Fans and competitors flock back to world class historic racing festival
Friday qualifying for 21 retro races on the famous Silverstone Grand Prix track
Slowly Sideways wins the coveted Mervyn Garton ‘Scarf and Goggles’ award.
Live coverage on the event’s YouTube channel
The Classic is back! Twenty four months after the curtain came down in 2019, the world’s biggest retro racing has bounced back in record breaking style.
Fuelled by two years of pent up demand, the three day festival staged at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, has attracted both record ticket sales and record grids.
Kicking off three days of epic track action, Friday’s non-stop programme featured more than ten hours of exciting qualifying sessions, setting the all-important grid positions for the weekend’s packed programme of 21 star-studded races. Adding to the challenge, many of these sessions were staged on a tricky damp Grand Prix circuit.
Standout performers in the wet included two-time Le Mans class winner Emmanuel Collard taking pole position in his 2008 Porsche RS Spyder among the Masters Endurance Legends and Michael Lyons eclipsing all comers in his 1981 Ensign N180B to take top spot on the grid for the first of two Murray Walker Memorial Trophy for Masters Historic Formula One races.
Full results from all qualifying sessions are available from The Classic’s website: www.silverstone.co.uk/events/the-classic.
Away from the busy circuit, a record turn-out of car club members were already revved up displaying thousands of much-loved classics from yesteryear, while the supercar wrapping kings Yiannimize were entertaining visitors of all ages on the Village Green stage The Classic’s new lubricant partner Motul was close by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world’s first fully synthetic motor oil – Motul 300V – and also launching a new oil for the classic car market.
In what at times was rallying weather, it was perhaps no surprise that Slowly Sideways was awarded the coveted Mervyn Garton ‘Scarf and Goggles’ Award for the best off-track visitor attraction. Its dramatic demos of legendary rally cars proving to be a great attraction in the slippery conditions.
Named in honour of one of The Classic’s founding fathers – the late Mervyn Garton – the annual award was presented by his widow, Janet.
She was delighted with the decision: “Given the uncertainty of this year, it’s wonderful to see so many displays of such quality and so many things to keep people entertained throughout the weekend It’s an extremely close call but with so many owners bringing so many wonderful cars, this year Slowly Sideways got the vote.”
Looking ahead, Saturday’s 12-race programme starts with the first of two Historic Formula Junior Races at 9am and concludes when no fewer than 61 sports cars from the 1950s race into the sunset in the combined Royal Automobile Club Woodcote and Stirling Moss Trophies.
Other highlights during the amazing 12-hour day include the Pre-War BRDC 500 for Bentleys, Aston Martins, Fraser Nashes and other early icons from the 1920s and 1930s, the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy for Pre-’63 GT cars and the Yokohama Trophy for Masters Historic Sports Cars.
“It’s so wonderful to see The Classic back and putting big smiles on faces of all those here at Silverstone,” enthused Nick Wigley, CEO of The Classic promoter Goose Live Events. “There’s nothing quite like the wonderful sights and sounds of all these amazing machines to refresh everyone’s passion for this very special weekend.”
Although admission is by advance tickets only, some returned tickets are available over the weekend for those not wanting to miss The Classic. Alternatively, those isolating at home or living abroad can catch all the on- and off-track thrills as they happens by tuning into the event’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/silverstoneclassic.