News from the Silverstone Classic

Lockie on home ground

Calum Lockie, who lives at Little Preston just ten miles form Silverstone, is relishing the chance to race a Group C Nissan RC90K in the 90-minute David Leslie Memorial Trophy race on Sunday afternoon.  Lockie, a former British GT champion, is sharing the car of Peter Sowerby this season and is realising a life-time ambition by racing the 200mph Le Mans-type car from 1990.

“It’s an amazing car to drive and I’m very privileged to get the chance to race the Nissan,” said Lockie as they gave the car a shakedown run during Thursday’s exclusive test sessions.

Ex-Graham Hill F1 car returns

The Silverstone Classic will mark the return to racing of a Grand Prix car last raced by Graham Hill 35 years ago. Daryl Taylor has acquired the Shadow DN1 that Hill raced during the 1973 season and will give the rebuilt car its first race this weekend at Silverstone.  “We bought it towards the end of last year in America and it’s been quite a project,” said Somerset-based Taylor. “It had been stored in the States and, apart from a few demonstration runs, hadn’t been used since Graham Hill raced it in 1973.

“I’ll be the first person other than Graham Hill to race the car. It is quite an honour. I could probably have bought cheaper or more competitive cars, but I’d never have had the chance to buy something like that again.”

Revson Brabham back in period livery

Among a capacity entry of Lolas, Chevrons, Ford GT40s and Ferraris will be the lone Brabham BT8 of American racer Jeff Lewis. The 2.5-litre Coventry Climax powered car from 1965 was first raced by American Grand Prix racer Peter Revson and is making its debut back in period livery.

The Brabham is based in Europe with preparation experts Hall and Hall in Lincolnshire and has been re-prepared over the winter back in the original colour scheme when Revson raced it 43 years ago. It will race this weekend in the 90-minute Denis Hulme Trophy race on Saturday evening, running as car 52, just as it did when Revson raced it.

Pearson’s 10-car squad

Local racer and preparation ace Gary Pearson is fielding 10 cars in the racing this weekend at Silverstone and is responsible for another five cars on display. Fortunately, Pearson Engineering is only based in Northampton, so the logistics of getting so many cars to the circuit is not too bad.

Of the 10 race cars, seven of them are Jaguars, with three D-Types, two E-Types, a C-Type and a Lister Jaguar. Making up the impressive array of cars under the team’s awning is a Cooper Bobtail, a Lola T70 and a Ferrari 750 Monza.

Gary is also racing several of the cars, including two of the rare and incredibly valuable D-Types, while his brother John is also racing several of the cars including his own E-Type.

Watson’s Mini hope

Mini Cooper racer Tim Watson is hoping for better fortune at Silverstone this weekend than on his last two race outings with his pre ’66 1300cc Cooper, following troubled weekends at Monza in Italy and Dijon in France. “We’ve done 3000 miles and three racing laps,” said Tim as he prepared for testing ahead of the Historic Saloon car race at the Silverstone Classic.

Last year the car never missed a beat,” said the Leicester-based racer. “So far this year we’ve done two engines, a gearbox and a clutch.” Watson will share the Mini with his former Ford Fiesta racing rival Roger Ebdon.

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.