Silverstone Classic gets Le Mans fever

The Silverstone Classic (25/26/27 July) will celebrate the very best of sports car racing history and have a real flavour of Le Mans, the most famous motor race of all time.

With cars of the type that raced at Le Mans from the late 1920s right through to the late 1980s, the event will give fans the chance to see cars from across six decades in action on the Silverstone Historic Grand Prix circuit.On Saturday evening, the drama and spectacle of sports cars racing into the dusk will evoke the atmosphere of the classic 24-hour race, which ran for the 76th time last weekend (14/15 June). Meanwhile, bringing the curtain down on the weekend race programme will be a 90-minute Group C race on Sunday afternoon for the Porsches, Jaguars, Nissans, Mercedes and Aston Martins that competed at Le Mans through the 1980s. Many of the cars racing have Le Mans history and race in original livery.

The Denny Hulme Trophy Race with Hagerty will feature a sensational field from the World Sportscar Masters Series tackling a 90-minute race on Saturday evening, starting at 8pm. The race is for sports-racing cars from the mid-60s through to 1973 will include a capacity Lola T70s, Ford GT40s, and Chevron B16s.

But it is not just the cars that will bring Le Mans heritage to Silverstone, as at least a dozen drivers competing in the Silverstone Classic have Le Mans experience spanning 40 years.

Alec Poole will race an MGB in the Gentleman Drivers race; 1968 Le Mans in an Austin Healey Sprite.

Mike Wilds will race a Porsche 962 in the Group C race; 1988 Le Mans in a Nissan R88C.

Jonathan Baker will race a Lola T70Mk3B in the World Sportscar Masters race; in 1994 Le Mans in a De Tomaso.

Christian Glasel will race a McLaren MP4 in the FIA Historic F1 Championship; 1999 Le Mans in a Chrysler Viper.

Gavin Pickering will race a Lotus 20/22 Formula Junior and a Jaguar D Type in the Woodcote Trophy; he competed at Le Mans in 2002, 2003 and 2004 in a Saleen.

Calum Lockie will race a Nissan RC90CK in the Group C race; 2004 Le Mans in a Lola B2K/10.

Bobby Verdon-Roe will race a McLaren M26 in Grand Prix Masters; 2005 Le Mans in a Dallara LMP1.

Bob Berridge will race a Ford Mustang in the Top Hat Masters race; he has competed at Le Mans several times, including in 2008 in a Lola B06/10.

Amanda Stretton will race a Ford Mustang in the Top Hat Masters race; 2008 Le Mans in a Lola B06/10.

Adrian Newey will race a Ford GT40 in the World Sportscar Masters race; in 2007 Le Mans in a Ferrari F430.

Nick Leventis will race the 1959 Le Mans winning Aston Martin DBR1 in the Aston Martin race; 2007 Le Mans in an Aston Martin DBR9.

Bernard de Dryver will race a March 721G in Grand Prix Masters; he competed at Le Mans many times, taking a best result of a magnificent second overall in 1987 at the wheel of a Porsche 962C.

So, for a weekend of Le Mans fever in Northamptonshire, the 2008 Silverstone Classic is the perfect event for fans of sports car racing through the decades.

Event Background

The annual Silverstone Classic festival will be organised and promoted by Motion Works UK Limited (MWUK), the company recently licensed by Silverstone to stage the event for the next five years.

The annual Silverstone Classic is a celebration of motor racing across all decades from the 1920s to the 1990s on a current FIA approved circuit and is not totally historic as it also invites more contemporary races such as Group C, Saloons and late Formula One cars to be raced and seen in their appropriate surroundings. Classic Car Owner Clubs from across the UK and overseas play an important supporting role in recent years with 4,000 cars expected this year. The event Auction remains an important landmark and features such as the Scarf & Goggles meeting area, art & photo galleries, period air displays, funfairs, themed catering, will be retained and enhanced, with new attractions being added over the next few years. 

For more information, ticket prices and the latest news on the 2008 Silverstone Classic visit silverstoneclassic.com