The Silverstone Classic 2019 was held 26-28 July at the 3.6-mile Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire, England. The 29th annual historic race welcomed a record crowd of 109,000 enthusiasts to witness a field of more than 1,000 race cars over the three-day festival.
From FIA Masters Historic Formula One machinery and Masters Endurance Legends from recent decades right back to the early pioneers from the dawn of Le Mans back in the 1920s, this year’s Silverstone Classic featured a packed 21-race program harking back to yesteryear across three days of track action.
Following the opening 12 races on ‘Super Saturday’, there was yet another packed day of racing on Sunday. The final day’s on-track headlines arguably belonged to Steve Hartley in the ex-John Watson McLaren MP4/1 — the car in which ‘Wattie’ famously raced from 17th on the grid to the top step of the podium in the inaugural Detroit Grand Prix back in 1982. It was a scene of yesteryear as Hartley’s red and white McLaren went toe-to-toe with the Williams FW07C of Mike Cantillon, the former eventually won the closely fought Sir Jackie Stewart Trophy for FIA Masters Historic Formula One contest by just 0.382 seconds.
Another famous Formula 1 rivalry was renewed in the Gallet Trophy for Pre-1966 Grand Prix Cars as old adversaries Lotus and Brabham turned back the clock. Sam Wilson in the Lotus 18 beat Jon Fairley’s Brabham BT11/19 to take overall honours.
Further exciting duels followed in the International Trophy for Classic GT Cars (Pre-1966) as a couple of Cobras eventually got the better of two Jaguar E-types. It was Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie who won the showdown in their Shelby Daytona Cobra from the AC Cobra Daytona Coupe of David and Oliver Hart.
Tin top cars and stars were also out in force during the Historic Touring Car Challenge, which Ford machinery — the most successful marque in BTCC history — fittingly dominated. Michael Lyons cruised to victory in his Spa 24 Hours-winning Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500, whilst Craig Davies stole second on the final corner in an identical machine. That meant Steve Dance had to settle for the final step on the rostrum overall, but he was further rewarded with the Gordon Spice Trophy as the highest placed Ford Capri finisher. The Capri celebrations continued with a special 50th anniversary parade during the lunch break.
The jam-packed HSCC Historic Formula 2 field produced an exciting race as Martin O’Connell bounced back from a last lap spin in Saturday’s lead tussle to win the wet/dry challenge in style.
Jonathan Kennard proved to be one of the drivers of the weekend as he took his and Mike Cantillon’s Pescarolo LMP1 to two victories in the Yokohama Trophy for FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars. Kennard and Cantillon went wheel-to-wheel with Le Mans podium finisher Emmanuel Collard to win Saturday evening’s race, but the duo completely dominated Sunday’s affair.
The Mini Celebration Trophy provided a fitting end to a weekend which had begun with Paddy Hopkirk leading a 60th anniversary parade of Minis, driving his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally winning Cooper S. It was current BTCC star Adam Morgan who had the final say by claiming victory in his Morris Mini Cooper S.
This year’s award for the Most Admired Racing Car was won by the stunning flat-12 cylinder 1965 Ferrari 1512 as raced by Joe Colasacco in the pair of races for the Gallet Trophy for Pre-1966 Grand Prix Cars. Graham presented the trophy to Larry Auriana, the Italian/American owner of the F1 icon.
“The Classic lived up to its ‘Rocking and Racing’ billing — the cars were the stars and all the families had brilliant fun,” said Nick Wigley, Silverstone Classic CEO. “The race programme was the most varied yet and the Mini races in particular will live long in the memory. In truth, the entire race programme has been extraordinary both in terms of great cars and exceptional driving skills.”
Similar to 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, Sports Car Digest also documented the Silverstone Classic 2019 with Jakob Ebrey’s following images from the 29th edition of the “World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival”.
Silverstone Classic 2019 – Photo Gallery (photos: Jakob Ebrey Photography)
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[Source: Silverstone Classic; photos: Jakob Ebrey Photography]