The world’s biggest motor racing festival, the Silverstone Classic powered by the AA, yesterday drew to a close after delivering 24 exhilarating races on the sun-kissed Silverstone Grand Prix circuit as well as a feast of off-track entertainment for a record numbers of visitors.
During the weekend more than 1000 race entries from GT, saloon, single-seater and sportscars covering the full spectrum of motor sport from the Thirties right through to the Nineties have produced some of the most exciting on-track action seen all year in the UK.
The Classic also firmly lived up to its ‘Rocking and Racing’ theme with a number of top-class twilight music acts performing for thousands of public and adding to the event’s vibrant carnival atmosphere.
Event director Nick Wigley commented: “Summer returned in style just in time for another truly memorable Silverstone Classic. There were so many highlights with fantastic racing, amazing parades, the birth of AA World and some fabulous live music and, not surprisingly, taking all that into account a new record crowd.”
Sunday started with wins for two drivers who narrowly missed out on victories on Saturday. David Methley and Simon Hadfield, who both spun away their chances the previous day, were this time not to be denied as they triumphed in Formula Juniors and the Peter Gethin Trophy for F5000 and F2 cars. Coincidentally Saturday's two winners Jon Milicevic and Michael Lyons both retired while Sam Wilson and Martin Stretton again took runners-up results.
John Young and Andrew Smith won the Woodcote Trophy for pre-56 sportscars race but it wasn’t enough to prevent Saturday’s winners, brothers John and Gary Pearson who finished second yesterday in their iconic Jaguar D-type, from claiming overall victory when the two results were combined.
Gary Pearson and past Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jackie Oliver looked set to clinch the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy race for pre-63 GT cars until their Ferrari stopped in the pit lane. Nick Naismith and John Young’s Aston Martin breezed by for the win on the road. However, it was third-placed Wolfgang Friedrichs and David Clark in the Aston Martin Project 212 – the first car eligible for the TT to cross the line – who were awarded the prestigious piece of silverware…
It was the same top three as Saturday in both the HGPCA pre-1961 front-engined GP cars and Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy races, Roger Wills and Rick Pearson first past the post respectively.
Bill Coombs made it a double in the Daily Express International Trophy for Grand Prix Masters in arguably the most exciting race of the weekend. While he held the lead throughout, his Tyrrell was in a seemingly constant wheel-to-wheel dice with Steve Hartley’s Arrows. Both then came under threat from mid-distance from the rapidly closing Michael Lyons who was unfortunate not to win on Saturday. Lyons briefly made it into second before settling for third.
Similarly, Gareth Evans added to his Saturday victory with a second Group C sportscar win and also set the fastest race lap of the weekend, but only after a ferocious battle with Herve Regout who was dramatically passed for second just a few corners from home by recent Le Mans 24 Hours star Nicolas Minassian. Evans’s ‘Silver Arrows’ Mercedes C9, Minassian’s Lancia LC2 and Regout’s Porsche 962 were among the most evocative cars seen during the weekend…
Earlier Woodcote Trophy winner Andrew Smith then teamed up with Oliver Bryant to win the mini-endurance race for Sixties Le Mans cars. Bryant needed to call on all his skill, though, to see off Martin Stretton whose Ferrari 512M – another of the event’s stand-out cars – had briefly nosed ahead just a few laps from home. Stretton would later be declared ‘driver of the weekend’ and received a top of the range B.R.M watch from event director Nick Wigley as his reward.
Finally Jason Minshaw and Alex Buncombe achieved dominant wins in pre-66 rear-engined GP car and Jaguar E-type races as the sun set on another unforgettable Classic weekend.
Podium results, Silverstone Classic, Sunday 22 July
Historic Formula Juniors (9 laps)
1. David Methley, Brabham BT6, 21m21.193s
2. Sam Wilson, Cooper T59, +1.896s
3. Andrew Hibberd, Lotus 22, 11.178s
Fastest lap: Wilson, 2m20.093s (93.76mph)
Peter Gethin Trophy for F2 & F5000 (11 laps)
1. Simon Hadfield, Trojan 101, 21m54.553s
2. Martin Stretton, March 742, +0.124s
3. Neil Fowler, March 752, +15.883s
Fastest lap: Stretton, 1m57.680s (111.62mph)
Woodcote Trophy for Pre-56 Sportscars (12 laps)
1. John Young/Andrew Smith, Cooper Jaguar T33, 31m40.580s
2. John Pearson/Gary Pearson, Jaguar D-type, +6.077s
3. Nigel Webb/Anthony Reid, Jaguar C-type, +32.132s
Fastest lap: Reid, 2m32.452s (86.16mph)
Combined result (inc Sat’s race):
1. Pearson/Pearson, 1hr03mins30.743s
2. Young/Smith, +4.372s
3. Webb/Reid, +37.714s
Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars Pre-63 GT (19 laps)
1. Nick Naismith/John Young, Aston Martin DB4, 51m04.925s
2. Ben Adams, Turner Mk2, +19.774s
3. Wolfgang Friedrichs/David Clark, Aston Martin DP212, +39.554s
Fastest lap: Martin Hunt/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, AC Cobra, 2m35.217s (84.63mph)
HGPCA pre-61 Front Engine Grand Prix Cars (9 laps)
1. Roger Wills, Lotus 16 363, 21m50.119s
2. Philip Walker, Lotus 16 368, +33.697s
3. Eddie McGuire, Lotus 16 362, +45.259s
Fastest lap: Walker, 2m23.785s (91.36mph)
Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy 1970-2000 (9 laps)
1. Rick Pearson, Nissan Primera, 20m16.125s
2. Frank Wrathall, Vauxhall Cavalier, +11.861s
3. Richard Hawken, Nissan Primera, +20.985s
Fastest lap: Pearson, 2m14.260s (97.84mph)
Daily Express International Trophy for Grand Prix Masters (11 laps)
1. Bill Coombs, Tyrrell 009, 21m18.563s
2. Steve Hartley, Arrows A4, +0.210s
3. Michael Lyons, Hesketh 308E, +4.123s
Fastest lap: Lyons, 1m53.548s (115.69mph)
Group C Endurance Race Cars (15 laps)
1. Gareth Evans, Mercedes C9, 30m11.736s
2. Nicolas Minassian, Lancia LC2, +2.125s
3. Herve Regout, Porsche 962, +5.416s
Fastest lap: Evans, 1m52.483s (116.78mph)
World Sports Car Masters (23 laps)
1. Andrew Smith/Oliver Bryant, Lola T70, 51m45.466s
2. Paul Knapfield/Martin Stretton, Ferrari 512M, +0.802s
3. Steve Tandy, Lola T70 Mk3b (c), +39.078s
Fastest lap: Stretton, 2m07.888s (102.71mph)
HGPCA Pre-66 Rear Engine Grand Prix Cars (9 laps)
1. Jason Minshaw, Brabham BT4, 21m02.658s
2. John Harper, Brabham BT4, +10.692s
3. Rod Jolley, Cooper T45/51, +22.596s
Fastest lap: Minshaw, 2m19.177s (94.38mph)
Jaguar E-type Challenge (9 laps)
1. Alex Buncombe, 22m01.750s
2. Gregor Fisken, +15.141s
3. John Pearson, +19.533s
Fastest lap: Buncombe, 2m24.289s (88.92mph)