Super Saturday blasts into action
The unrivalled schedule of retro races commenced in earnest at the Silverstone Classic this morning as the event’s Super Saturday blasted into action with drivers excelling – and thrilling – in damp and tricky conditions.
Off-track, much-loved TV personality and renowned motoring mastermind, Mike Brewer, has been casting his expert eye over a selection of intriguing cars in his hugely-popular Car Clinics.
Surrounding Brewer’s busy stage was a record number of car club displays covering the infield – places which were sold out many weeks prior to the event – whilst Slowly Sideways Rally Demons wowed the crowds in the slippery conditions.
The on-track activities began with the HSCC Classic Formula 3 race, which Christian Olsen dominated in his Martini Mk39 after pole-sitter Andrew Smith spun away the lead on the opening lap.
Ian Jacobs impressively shot from eighth to second on the first tour in his Ralt RT3 and he cemented that place for the remainder of the contest. Despite dropping to the back end of the top ten following his spin, Smith went on to produce an eye-catching comeback drive to eventually claim the final spot on the podium.
Oliver Bryant claimed overall honours in the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote and Stirling Moss Trophy in his Lotus 15, after coming out on top of a titanic tussle with David Hart’s Lister Costin Jaguar. The pair swapped places on numerous occasions before Bryant eventually won by just over three seconds.
The Pearson brothers – Gary and John – topped the Woodcote runners in their stunning Jaguar D-type.
The mighty Can-Am cars thundered through the tricky conditions in the HSCC Thundersports as the glorious McLaren M8F of Dean Forward got the better of Georg Hallau’s Lola T310.
A pulsating three-way fight for victory took place in the HSCC Historic Formula 2, which went to the wire. Miles Griffiths won the war in his Ralt RT1, from Darwin Smith’s March 722, whilst Martin O’Connell’s Chevron B40 spun out of the lead dice on the final lap.
The concluding race of the morning belonged to Martin Hunt and Pat Blakeney-Edwards as their AC Cobra fended off the attentions from James Cottingham and Harvey Stanley’s Jaguar E-type. Lukas and Niklas Halusa made it a hugely popular podium as they hauled the unique Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan into third in the closing moments.
One of this afternoon’s highlights – as well as tomorrow’s – will be three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart being re-acquainted with his title-winning Matra MS80-02 for some evocative demonstration laps, fifty years after winning his first British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Stewart is also raising money and awareness for research into dementia with the event's charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK, who administer the Race Against Dementia Fellowships that he founded.
The action continues this afternoon with a further seven phenomenal races scheduled, culminating in the Aston Martin Trophy for Masters Endurance Legends – with famous Le Mans machinery from across the ages running into darkness.
Race 1: HSCC Classic Formula 3
1. Christian Olsen (Martini MK39) 9 laps (89.96mph)
2. Ian Jacobs (Ralt RT3) +4.492s
3. Andrew Smith (March 783) +11.735s
Race 2: Royal Automobile Club Woodcote and Stirling Moss Trophy
1. Oliver Bryant (Lotus 15) 17 laps (72.43mph)
2. David Hart (Lister Costin) +3.032s
3. Tony Wood/Will Nuthall (Lister Knobbly) +28.713s
Race 3: HSCC Thundersports Sprint
1. Dean Forward (McLaren M8F) 10 laps (85.11mph)
2. Georg Hallau (Lola T310) +5.656s
3. Robert Beebee (Lola T70 Mk3B) +26.429s
Race 4: HSCC Historic Formula 2
1. Miles Griffiths (Ralt RT1) 8 laps (84.33mph)
2. Darwin Smith (March 722) +1.845s
3. Andy Smith (March 722) +13.155s
Race 5: Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre ’63 GT)
1. Patrick Blakeney-Edwards/Martin Hunt (AC Cobra) 17 laps (71.11)
2. James Cottingham/Harvey Stanley (Jaguar E-Type) +6.917s3. Niklas Halusa/Lukas Halusa (Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan) +25.455s