Feast of racing and entertainment continues at Silverstone Classic
The action at the Silverstone Classic came thick and fast on Saturday with a bumper bill of racing headlining an entertainment extravaganza at the home of British motor sport.
The world’s biggest classic motor racing festival, which showcases machinery from nine decades of the sport, produced 13 sensational races spanning single-seater, sportscar and touring car racing.
The blue riband Piper Heidsieck International Trophy for Pre-66 GT cars in association with Chopard was won by the brother pairing of John and Gary Pearson in the Jaguar E-Type. The duo overcame a capacity 58-car grid and extreme weather conditions when torrential rain descended on Silverstone late in the afternoon.
A capacity grid of Formula Juniors had earlier kicked off proceedings under clear blue skies and highlighted the ultra competitiveness of historic racing. The slipstreaming spectacular showed fans what they could expect over two full days of racing as the top three were covered by less than a second at the finish. Andrew Hibberd claimed the honours in a 1962 Lotus 22.
TV personality and former F1 driver Tiff Needell starred in the Formula Ford contest, taking an eighth place finish in a race that was won by Callum Macleod.
World Touring Car champions Andy Priaulx and Rob Huff enjoyed extraordinary battles in their respective races.
Priaulx, piloting a BMW 1800, led during the early exchanges in the Sir John Whitmore Trophy for under 2-litre Touring cars. A four-way scrap for supremacy ensued between two Lotus Cortinas and two BMWs and was eventually won by the Cortina of Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield after Priaulx had passed the BMW baton to his team-mate. “It was lovely to be sliding a touring car around again,” said a beaming Priaulx afterwards.
Huff tasted victory in the Mini class of the Trans-Atlantic Touring Car Trophy after a race long battle. Overall honours went to the aforementioned Voyazides/ Hadfield combination in a Ford Falcon.
The tin-top action gradually built to a crescendo which culminated with the Super Touring Car Trophy, showcasing machinery from the late eighties through to the early 2000s. The crowd were wowed by some typical thrills and spills, including a ding-dong battle for the lead between the Peugeot 406 of Patrick Watts and Sierra Cosworth of Tim Harvey. Watts eventually crashed out and the race was headed by the more modern Alfa Romeo and Honda Accord of Neil Smith and Stuart Whyte respectively. The lead duo then dramatically clashed on the final lap, giving modern day BTCC racer Frank Wrathall a chance of victory in the Vauxhall Cavalier. The Alfa of Smith hung on, however, and crossed the line just 0.242s ahead of Wrathall at the finish. The stewards, however, later adjudged Smith’s contact with the Accord on the last tour to be an avoidable accident and he was excluded from the final result, handing victory to a jubilant Wrathall.
Harvey completed the podium after a stellar drive from the former BTCC champion. “This is quite an incredible event,” he enthused. “Every car here is a jewel and has its own story. I don’t think you’d be able see it all in three days if you tried. I really enjoyed racing my original Sierra but away from that I’ve just been like everyone else - drooling at all the cars in the paddock!”
Grand Prix racing featured heavily on the bill with Michael Lyons winning the FIA Masters Formula One race, and he also doubled up later in the day by claiming victory in the Peter Gethin Trophy for F2 vs F5000 contest.
The story of the day in F1 machinery belonged to Andy Middlehurst who won class honours in the Jim Clark Trophy for HGPCA pre-61 GP cars. It was an evocative victory for Middleshurst, who was driving the very same 1963 Lotus 25 that Jim Clark piloted on his way to winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone 50 years ago.
The Lola T70 of Voyazides and Hadfield won the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race giving the pair their third victory of the day, but it was the sight of the iconic Porsche 917 – made famous by Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans – claiming a podium that proved hugely popular.
As weather conditions worsened into the evening the Group C race was unfortunately cancelled, but the famous Le Mans machines will be back on track tomorrow afternoon.
The 2013 Silverstone Classic concludes on Sunday with a fantastic parade to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Porsche 911 and of course another bumper card of historic racing.
Provisional Race Results for Saturday
Peter Arundell Trophy for Historic Formula Junior
1) Andrew Hibberd (Lotus 22): 9 Laps
2) Sam Wilson (Lotus 20/22): +0.540
3) Jonathan Milicevic (Cooper T59): +0.878
Balvenie Trophy for Historic Formula Ford
1) Callum Macleod (Merlyn MK20): 9 Laps
2) Westie Mitchell (Merlyn Mk20): +4.931
3) Benn Simms (Jomo JMR 7): +16.377
Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre '61 Sportscars
1) Oliver Bryant (Lotus 15): 20 Laps
2) Andrew Smith/Chris Ward (Lister Costin): +2.013
3) Philip Walker/Danny Wright (Lotus 15): +13.314
Sir John Whitmore Trophy for Under 2 Litre Touring Cars
1) Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield (Lotus Cortina): 19 Laps
2) Mark Jones (Lotus Cortina Mk1): +33.924
3) Jackie Oliver/Richard Shaw (BMW 1800 TiSA): +39.169
FIA Masters Historic Formula One
1) Michael Lyons (RAM Williams FW07): 11 Laps
2) Joaquin Folch (Brabham BT49C): +20.534
3) Christophe D’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C): +51.533
Trans-Atlantic Touring Car Trophy
1) Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield (Ford Falcon): 8 Laps
2) Henry Mann (Ford Mustang): +16.662
3) Mike Gardiner/Phil Keen (Ford Falcon Sprint): +18.576
Froilan Gonzalez Trophy for HGPCA Pre '61 Grand Prix Cars
1) Julian Bronson (Scarab Offenhauser): 9 Laps
2) Tony Smith (Ferrari 246 Dino 0007): +15.086
3) Tony Wood (Maserati TecMec): +19.279
FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars
1) Simon Hadfield/Leo Voyazides (Lola T70 Mk3b): 22 Laps
2) Steve Tandy (Lola T70 Mk3b): +33.924
3) Gary Pearson/Carlos Monteverde (Porsche 917) +37.579
The Peter Gethin Trophy for Formula 5000 and Formula 2 Cars
1) Michael Lyons (Lola T400): 11 Laps
2) Mark Dwyer (March 742): +31.773
3) Neil Glover (Lola T330/332): +1:14.462
Super Touring Car Trophy
1) Frank Wrathall (Vauxhall Cavalier): +9 Laps
2) Tim Harvey (Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth): +23.699
3) Craig Davies (Ford RS500): +23.837
HGPCA Pre '66 Grand Prix Cars
1) Jason Minshaw (Brabham BT4): 4 Laps
2) Jonathon Hughes (Cooper T53): +0.777
3) Peter Horsman (Lotus 18/21 P1): +3.871
Piper Heidsieck International Trophy for pre '66 GT Cars in association with Chopard
1) John Pearson/ Gary Pearson (Jaguar E-type): 13 Laps
2) Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield (AC Cobra): +13.070
3) Edward Morris (Lotus Elan): +31.861