The Silverstone Classic 2013 will be staged 26-28 July at the famous Silverstone circuit in England. This year’s event includes an action-packed programme of 24 races spanning eight decades of motorsport history.
Already established as the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival, the line-up for the 2013 Silverstone Classic features all the popular historic Formula One, Sports Car, GT and Touring Car grids that produced such close racing last year, in addition to three more grids to be announced in the coming weeks.
As the home of the British Grand Prix and birthplace of the FIA Formula One World Championship, Silverstone is a great venue to celebrate F1 history and more than 100 Grand Prix cars from many of the sport’s golden eras are expected at this year’s races.
The Historic Grand Prix Cars Association (HGPCA) will bring packed grids for both pre-1961 and pre-1966 F1 cars that revisit five decades of technical rivalries from the Bugattis of the 1920s, through the Maseratis and Ferraris of the 1950s to the dawn of the rear-engine epoch in the early 1960s when British-based constructors such as Brabham, Cooper and Lotus came to the fore.
Grand Prix Masters puts the spotlight on the following generation of DFV-powered F1 cars, reliving a decade of GP racing from 1968 to 1978 as well as the rise of many of the British teams including Brabham, Lotus, McLaren, Tyrrell and Williams. Adding to the spectacle and rekindling many memories, all these renowned racers compete in familiar period liveries.
The comprehensive single-seater bill features two more grids. Races for Historic Formula Junior and the combined F5000/F2 class were among last summer’s many highlights and both make welcome returns this July. All five of these open-wheeler categories are in race action twice at the Classic with a showdown each during both Saturday’s and Sunday’s busy schedules.
Harking back to what many believe were the halcyon days of the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours event, no fewer than five sportscar and GT grids are also on the 2013 Silverstone Classic bill.
The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy features post-war sports-racers up to the end of 1955, with victory last year going to the hard-charging Jaguar D-type of brothers John and Gary Pearson. The Stirling Moss Trophy stars slightly more modern pre-1961 sportscars with Lister Jaguars, Cooper Monacos and Maserati T61 Birdcages often to the fore while the World Sportscar Masters covers an era from the mid-1960s up to 1974, boasting entrants as the Porsche 917, Ferrari 512 and Lola T70.
Moving the clock forward to the 1980s are the Group C prototypes that once again will race into dusk on Saturday evening. Last year’s entry featured machinery from Jaguar, Mercedes, Peugeot and Porsche as well as a trio of Ferrari-engined Lancia LC2s. An even stronger line-up is promised for 2013.
Meanwhile Aston Martin will aim for a famous hat-trick of wins in the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars. Run for Pre-63 GT cars, victory in 2011 went to an Aston Martin DB4GT shared by Stuart Graham and Richard Attwood while last year’s encounter was won by Wolfgang Friedrichs and David Clark in the Aston Martin Project DP212.
The Silverstone Classic 2013 also honours the best of saloon car racing history with two grids already confirmed. The first is for Under 2-Litre Touring Cars with a full 58-car field of battling Lotus Cortinas, BMW 1800 Tis, Alfa Romeo GTAs and Mini Coopers from the pre-1966 era. The second is another Silverstone Classic success story. Last year’s event staged a new tin-top showdown for Group A and Super Touring cars from the 1980s and 1990s. It was such a hit with competitors and fans alike that the category not only returns 12 months on but also has spawned a new series, to be run by the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC).
“It all adds up to another incredible line-up of races that put the spotlight on so much fantastic racing history…and we have another three grids still to announce,” commented Nick Wigley, event director. “With more than 1000 entries, the Silverstone Classic is now not only the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival but also the largest race meeting staged anywhere on the globe. It may sound clichéd but, hand on heart and given some of the announcements yet to come, this summer’s looks like being the most successful yet.”
To house so much motorsport history, the event will again fill both Silverstone’s National and new Wing pits and paddock complexes. The non-stop racing schedule, organised by the HSCC, is staged on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit with many races expecting fully subscribed 58-car grids.
Adding to the 2013 Silverstone Classic, all tickets give free access to both racing paddocks as well as trackside grandstands and live music concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Those booking before the end of March can take full advantage of special ‘Early Bird’ prices with adult tickets starting from just £30 (plus fees). Considerable savings are on offer for festival goers spending the full weekend at Silverstone and special packages for car clubs and their members are also available.
For additional information, visit www.silverstoneclassic.com.
[Source: Silverstone Classic; photos: Tim Scott]