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Photo Gallery: The Silverstone Classic 2011 media day

Submitted by on May 14, 2011

This year’s Silverstone Classic is the event’s 21st Anniversary, it promises to be the biggest ever too. Billed as ‘the world’s biggest classic racing festival’ this year’s Classic has all the indications that it will live up to its grand tag line. Over the weekend of the 22nd to 24th of July, Silverstone will play host to so much more than the races around the new arena circuit.

At ‘retro’ it’s the racing we love so to whet your appetite…

This year will see a total entry that exceeds 800 cars driven by 1200 drivers across 22 races doing battle for some serious silverware including, The RAC Tourist Trophy for historic cars a homage to Britain’s oldest motor race. The race is for cars built before 1963 so a grid full of classic GT cars will delight the crowd. The RAC Woodcote Trophy for pre 1956 sports cars, and the Sir Stirling Moss Trophy for pre 1961 sports and sports racing cars are up for grabs too with some of the most beautiful racing cars ever built taking to the track.

Much anticipated are the Group C sports-prototypes from 1983 to 1991. Where the mighty Porsche 956’s will once again do battle with the Jaguar XJR’s, Sauber Mercedes, Lancia’s, Spice’s, Nissan and Aston Martin’s, definitely not to be missed.

Formula One is catered for with races for a mouth watering selection of machinery from across the years, pre 1961, pre 1966 and 1968 to 1982. The Historic Grand Prix Car Association will field a range of cars which spans the front engined Cooper Bristols, Maserati’s and Ferrari’s to the rear engined, Brabham’s, Lotus’ and Lola’s. The Grand Prix Masters offer up cars from the DFV era, expect McLaren’s, Hesketh’s, Lotus’, Brabham’s, March’s and Tyrrell’s and many more to make the ground shake as they thunder around the new Arena circuit.

If tin tops float your boat, the U2TC and Big engined Touring Cars will be races you won’t want to miss the U2TC where the Alfa Romeos, BMWs, Lotus Cortinas and the nimble Mini Coopers will thrill the crowd, Detroit iron will dominate the Big Engined Touring Cars, all of pre 1966 vintage.

Also on the bill are the World Sportscar Masters for sports-prototypes and GT cars up to 1974, the Italian Historic Car Cup for pre 1974 Italian sports, sports-prototypes and GT cars, Formula Junior single seaters from 1959 to 63 and Gentlemen Drivers Series for pre’66 GT and pre 63 Sports cars.

New for 2011 the Jaguar E type challenge. The Iconic Jaguar E Type is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, to mark the occasion the E Type has been given its own races, another sight not to be missed.

This year’s celebrity race will be run on Saturday afternoon with a host of famous faces taking to the track in competition prepared Morgan sports cars. Last years winner Rick Parfitt Jr and runner up, from the band Travis, Neil Primrose will be out to play again along with Chef Heston Blumenthal, Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole, Radio One’s Comedy Dave, Long way down star Charlie Boorman, along with Jonny Saunders, Neil Fox, Paul O’Duffy, David Seaman, Lord Charles Brockett, and Luther Blissett all confirmed with more set to be announced. The Race will raise funds for the Cancer Research UK Bobby Moore fund each racer asked to raise a minimum of £2000 in sponsorship. Last year the race raised over £24000 as well as awareness for the charity.

Classic Director Nick Wigley said, “The Morgan is entirely appropriate for this special race as it fits perfectly with the event’s three key pillars- Classic British and fun”

Off the race track, this year’s classic will see no fewer than 120 car clubs exhibiting over 7000 cars. The Jaguar E type is taking centre stage, the event organisers hoping to have 1000 of the type on display as all the major Jaguar owners clubs have chosen the classic as the venue for the E Type’s 50th birthday bash. The culmination of the celibration will be a parade of E Types on the track during Saturday’s lunch break to set a Guinness world record for the largest number of E Type’s in a parade.

Other land marks include 50 years of the Mini Cooper, 50 years of the Porsche club GB, 100 years of Chevrolet, 60 years of Ferrari’s First World Championship race win and the Spitfire’s 70th anniversary.

The music stage will be located at the at the top of the Wellington straight near the new Loop section with three of the best tribute acts, Legend, the Bob Marley experience, Queen on Fire and Rolling Stoned kicking off proceedings on Friday evening. Saturday night, and Suzi Quatro, 10cc and Wishbone Ash will bring the house down. Sunday’s entertainment is classical, with the 40 piece Amadeus Orchestra, Tetra Electra and Tenors Un-limited playing the festival out.

In the air the Red Devils parachute Regiment freefall display team will be dropping in each day, (a heck of a way to beat the traffic!). The Blades formation aerobatic team and in tribute to the Supermarine Spitfire with arguably the most famous of them all, the Old Flying Machine company’s MkIXB MH434 will display along with the P51D Mustang ‘Ferocious Frankie’ .

Another addition for this year is the ‘village green’ entertainment area where you can relax and soak up the unique ‘Classic’ atmosphere have a meal prepared by Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts and keep abreast with the race action on giant TV screens.

The Army assault course will be there if you’re feeling energetic, if the competitive juices start to flow a 400 metre kart track will satisfy the need for speed. A traditional fun fair with some more extreme rides, a Steam Rally, a pampering area, hot air Balloon displays (weather permitting), lawnmower racing and shopping, these are just a few of the attractions that the 2011 Silverstone Classic has to offer.

Nick Wegley summed it up well, “The Silverstone Classic is all about flat out fun for all the family with so much to see and do for all ages. The whole event is family friendly, providing family entertainment to ensure the Silverstone classic appeals to a wide spectrum of visitors, with so much to see and do the only problem will be fitting it all in!”

All in all it’s going to be one helluva weekend, if you can’t make it rest assured motorsportretro.com will be there to record it all.

by Graham Dalley

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