As many as twenty female racers will compete in the Silverstone Classic (25/26/27 July) as some of the finest historic racing cars in Europe are put through their paces on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
The biggest female presence will be in the BRDC 500 Trophy for pre-war sports cars, when five women contest the hour-long two-driver race. Rachel Singer (Bentley 3-litre) and Tania Pilkington (Alfa Romeo 6C) will race against the MGs of Tanya Lewis and Jane Metcalfe, while the Riley Sprite to be driven by Mags Diffey should be one of the fastest cars in the field.
However, the fastest woman racing over the weekend will surely be Swiss racer Andrea Bahlsen in her Tyrrell 008 Grand Prix car. She will race the 180mph single-seater in two races for the FIA Historic Formula One Championship, competing directly against her husband Hubertus. The same applies to Judy Lyons in the Grand Prix Masters races when she drives her 1971 Surtees TS9 in the same races as her husband Frank (McLaren M26).
As well as racing in the BRDC 500, Tania Pilkington will also race a Cooper T45 in the HGPCA Pre '66 Grand Prix Car race, while Jane Varley (Ruddington, Notts) will contest two races; the Aston Martin Trophy race in a 1938 Aston Martin Speed Model and the Woodcote Trophy in a 1952 Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica.
For sheer bravado, however, few can match Pia Bianchi who will switch from her regular classic MGB sports car to share the thundering 6.4-litre Farrallac Allard sports-racing car of 1958 vintage. Banbury-based Pia will partner her husband Tony in the Woodcote Trophy race in one of her first race outings in the brutish Farrallac.
Four women are on the entry list for the HSCC Road Sports races, including racing newcomer Rachel Watts (Lotus Elan), Rebecca Ruff (Porsche 912), Louise Kennedy (Lancia Fulvia) and Christina Totty (TVR 3000M). Meanwhile, Sarah Bennett-Baggs (Porsche 911SC) competes in the Porsche races and Amanda Stretton (Ford Mustang) and Roz Shaw (Alfa Romeo Giulia) will contest the Top Hat Masters Pre '66 Saloon Car race.
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