The racing career of the late David Leslie will be celebrated during the Silverstone Classic (25/26/27 July) as a display of significant cars from his 30-year motor sport history take centre stage in the main paddock area.
Leslie, one of Britain's most popular and respected racing drivers, died in the Biggin Hill aircraft accident at the end of March at the age of 54 when en route to a test session in France ahead of competing in the FIA GT3 Championship.
As well as the display of cars, David will also be remembered in the 90-minute Group C race that brings the curtain down on Sunday's programme. The David Leslie Memorial Trophy race will be contested by a field of 35 cars from the Group C era, a period when David raced regularly at Le Mans.
The six-car display will flank the entry to the Drivers' Club, which will be sited in the main Jimmy Brown Centre above the pit garages. The cars will range from the Royale RP24 Formula Ford 1600 in which he first came to prominence in 1976, through Le Mans cars to Touring Cars and the BMW M3 that took David to his final race win.
The cars on show will be:
Royale RP24 FF1600
This is the car that first brought the young David to prominence in 1977 and a car that was later bought back, restored in the garage at home near Banbury and raced for fun over the last three seasons.
Through 1986 and 1987 David and the Ecurie Ecosse team, headed by Ray Mallock, enjoyed great success in the C2 category of the World Sportscar Championship. In 1986 the team won the title and in 1987 David and Ray finished second in the drivers' standings.
David competed at Le Mans ten times during his career, taking a best result of eighth overall in 1987 with the Ecosse. In 1990 he raced for Tom Walkinshaw's Jaguar team in one of three works-backed XJR9s.
In 1999 David finished second to Laurent Aiello in the BTCC, having been central to the development of the Nissan Primera into a front-running car.
BMW M3 E36
On Saturday 22 March 2008 David raced this BMW M3 in the two-hour Britcar race at Silverstone and scored a famous victory in what would prove to be his last 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