Silverstone classic report
A short report of Silverstone classic from 2011. It was held 22-24 July at the famed 3.6 mile Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire, England, with over 1000 competitors racing more than 800 of classic race cars spanning the spectrum of motor sport history.
- Worlds Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival
- Silverstone Classic 2011 – Saturday Results
- Silverstone Classic 2011 – Sunday Results
Worlds Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival
The “Worlds Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival” not only offered close racing, but 7000 classic cars on the infield, an ‘Access All Areas’ policy for spectators, rock and classical music entertainment on a grand scale, aerobatic displays and much more.
The entire 2011 Silverstone Classic weekend has a strong E-type element, as the event marked the car’s official 50th birthday celebration for the leading Jaguar clubs. More than 1000 E-types were on site and over 800 took part in a special parade on the full 3.6-mile Grand Prix circuit, forming a mammoth E-type traffic jam. The final number of cars in the parade will be notified to Guinness World Records and the outcome will be confirmed shortly. On-track, a record grid of 52 racing E-types contested the E-type Challenge, the special race series created for 2011 to mark the anniversary year.
Another highlight at the 2011 edition of Silverstone Classic was a parade by many hundreds of cars belonging to the 120 owners clubs present – in total they contributed a staggering collection of some 7000 cars for the public to view.
“It has been great to see vast numbers of people, especially families, arriving and experiencing the Classic. The feedback has been nothing but positive and already we are working on plans for 2012’s Classic when we will aim to make the event even more special for our competitors, exhibitors, media and visitors.”
Silverstone Classic 2011 – Saturday Results
The day started with two races that demonstrated the best in historic racing. In the Formula Junior race, Sam Wilson beat Jon Milicevic by less than a quarter of a second. Meanwhile, the two-driver Under 2-Litre Touring Car race was a battle of the Lotus Cortinas as Simon Hadfield edged ahead of former BTCC racer Mike Jordan in the final laps.
Young Le Mans racer Andy Meyrick (March 761) won the Grand Prix Masters race ahead of a field of over 30 Formula 1 cars from the 1970s and early 1980s, while races for earlier GP cars were won by Roger Wills (Cooper T51) and Philip Walker (Lotus 16).
The day concluded with a race for the magnificent Group C cars running into the evening dusk (pictured). With headlights ablaze and brake discs glowing, the cars made a magical sight as the sun set over the Silverstone GP circuit. Japanese racer Katsu Kobota took his Nissan to a narrow victory over the Jaguar of Alex Buncombe after an unforgettable spectacle.
Silverstone Classic 2011 – Sunday Results
The action on Sunday action was a continuation of sights and sounds of yesteryear with capacity grids of historic Formula 1, sports, saloon and GT cars. Ewan McIntyre overcame drivers in more powerful machinery to win the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-1961 sports cars. Sam Wilson came out on top to take Formula Junior honours but only after another race-long wheel-to-wheel dice with Jon Milicevic.
Leo Voyazides (Ford Falcon), Oliver Bryant (Lola T70), Philip Walker (Lotus 16) and Andy Meyrick (March 761) emerged as comfortable winners in races for big-engined touring cars, sports cars and F1 cars respectively. So, too, Jon Minshaw in the second of two E-type Challenge races held of over the weekend as part of the car’s golden anniversary celebrations.
Bob Berridge took the car of its day, the striking Mercedes C11, to victory ahead of a wonderful field of Group C ‘Le Mans’ machinery but only after Japanese racer Hideki Yamamuchi’s Nissan had briefly led during a spirited attack.
But perhaps the big result of the day was the dramatic victory for Stuart Graham and Richard Attwood in the ‘blue riband’ Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars endurance race. Notably, Graham is the only driver in history to have previously won the TT on both two and four wheels; for Attwood, the result marked another win in his illustrious career that his included spells in Formula 1 plus, most famously, victory in the grueling Le Mans 24 Hours in 1970. It was Attwood who came through to win on the final lap in their Aston Martin DB4 GT when the leading Ferrari 250 GT of Hans Hugenholtz and David Hart cruelly stopped at the side of the track.
Speaking of his victory winner Stuart Graham: “We got close last year and had hoped to be competitive again. You never know what is going to happen until the day but the Aston engineers had the car running like clockwork. The Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars is a great category and a wonderful excuse to bring me out of semi-retirement.”
The day’s final race was another close one that was only decided on the final lap – New Zealander Roger Wills looked to have beaten off three other drivers only to agonisingly spin just two corners from home while lapping a slower car, leaving the way open for Italian Enrico Spaggiari to steal a last gasp win. Spaggiari’s comment “this was the most beautiful race of my life” seemed somehow to reflect perfectly the feelings of every competitor to have taken part in the Classic over the weekend.