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Silverstone Classic to field 110 Grand Prix race cars

by Paul Duchene
6 July 2011 3 min read
Silverstone Classic to field 110 Grand Prix race cars
Participants vie for the lead during a previous Silverstone Classic. This year's event will feature the largest-ever gathering of Grand Prix cars.

In the biggest gathering of Grand Prix cars ever seen, the 2011 Silverstone Classic has attracted more than 100 cars from six decades of motor-racing history to the three-day race weekend on 22-24 July. They’ll compete in six of the weekend’s 22 races, but the entire entry list will total more than 800 racing cars. And if that’s not enough excitement, 100 car clubs will bring around 6,000 collectible cars to the meet.

Other race classes will include the Jaguar E-Type competition group, celebrating the model’s 50th anniversary; Touring Cars, recreating saloon battles from the 1960s; Italian Historic Cup; World Sports Car Masters; and of course the Celebrity Race, where most stars show they’d better not give up their day job, while a few will really surprise the crowd. 

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A 32-car field for the Silverstone Classic Trophy for Grand Prix Masters will relive the 1970s and early 1980s of the Cosworth DFV engine era. Produced in nearby Northampton, the DFV revolutionised motor racing and made Grand Prix racing affordable to a host of new teams. These iconic cars were raced by World Champions such as Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Hagerty offers Silverstone Classic discount   

Hagerty is pleased to offer a 10 percent discount on adult tickets to the Silverstone Classic for Hagerty clients and friends.

To claim the discount, visit http://silverstoneclassic.com/tickets/ and enter the discount code SC11HIN.

Hurry – the deal expires July 15.

This was also the era when sponsorship colors vividly illuminated Formula 1 and every car on the Silverstone grid runs in period livery like Yardley, Marlboro and John Player Special. Each car has a history, and key entries include the ex-Nigel Mansell Lotus 92 (raced by Roger Wills), the ex-Mario Andretti Lotus 79 (Chris Locke) and the ex-Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren M23 (Richard Meins).

Representing another revolution will be nearly 50 cars in the Silverstone Classic Trophy for HGPCA Pre-1966 Rear Engine Grand Prix Cars. These machines hark back to the time when the rear-engined Coopers and Lotuses turned racing car design on its head and ran away from much larger front-engined opponents.

This was the era of Jim Clark, Graham Hill and John Surtees and one of the star cars racing at the Silverstone Classic is the Lotus 25 that Clark used to dominate the 1963 World Championship. Nearly 50 years later this car is still racing and will be driven by former touring car racer Andy Middlehurst.

The Lotus 21 that brought Colin Chapman’s team its first Grand Prix win will be driven by another Lotus aficionado, Dan Collins. The earlier 18 was the car that started the rear-engined era for Lotus and famous examples include those raced by Sir John Chisholm (ex-Jim Clark) and Paul Smeeth (ex-John Surtees). Meanwhile, the sensational engine note of the 1500cc V-8 Climax engine in Mark Piercy’s ex-John Surtees Lola Mk4 will be a treat for race fans.

Another exciting field will contest the Silverstone Classic Trophy for HGPCA Pre-1961 Front Engine GP Cars. These cars, in some cases dating back to the 1930s, herald the early days of Silverstone and cover the era when Ferrari scored its first Grand Prix win, 60 years ago at Silverstone on 14 July 1951 in the hands of Froilan Gonzalez.

One of the most glorious cars in action will be the Ferrari Dino of Tony Smith, in which Phil Hill scored the final Grand Prix victory for a front-engined car at Monza in 1960. The Ferrari will be challenged by front-engined Lotus 16s and the rare Scarab from North America driven by Julian Bronson, which will be racing for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The 1950s race will match Aston Martin, BRM, Maserati, Cooper, Talbot, Alta and Gordini, while the 1930s ERAs recall the time when the small British manufacturer took on the might of German technology. Mac Hulbert and Mark Gillies will battle against the best of the 1950s cars in their ERAs, while the car of Charles McCabe is the ERA that journalist John Bolster flipped over at Silverstone in the 1949 British Grand Prix.

“The lineup of Grand Prix cars for the 2011 Silverstone Classic is nothing short of sensational – we will have more than four times the number of F1 cars than will be racing at the British Grand Prix,” said event director Nick Wigley. “Nowhere else can visitors see so many Formula 1 cars racing on one weekend and see the development of Grand Prix cars from 1930 right through into the 1980s.”

For more information, visit http://silverstoneclassic.com.

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