An astonishing grid of more than 40 cars spanning touring car racing from the Seventies through to the hallowed ‘super touring’ era of the Nineties and also including a selection of iconic Ford Sierra RS500s has been confirmed for this month’s Silverstone Classic powered by the AA (20-22 July).
The mouth-watering line-up of cars – the largest ever grid representing what many believe to be the greatest era of tin-top racing – will contest the double-header Fujifilm Classic Touring Car Trophy races during the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival. Some 41 competitors have so far registered entries with ten different makes and 18 different models of car represented.
No fewer than 16 cars from the famed ‘super touring era’ that saw out the end of the 20th century – many having been designed, developed and raced by Formula 1 teams – are included in the entry.
So too are four flame-spitting, turbocharged RS500s – Ford’s outrageous ‘Whaletale’, made famous by names such as Steve Soper, Andy Rouse and Robb Gravett during BBC Grandstand’s coverage of British Touring Cars in the late Eighties this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Adding yet more spice are a wide selection of touring cars that competed in German DTM, European and World Touring Car Championships including V12 powered Jaguar XJS and XJC Coupes – both huge crowd favourites from the days when the famous RAC Tourist Trophy was staged at Silverstone.
Silverstone Classic event director Nick Wigley commented: “What an utterly stunning grid of cars has been assembled for this race. We don’t believe such a diverse grid of touring cars has ever been put together before and it’s going to be a must-see spectacle for not just all classic motor sport enthusiasts but also the many tens of thousands of fans of all ages who have followed touring car racing down the years. It really is another big feather in the cap for this year’s Silverstone Classic which is shaping up to be by far the biggest and best yet.”
Among the drivers entered is current British Touring Car Championship star Frank Wrathall in a 1995 ‘super touring’ Vauxhall Cavalier. The 25-year-old from Preston, who races a Toyota Avensis in the BTCC, added: “I grew up watching the super tourers in the Nineties on TV – they had a real cult following – so to finally get the chance to race one is a bit of a ‘pinch yourself’ moment. Hopefully I can be competitive but there are many other very well maintained cars on the entry list, particularly the Nissan Primeras and Ford Mondeo and even one of the mighty Audi A4s. Nor would I rule out a well-driven M3 or RS500. It is going to be quite a race to be in!”
For aficionados, the models of car entered include: Alfa Romeo 156, Audi A4, Audi 80, BMW 635, BMW M3, BMW M3 DTM, Ford Capri, Ford Escort, Ford Mondeo, Ford Sierra, Ford Sierra RS500, Honda Accord, Jaguar XJ12C, Jaguar XJS, Mazda 323F, Nissan Primera, Talbot Sunbeam, Vauxhall Cavalier, Vauxhall Belmont, Vauxhall Cavalier, Vauxhall Vectra.
Adult tickets for 2012’s Silverstone Classic powered by the AA (20-22 July) cost from as little as £35 (plus booking fee) and special two- and three-day weekend tickets are also available with savings of up to 20 per cent if purchased in advance. Full details are available via the event’s official www.silverstoneclassic.com website.