The UK’s oldest motorsport event

gets underway in style  

Tourist Trophy Supercar Escort Arrives at SilverstoneThirty six of the world’s most exotic supercars made the journey from Pall Mall in London to Silverstone to escort the world famous Tourist Trophy which will be presented to the winning drivers of the opening round of the FIA GT Championship being held at the Northamptonshire circuit this Sunday.

Dr Stephen Hammerton, Chairman of The Royal Automobile Club’s Motoring Committee drove an Audi R8 from the Club House in Pall Mall and handed over the Tourist Trophy to race officials on arrival at Silverstone.  Dr Hammerton will also present the Tourist Trophy to the winning drivers on Sunday.“I’m delighted to be here at Silverstone for the 103rd year of The Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy,” said Dr Stephen Hammerton. “There’s a great grid lined up for Sunday’s event, with lots of exciting cars and I’m looking forward to a great days racing.  We came up today as part of the London to Silverstone Supercar Run from the Club House in Pall Mall to deliver the Tourist Trophy along with thirty six fantastic motor cars and everybody arrived with big grins on their faces. The police did a wonderful job escorting us out of London and the day was capped off with the thrill of three fast laps around the Grand Prix circuit here at Silverstone.  A day much enjoyed by all.”

The 103-year-old Tourist Trophy is one of the most significant prizes in British motorsport and has been won by such racing greats as Sir Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Denny Hulme and Derek Bell.  The first Tourist Trophy meeting was held on the Isle of Man on September 14th 1905 with cars setting off from Alexander Drive, Douglas on a 52 mile course. John Napier, in an Arrol-Johnston won in the 6 hour race comprising 4 laps, 208 miles, with an average speed of 33.9 mph.

Last year the Maserati MC12 of Mika Salo and Thomas Biaggi took the chequered flag at Silverstone to add their names to the impressive list of drivers who have lifted the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy.

Round one of the 2008 FIA GT Championship is due to start at 12:15 on Sunday 20 April. The meeting also includes the first rounds of the 2008 FIA GT3 European Championship and GT4 European Cup, as well as the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Europa and Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Europa Coppa Shell, making a full weekend of sportscar action.