Silverstone Classic to be powered by the AA

The Silverstone Classic is delighted to announce a new partnership with the AA (the Automobile Association). As from 2012 the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival will be known as the ‘Silverstone Classic powered by the AA’.

The multi-year partnership with the UK’s leading breakdown service has significant benefits and synergies and is a logical union between two brands that share a common interest in motoring past, present and future.

Staged at the home of the British Grand Prix, the annual Silverstone Classic is already established as one of the country’s premier automotive attractions. The event has wide family appeal and its central England location – together with Silverstone’s long sporting pedigree and state-of-the-art facilities – make it the ideal venue for show-goers of all generations. In 2011 more than 80,000 people attended the three-day summer festival savouring the very best of historic racing, huge displays of classic cars, a retail village, air displays, fun fair and live music from classic rock bands.

Now the partnership with the AA will not only open up the event to a huge new audience but also add a completely new dimension to what’s already a spectacular and action-packed festival. The 2012 Silverstone Classic powered by the AA (20-22 July) will feature a significant AA attraction centred around Silverstone’s in-field Stowe Circuit based close to the venue’s impressive new Wing pits and paddock complex.

The event will be promoted directly to the AA’s 15 million members and customers who will benefit from a 10 per cent discount on day and weekend entrance tickets.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with the AA in what’s a massively significant new partnership,” confirmed Nick Wigley, Event Director of the Silverstone Classic. “Together we are introducing many more new and interesting innovations right across the festival weekend – not least the chance for visitors to test drive many of the latest models right at the heart of the show. The millions of AA members will also enjoy a wide range of exclusive offers including ticket discounts. We aim to make the Silverstone Classic powered by the AA the biggest and most enjoyable event of any kind in the UK with the focus on classic motor sport, motoring and live music – a must-see event on every family’s summer calendar.”

Edmund King, President of the AA, is equally enthused by this inspiring new venture. He said: “This new partnership is a really exciting opportunity for the AA and our members. We are always looking at innovative ways to add value to AA membership and we believe this event offers a great value day out and the chance to experience a wonderful summer festival for all the family.”

The event organisers have confirmed many of next year’s major attractions. The on-track entertainment will showcase the full spectrum of historic motor sport with huge grids featuring an amazing array of Grand Prix, GT, Le Mans, single-seaters, sports and touring cars spanning more than seven decades of epic circuit racing history. Following the classic theme, the 2012 live music bill will be topped by Adam Ant and Mike and the Mechanics with other high-profile acts to be confirmed.

Full details of the 2012 Silverstone Classic powered by the AA – including information on ‘Early Bird’ ticket offers and a comprehensive selection of on-site camping facilities – are available via the event’s official www.silverstoneclassic.com website. 

The penultimate day featured Tests and picturesque Regularity sections through the Borders, the Lowlands and southern Highlands, before the teams had to charge through a night’s motoring in the North of Scotland. Following an icy start to the morning, the team had their first major setback. Tomas explained: “The car has been running brilliantly, but it did get stuck in a river crossing and we had water up to the knees. We dragged it out with the tow cable and it started again without a problem!”

During day three a couple of Regularities were cancelled due to snow levels and treacherous conditions. Both driver and co-driver were living on borrowed energy, but the BMW 1602 was soon flying through the rain, sleet and snow, moving the team to 4th overall and 1st in class. The last section of the rally marked a 27 hour stint through Gosforth and Lybster, before reaching John O'Groats.

The 1602 team had climbed to third overall, but eventually finished a credible sixth position overall, second in class. The result had helped the collection of BMWs beat Mercedes, Porsche, Triumph and Volvo to the coveted Marques Award.

Having crossed the John O'Groats finish line an exhausted, but enthused Tomas said: “We have to credit the marshals and the support team who worked tirelessly to make the event such a success. This was a really tough edition of LE JOG, with probably 30 percent of the crews having to retire due to mechanical failures, so to get the 1602 to the finish without any hiccups is an incredible achievement. This was my fourth LE JOG entry, and I was previously competing with people around the twenties. To be out there this year battling for a top-10 finish is certainly something I have not experienced before and it was a great feeling to be challenging teams that had been rallying for over twenty years.

“The 1602 performed extremely well. The handling was great for this type of car and it survived the toughest event of its kind in Europe with flying colours. Our mission was to team up with BMW Park Lane Classic to prepare a car that could get to the end, which people could associate with and remember throughout the event. Our blue and white BMW was admired by all. So it has been mission accomplished, one-hundred percent.”

BMW Park Lane Classic has been credited for providing a perfectly prepared BMW 1602 for LE JOG.  The car will now be used for HERO’s popular ‘Arrive and Drive’ hire service for future events.

Toby Partridge, Managing Director of BMW Park Lane, commented: “Finding parts and preparing a car like the 1602 is exactly what we do as part of the BMW Park Lane Classic service. We wanted a challenge and it certainly does not get any tougher than the LE JOG.  The whole team at BMW Park Lane Classic has been involved with this restoration project in some shape or form, so we are all extremely proud of how well the BMW 1602 performed. We have to praise Tomas and Catherine for their incredible performance. The result is perfect testament to both the quality of BMW’s iconic classic cars and the levels of expertise on offer through BMW Park Lane Classic that can help customers bring a BMW car back to its former glory.”