Silverstone Classic, 23-25 July 2010 – Preview
Still to come in July’s dazzling historic motorsport calendar is the three-day Silverstone Classic, featuring 1000 drivers at the wheel of more than 800 of the world’s finest competition cars.
Among the on-track highlights, and forming the most valuable grid ever seen at this annual event, is the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars – featuring pre-63 GT racers. “The early 1960s is widely recognised as the best time for genuine GT racing,” said Ben Cussons of the Royal Automobile Club. “We wanted to entice these cars back out onto the grid and keep the race faithful to the pre-63 era. It was an era when you could buy a GT car from a showroom and go racing.”
The Historic Tourist Trophy will replicate the original race of the period, with class divisions at 1300cc and 2000cc to ensure close racing all the way down the field. No fewer than 10 Lotus Elites are entered, including the ex-Les Leston car of marque enthusiasts Robin Longdon and Malcolm Ricketts. Other star entries include the ex-Equipe Endeavour Aston Martin DB4 to be raced by Stuart Graham – the only man to win a Tourist Trophy on both two and four wheels – and Richard Attwood, Porsche’s first ever Le Mans winner.
Attwood will be driving another Aston in the Stirling Moss Trophy, the brand-new series of historic races launched for 2010 by Motor Racing Legends. This time it’s the world-famous 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1, which he’ll be sharing with Gregor Fisken – himself a talented modern Le Mans driver. From the same racing stable comes the nimble, front-engined ex-Phil Hill Ferrari 246S Dino, driven by Nick Leventis, who was fifth overall in this year’s modern Le Mans 24 Hours – and Bobby Verdon-Roe.
Meanwhile, GT cars from Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo will battle it out in the Italian Historic Car Cup – a ‘dusk race’ on Saturday evening dedicated to pre-74 Italian cars. The field will include such icons as Ferrari 512M, Ferrari 312PB and Alfa Romeo T33, racing for 75 minutes, and finishing just before sunset at 8pm. Joining them are cars from smaller manufacturers such as Iso Grifo, Bizzarrini and Abarth, as well as 11 different models of Ferrari, a sublime spread of Maseratis from the 1950s, plus Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, Giulia TZ and the rare Simca-Abarth 2000.
And the finest pre-1956 sports-racing cars will be represented by an outstanding grid in the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy. Another race organised by Motor Racing Legends, the Woodcote Trophy will see some of the world’s most authentic examples of Jaguar C-types and D-types striving to be first across the line. Aston Martin enthusiasts will enjoy the equally impressive turn-out of drum-braked models ranging from 1952 DB2s, through DB3 to DB2/4 – which will have their work cut out tackling the magnificent Ferrari 750 Monza driven by the Frankel brothers, Richard and Andrew.
Last – and by absolutely no means least – the Woodcote Trophy will welcome Sir Stirling Moss back to the race track, after recovering from his accident at home earlier this year. He will be driving his little 1500cc OSCA FS372, in the same class as another world-famous figure: rock star Chris Rea, driving his 1098cc-engined Lotus VI.
Adding to the on-track entertainment, the Silverstone Classic features 6000+ classic cars and bikes on display, a Bonhams auction, hot rod demonstrations, a fun fair, parades and live music concerts. For tickets and further information, see www.SilverstoneClassic.com.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Silverstone Classic / Motor Racing Legends
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