This month’s not-to-be-missed Silverstone Classic (28-30 July) is all set to further enhance the massive three-day extravaganza’s unrivalled status as the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival.
Featuring the full spectrum of glorious motor sport history from much-loved bygone eras, the colossal 22-race programme staged on the famous 3.7-mile Grand Prix circuit has once again attracted more than 1,000 entries, with many of the spectacular showdowns featuring massively oversubscribed grids.
Record numbers of car clubs are turning out in force, too, with Saturday’s vast infield display areas entirely sold-out. In total, more than 10,000 beautiful classics will be on show over the three days with, as tradition now dictates, many clubs choosing to celebrate key model and marque milestones with special shows and track parades at what is unquestionably the summer’s standout automotive showcase.
But, as ever, there’s much, much more to the Silverstone Classic than unprecedented numbers of peerless racing and road cars from yesteryear. The three-day blockbuster includes live music concerts from headline acts, dramatic live demos, interactive driving experiences, rides on the JET Big Wheel, crazy golf, air displays, a shopping village where the 2017 Silverstone Classic clothing range can be purchased, an adrenaline zone, traditional funfair rides, static displays, street car shootouts, Spitfire engine fire-ups, racing simulators and a host of other entertainment to keep all ages fully entertained.
What’s more, all these fabulous activities – plus a host of others – are included absolutely FREE in the cost of admission. Tickets also offer access to trackside grandstands and both racing paddocks. This widely-praised ‘access-all-areas’ policy not only allows visitors the chance to really savour more racing action than is possible to see anywhere else in the world in one weekend, but also the heaven-sent opportunity to relish all these wonderful racers up close.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and remain on sale until 5pm on Thursday, 27 July, and festival-goers are advised to leave extra time as enhanced security procedures are in place. Adult admission starts at £43 and weekend camping and a limited number of hospitality upgrades are still available. Full ticket details and all the latest news is available on the official website silverstoneclassic.com and via the event’s social media platforms.
With so much to see and do, selecting just a handful of utterly unmissable highlights is nigh-on impossible. Accepting the Herculean challenge, here’s our selection of attractions at the 2017 Silverstone Classic:
Unrivalled Track Action:
As the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival, the Silverstone Classic features more track action than you’ll experience anywhere on Earth over one weekend. The packed 22-race programme includes all the finest championships including the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Race Series, FIA Masters Historic Sportscars, the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy, Stirling Moss Trophy, Group C Racing and Super Touring Car Trophy. This year’s schedule also celebrates 50 years of Formula Ford and sees the welcome return of the Pre-War Sports Cars starring Bentleys, Bugattis and Frazer Nashes from the twenties and thirties.
Star-studded Celebrity Race:
World and Olympic champions, chart-topping musicians, best-selling authors and familiar figures from TV and radio will all be on a star-studded grid for the inaugural Celebrity Challenge Trophy Race to be staged on Saturday evening at this year’s Silverstone Classic. The stellar, big-name line-up features no fewer than five gold medal-winning athletes: cyclist Jason Kenny, skeleton racer Amy Williams and rowers Jonny Searle, Greg Searle and Mark Hunter. Famous musicians are to the fore, too – notably Howard Donald from chart-toppers Take That and Brian Johnson, who fronted rock legends AC/DC for over 35 years. In keeping with the spirit of the event, all these luminaries will be racing flat-out in an evocative field of Austin A30 and A35 saloons from the late fifties and will be raising awareness for the event’s official charity Prostate Cancer UK.
Iconic Racing Cars from Yesteryear:
As ever, both Silverstone paddock complexes will be bursting with an astonishing array of cars from many of motor sport’s golden eras. The two HGPCA grids for pre-1966 grand prix cars boast a pair of iconic Maserati 250Fs, while the twin-grid JET Super Touring Car Trophy encounters two magical reunions. Italian tin-top ace Gianfranco Brancatelli will be back behind the wheel of his 1989 Spa 24 Hours-winning Ford Sierra RS500, while seven-time Bathurst winner Jim Richards will be reunited with the stunning JPS-livered BMW 635 CSi that he raced in the early eighties. Richards, plus both the RS500 and 635, will be travelling all the way from Australia to wow crowds at the Classic!
Mammoth Classic Car Displays:
Every year, more and more car clubs choose the Silverstone Classic for their major summer gatherings, turning the venue into a mecca for enthusiasts. A new record will be established later this month, with in excess of 120 clubs displaying more than 10,000 privately-owned – and cherished – classic cars, all proudly displayed for public delectation on the infield. Clubs also play an important role in celebrating key model and marque milestones, with enhanced gatherings and huge track parades between the races. This year’s highlights include 60th anniversaries of the Fiat 500 and Lotus Seven, 50 years of the Ferrari Owners’ Club and MG Car Club, 40 years of the Triumph Six Sports Club and 30 years of the Lamborghini Club UK. The McLaren Owners Club is also organising the largest-ever collection of McLaren road cars – over 120 in total – to honour what would have been company founder Bruce McLaren’s 80th year.
Two Evenings of Great Live Music:
The Silverstone Classic is renowned for its ‘rocking’ as well as its ‘racing’, and this year’s live music line-up will reinforce that reputation. It will also provide the growing numbers attending the entire festival weekend with some great entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. The opening night hosts a special 50th anniversary Summer of Love celebration topped by The Bootleg Beatles, widely hailed as the world’s premier Fab Four tribute band. They will be joined by two further highly-regarded tribute acts – Who’s Next and Are You Experienced? – playing the much-loved music of The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Spandau Ballet’s former front man Tony Hadley headlines as the sun goes down on Saturday evening, supported by the authentic Dire Straits Experience.
Grand Prix Legends on Two and Four Wheels:
The peerless race programme is boosted still further by a couple of remarkable track demonstrations. To mark its 40th anniversary, the legendary Williams F1 team has dusted off Nigel Mansell’s magnificent 1992 British Grand Prix-winning Williams FW14B for some high-speed laps on both Saturday and Sunday. For many, 25 years on, the wail of its magical Renault V10 engine will be worth the entry price alone! There is something very special for two-wheeled fans, too, with the return of World GP Bike Legends. Star names revving up include 500cc World Champions ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer and Wayne Gardner as well as ‘Prince of Speed’ Phil Read, the oldest surviving 500cc/MotoGP World Champion following John Surtees’ passing earlier this year. The bike showcase will be complemented by Ace Corner, where London’s famous Ace Cafe will be hosting a mods and rockers-themed bike and scooter display by the National Paddock.
Race and Classic Cars Under the Hammer:
For those either looking to join the thriving classic car movement or to enhance their own collections, there is a very tempting three-day sale organised by Silverstone Auctions. A glorious 1972 scarlet Ferrari Daytona once owned by Sir Elton John is just one of the amazing road and race cars going under the hammer. Others include an ex-Rowan Atkinson Land Rover Defender Celebration model, an evocative Martini-liveried Lancia Delta HF Integrale as campaigned by four-time WRC champion Juha Kankkunen plus an impressive number of very desirable classics including TRs, Porsches, Ferraris, BMWs and Aston Martins. The sale also features three racing saloons with notable BTCC heritage. The first is the ex-works Toyota Supra as campaigned by Barry Sheene in 1985. The second two are both Labatt’s-liveried BTCC race cars as driven by Tim Harvey in period: a 1989 Andy Rouse-prepared Ford Cosworth RS500 and a Vic Lee Motorsport-prepared BMW M3 from 1991. Entry to the auction is by catalogue only.
To ensure you don’t miss out on these fabulous attractions, and all the other hundreds of amazing things to do and see, order your tickets now at: