BTCC greats attend ....

Anniversary Celebrations at Silverstone

Past  Champions  and  legends  from  the  British  Touring  Car  Championship  (BTCC)  were  at  Silverstone  to  celebrate  the  50th,  60th  and  80th  anniversaries  of  the  BTCC,  Silverstone  and  British  Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) respectively.

The anniversary celebrations, which took place during Silverstone’s round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship, involved a host of BTCC stars being reunited with some of the iconic cars that have graced the championship during its illustrious 50 year history.

The  historic  Northamptonshire  circuit  was  also  celebrating  a  milestone  anniversary  of  its  own  –  2008 marking 60 years since Silverstone hosted the first-ever Grand Prix in 1948 – while the BRDC, of which many of the attending BTCC legends are members, was also celebrating its 80th Anniversary.

Former BTCC Champions who attended the festivities included Jack Sears – winner of the inaugural 1958 British Saloon Car Championship, as it was known back then; 1961 Champion, Sir John Whitmore; 1965 Champion,  Roy  Pierpoint;  three  time  Champion  Bill  McGovern  –  1970  to  1972  inclusive;  Richard Longman –  Champion in 1978 and 1979; Andy Rouse – winner of a record 60 races and four BTCC titles (1975, and 1983-1985 inclusive); and Chris Hodgetts – ’86 and ’87 Champion. The Champions were also joined by a host of BTCC legends such as Jackie Oliver, Gordon Spice, Jeff Allam, Martin Thomas and Tony Dron, taking part in ‘Meet and Greet’ sessions with the race day crowd, and  jumping  behind  the  wheel  of  the  iconic  classic  BTCC  cars  for  a  celebratory  Parade  Lap  around Silverstone’s National Circuit. In  addition  to  the  anniversary  celebrations,  and  despite  the  inclement  weather,  a  27,000  strong  crowd enjoyed three titanic battles in each of the BTCC races.

Jason Plato won Race 1, with Fabrizio Giovanardi winning Race 2 and BRDC Superstar Mat Jackson Race 3. However, the biggest winner on the day was possibly Italian driver Giovanardi, who tightened his grip on the 2008 Championship. Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, commented,

 “We have had a fantastic weekend  of  celebrations,  both  on  and  off  the  track.  It  was  great  to  see  the  British  Touring  Car Championship back at the Home of British Motor Racing, and our shorter National Circuit produced its fair share of action and drama for the fans.” Speaking about the anniversary celebrations, Phillips added, “I would like to thank all of the drivers and car owners for their tremendous support today. It was fantastic to see so many legends and cars in the same place at the same time. “

"Celebrating  three  milestone  anniversaries  was  always  going  to  make  this  a  special  weekend  and  the atmosphere certainly lived up to expectations. The fans loved having the opportunity to meet the drivers - many  of  whom  are  Members  of  the  BRDC,  and  all  have  extremely  fond  memories  of  racing  here  at Silverstone.  They  are  all  part  of  the  circuit’s  rich  heritage  and  today  has  been  a  perfect  tribute  to  the BTCC, Silverstone and the BRDC”.