- Huge turnout at annual Media Day as full programme is announced
- New GT and F3 grids added to bumper bill of classic racing
- World record parade of GP cars to be led by Sir Stirling Moss OBE
The award-winning Silverstone Classic (25-27 July) looks set to break yet more records in 2014 after a stellar line-up of races, parades, music and entertainment were announced at yesterday's annual media preview.
A plethora of races from iconic eras, plus a number of newly confirmed on-track additions and special parades further cements the Classic’s position as the World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival. The event continues to go from strength-to-strength, with organisers expecting a record attendance this year after confirming that advanced ticket sales are at an all-time high.
“This event is quite simply the pinnacle of classic car racing,” said Nick Wigley, Event Director. “It’s the sheer quality of the cars and competitors, plus the level of passion for motor sport, that helps to create the most incredible weekend of racing and entertainment around.
“Our regular and long standing races form the core of our programme, but we’re always looking to add a new flavour to the event and this year we’ll be welcoming two fantastic racing additions from iconic eras. We’ll be showcasing the single biggest gathering of 1990s GT cars since they raced in-period and we’ve also invited F3 cars from 1971 to 1984 to make their debut at the Classic, which was a period that included drivers like Jacques Laffite, Alain Prost and of course Ayrton Senna. Further to these enhancements we’ll also be aiming to complete a world record parade of well over 100 Grand Prix cars led by Sir Stirling Moss OBE.
“Overall, the interest levels in the Silverstone Classic are at a real high and we’re seeing record advanced ticket sales for this year’s event, so everything is shaping up nicely for another wonderful weekend in July.”
This year’s highlights include:
Famed Senna era of F3 to make its Classic debut
To mark the golden anniversary of the modern era of Formula Three (introduced to replace Formula Junior in 1964), the unrivalled line-up of epic races at this summer’s Silverstone Classic will include two showdowns dedicated to stunning cars from what’s widely regarded as F3’s most glorious generation. Back in the seventies and early eighties, F3 was the global proving ground of future world champions. It was where legends such as Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alan Jones and Alain Prost all earned their fledging spurs en route to international stardom. Many of the actual cars raced by these legends will be back in action at Silverstone as part of the biggest F3 grid ever seen.
90s GT Legends
Evocative GT cars from the 1990s will be making their first appearance at the Silverstone Classic with an all-new grid planned for this year’s event. More than 40 blockbuster machines are expected from an era that included the McLaren F1, Lister Storm, Porsche 911 GT1, Chrysler Vipers and many more. These stupendous cars will be in action on all three days, giving fans plenty of opportunity to see them at flat out speeds.
Celebrating a champion on two wheels and four
After last year’s inaugural BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner honouring the remarkable achievements of double world champion Jim Clark, this year’s special Friday evening celebration will pay tribute to another racing legend: John Surtees. It was 50 years ago in 1964 that Surtees became the first man to win world championships on both two and four wheels, and he will be guest of honour for what promises to be another memorable dinner. Tickets are available to BRDC members and Silverstone Classic competitors with a limited number on general sale via the www.silverstoneclassic.com website.
From dawn until dusk
The Silverstone Classic will be the only place in the UK to watch the legendary Group C Le Mans racers this year as the flame-spitting sportscars make their annual pilgrimage to Northamptonshire. What’s more, spectators and enthusiasts will get to see the 200mph monsters twice in racing action at the 2014 Classic. Group C will bring Saturday’s action to a close with a blast into dusk and darkness, before they return to the track in Sunday’s packed programme.
Three for the price of (Formula) One
Fans of Formula One will be spoilt rotten during the Silverstone Classic weekend as three iconic eras of cars are unleashed around the legendary Grand Prix circuit. HGPCA Pre ’61 Grand Prix Cars and HGPCA Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars always prove to be a real fans’ favourite, but it’s arguably the FIA Masters Historic Formula One series that tops the bill. A golden age for 3-litre engined F1 machinery from 1966 through to 1985, this emotive category stirs high emotion as cars run in their period livery, delivering a superb spectacle of sight and sound, then as now.
Super Touring on tour
Ever since the Silverstone Classic provided the launch pad for Super Touring cars to return to action interest in the category has grown dramatically; so much so that the previous arrangement of invitational races has now developed into a full-blown championship. The Super Touring Car Championship reawakens memories of a golden era of saloon car racing, when a multitude of major manufacturers and leading drivers from all over the world clamoured to compete in the British Touring Car Championship. Not only does the Silverstone Classic provide the championship with its flagship event, but also drivers from the famous tin-top age such as John Cleland, Tim Harvey and Patrick Watts all plan to be involved.
BTCC champion steps back in time
Among the other motor racing stars joining the Classic action this summer is three-time BTCC champion Matt Neal. The Birmingham-born driver famously made his name during the Super Touring-era before going on to win a hat-trick of titles in Honda machinery in 2005, 2006 and 2011. This summer Neal will be going back to a time before his own, as his Team Dynamics squad has purchased a Lotus Cortina which the 47-year-old will pilot in two saloon car contests. The event marks Neal’s first ever form of historic racing, and he got his first laps in the Cortina at Silverstone yesterday.
Mustang at 50
Historic racing’s biggest and busiest event has been chosen by the Mustang Owners Club for its official golden anniversary homage to the most celebrated of all American muscle cars, and a host of dazzling displays, pulsating parades and dramatic demonstrations are planned. The fantastic festivities, though, are topped by a pair of very special showdowns staged on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit which will be two of the major highlights on the weekend’s action-packed racing schedule. These will feature a record number of competition-prepared Mustangs with cars coming from all over the globe to join the celebrations, whilst a number of star-studded movie Mustangs from the likes of ‘Bullitt’ and ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ will also be on show.
The speed of sound
Two great names from rock and pop history – Canned Heat and Bonnie Tyler – will headline the live music bill at this year’s event. Formed nearly 50 years ago in California, Canned Heat remains one of the world’s most famous boogie rock groups – and a timeless band that never fails to deliver. The stars of the legendary Woodstock festival will top Friday night’s revelries before Bonnie Tyler performs on Saturday. Often referred to as the ‘International First Lady of Rock’, Tyler shot to prominence in the late Seventies and early Eighties with a string of hit singles including: ‘Lost in France’; ‘More than a Lover’; ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and ‘Holding Out for a Hero’.
Maserati scores a century
The emotive Italian supercar marque celebrates its centenary this year at the Silverstone Classic with a stunning on-track cavalcade of road and race models. Founded in 1914 by Alfieri Maserati in Bologna, the company quickly achieved legendary status on the world’s racetracks and roads. Working closely with Maserati GB and the Maserati Club UK, the 100th anniversary festivities at the Silverstone Classic will be the biggest in the UK and one of the largest marque celebrations in the world.
Let us entertain you
The Silverstone Classic provides non-stop entertainment both on and off the track. With thousands of static heritage and modern day machines on display on the infield, there are cars to cater for all tastes and generations. The organiseres confirmed yesterday that an unprecedented number of over 100 car clubs have already registered for this event. Stunning aerobatic displays on both the Saturday and Sunday will fill the skies above the iconic circuit, and there will also be air balloon displays and incredible sky-diving stunts. Live demonstrations of huge smoky burnouts and the roar of monster V8s will greet the crowds, and there’s also an off-road zone for people to experience all-terrain driving. As in previous years, the impressive ‘BMW Wheel’ returns to give Classic-goers the opportunity to take in the spectacle of the event from hundreds of feet above ground, and if all the excitement gets a little too much there’s the ‘Village Green’ where people can relax. The Shopping Village returns to provide retail therapy for festival-goers, and there’s even a pop-up massage zone to help people wind down from all the on-track action.
Tickets and information
Tickets are only available in advance and the Classic is sticking to its popular ‘access all areas’ policy. Offering great value, all admission tickets grant access to free parking, both race pits and paddocks, trackside grandstands, fun fair rides and air displays plus, of course, the live music concerts on Friday and Saturday evening which this year will be topped by Canned Heat and Bonnie Tyler.
Both individual day and special weekend tickets are available with significant discounts for children aged from six to 16. Those aged under six years are admitted free.
Further festival information and full details of all ticket prices is available via the official www.silverstoneclassic.com website.