Fitzpatrick ¬©Allison Remzi