Photo of traffic on M40 near Lewknor, Oxfordshire
FROM THE DRIVING SEAT

Home

Photo

Galleries

Classic Events

On Road

Media

Books,

reviews & more

About Us

Projects

Links

Pete ’n Jerry’s

jwarthog.com

archived site

Contact

Ferrari 250GT 'Breadvan' at speed during the 2017 Silverstone Classic RAC Tourist Trophy race. Driven by Lukas snd Martin Halusa.

SILVERSTONE CLASSIC 2017

Record-breaking turnout for the world's greatest classic racing event

All photos: © Peter Osborne

Ferrari 250GT 'Breadvan' of Lukas and Martin Halusa took the chequered flag in Sunday's RAC Tourist Trophy race, only to be handed a retrospective 45 second penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

A weekend of sunshine and showers did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the 100,000 spectators who packed the Northamptonshire circuit for the annual festival of ‘Rocking and Racing’ that is the Silverstone Classic.

With a packed programme of 22 races, featuring cars from over eight decades of motorsport; parade laps featuring McLarens, Jaguar XJ220s; high-speed demos by Williams F1 and World GP Bike Legends; together with incredible off-track entertainment, the weekend offered something for everyone.

Hare chasing Formula Junior car at Silverstone Classic 2017Hare fails to catch Formula Junior fieldSaturday’s racing kicked off at 9:00am with Historic Formula Juniors – much to the surprise of the hare that, startled by the noise, suddenly emerged from the tyre barrier at The Loop and looked for a minute as though it was going to join in!

Sam Wilson (Lotus 20/22) and Andrew Hibberd (Lotus 22). Commander Yorke Trophy Formula Junior race, Silverstob[ne Classic, July 29 2017Sam Wilson (left) and Andrew HibberdSam Wilson in a Lotus 20/22 out ran his competitors (and the hare) on a track still slippy from overnight rain to clinch the Formula Junior victory from Andrew Hibberd in second place. The hare by the way was unharmed and eventually found its way back behind the barrier.

The 1/2 pairing of Wilson/Hibberd was repeated in the second Formula Junior race later on Saturday.

Tiff Needell driving 1971 Lotus 69F in Formula Ford race, Silverstone Classic 2017Tiff NeedellThe following Historic Formula Ford race (in the 50th year of the series) was notable for the presence of ex Top Gear and Fifth Gear presenter Tiff Needell in his 1971 Lotus 69F,  a car in which he first raced in 1980 after winning it in a competition organised by Autosport magazine. No such luck in this race as he qualified 20th on the grid, with eventual winner Michael O’Brien taking the flag in his Merlyn Mk20A, repeating the win in the second Formula Ford race on Sunday.

Lotus 15 and D-Type Jaguar, Stirling Moss Trophy race, Silverstone Classic, July 29 2017Rob Barff (Left) follows D Type through Farm CurvePole-sitter Oliver Bryant's Lotus 15 was beaten off the line by Chris Ward (Lister Costin) in the Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre ’61 Sports Cars. Ward then dominated the race, with Rob Barff (Lotus 15) taking second place after hard-charging Bryant retired.

Nyquist/Kjallgren Mini Cooper in John Fitzpatrick Trophy raceUnder 2-litre touring cars are always fun to watch, with wheel-lifting Minis and over-steering Ford Lotus Cortinas – and the John Fitzpatrick trophy race on Saturday didn't disappoint. Pole man Steve Soper (Ford Lotus Cortina) looked in line for the win until a late spin gifted the lead, and the race victory, to the similarly-mounted Mark Sumpter.

Gareth Burnett, Talbot 105The Kidston Trophy race for pre-war sports cars saw a mighty tussle between Gareth Burnett in the 1931 Talbot 105 and the pole-sitting Wakeman/Blakeney-Edwards 1928 Frazer Nash, which ended in the Talbot’s favour by just 0.162s.

 

 

 

Williams FW14B domonstration laps at 2017 Silverstone ClassicSaturday's lunch-time diversions saw high-speed demos by World GP Bike Riders including: Wayne Gardener, Freddie Spencer, Didier De Radigues, Niggi Schmassman, Freddie Sheene (son of Barry), Steve Parrish, Maria Costello and Remy Gardner. Plus demonstration laps by Nigel Mansell's 1992 Championship winning Williams FW14B, this being Williams’ 40th year in Formula One and 25 years since Mansell’s British GP win.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Jaguar XJ220 over 40 examples took to the track for a parade lap, headed by the three cars that competed in the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1993.

 

 

 

 

 

The main event of the day, the FIA Masters Historic Formula One race, had newcomer Jonathan Kennard (who had never raced an F1 car before) on pole in the gold Warsteiner Arrows A3. Although he led from the start, Kennard eventually was passed by a charging Nick Padmore in the Williams FW07C and had to settle for second.

Austin A35 driven by Tiff Needell in Celebrity race at Silverstone Classic 2017For a complete contrast qualifying for the Celebrity Challenge race in Austin A30/35s followed, after which we had to leave although racing continued into the (very wet) evening; but we returned  on Sunday to another full programme, including the RAC Tourist Trophy.

Early leader James Cottingham in the DK Engineering E-Type was overhauled by Lucas Halusa in the Ferrari 250GT ‘Breadvan’, who then held a comfortable lead and, despite an unexplained loss of time late in the race, took the chequered flag ahead of the rapid Simon Hadfield who brought the Aston Martin DP212 up through the field from 17th to take second place from Patrick Blakeney-Edwards’ Cobra in sight of the flag.

Jaguar E-Type (driver James Cottingham) leads Ferrari 250GT ‘Breadvan’ driven by Lukas Halusa.Halusa’s victory was short-lived however as a 45 second penalty for exceeding the pitlane speed limit relegated the Ferrari to fifth and handed the win to Hadfield.

Cars rounding Luffiled corner during the RAC Woodcote Trophy race, Silverstone Classic 2017Blakeney-Edwards put in another stellar performance in the following race – the RAC Woodcote Trophy for pre ’56 Sports Cars – with a win in the 1955 Cooper T38 shared with Frederic Wakeman, taking the lead from the Pearson brothers D-type during the pit stops.

As John Pearson fell back in the closing stages of the race, second place was taken from him by Chris Ward in the JD Classics Cooper Jaguar T33.

 

 

The second Historic F1 race of the weekend saw Michael Lyons (1980 Williams FW07B) take the win from Nick Padmore (1981 Williams FW07C) and Jonathan Kennard (Arrows A3). Both races were therefore won by a Williams FW07 – the same car that gave Williams their first GP win here at Silverstone in 1979.

As on Saturday the following event was a complete contrast with the A30/35 owner/drivers taking their cars out for the second part of the Celebrity Challenge – the first part with actual celebrities having been run late on Saturday in very wet conditions with a probably predictable red flag result.

James Colburn (121) and Jonathan LewisA three-way battle for the lead developed between James Colburn, Jonathan Lewis and Mike Jordan, with Jordan coming out on top at the end and the pursuing pair separated by just 0.002 seconds.

Both Celebrity Challenge races helped the event to raise a very significant amount of money for the Classic’s official charity partner Prostate Cancer UK, and once the results were combined, it was the Bike Legends team that won.

For Jaguar enthusiasts the new Jaguar Classic Challenge was a must-watch with hordes of E-Types mixing it up with other Jaguar models from XK150s to Mk.1 and Mk.2 saloons.

Julian Thomas, low-drag E-TypeThe low-drag E-Type of Julian Thomas stole an early lead but a technical problem caused him to drop back down the field and eventually retire. Victory finally went to Gary Pearson from the fast-finishing James Dodd, both in E-Types.

The FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race was a ding-dong (literally) battle which ended under the safety car with many damaged vehicles around the circuit.

 

Chevron B19 and Lola T70 lead filed at the start of the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race, Silverstone Classic 2017.Chevron and Lola T70 lead the field at start of FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars raceThird man on the grid Martin O'Connell (Chevron B19) made a superb start to lead from pole sitter Paul Gibson (Lola T70), who battled with Nick Padmore for second until they touched, sending Padmore into the barriers.

Gibson and O'Connell then battled for the lead until a puncture ended Gibson’s challenge. After the safety car was deployed 9 minutes from the end O'Connell was assured of the win.

Pre-1966 GP Cars – Ian Farley (11) laps Michel Baudinon way to the race winThe last race before the rain came on Sunday was the Maserati Trophy for pre-1966 Grand Prix Cars. Motor Sport Magazine Driver of the Weekend Sam Wilson (three wins from four starts), and winner of Saturday’s pre-’66 race, was on pole for this one in the Lotus 18 and straight into a thrilling race-long battle with Jon Fairley, resolved in Fairley’s favour at the flag.

With the advent of heavy rain we decided it was time to head for home, so we missed the Group C race and the JET Super Touring Car Trophy, both of which by all accounts were exciting if somewhat damp.

Another fantastic weekend of classic racing, plus the opportunity to ogle many interesting and unusual cars on the infield car club displays, according to the organisers around 10,000 of them! Can’t wait for next year’s Classic which looks like being slightly earlier in 2018 – provisional date July 20-22, so put the date in your diaries now.

Peter Osborne

 

For more of our photos from this year’s Classic see HERE

 

Highlights of this year’s event, presented by Tiff Needell, will be shown on ITV4 at 8:00pm on Thursday, 10 August.

 

SATURDAY RACE RESULTS:

 

Commander Yorke Trophy for Historic Formula Junior

 1 Sam Wilson (Lotus20/22) 8 laps (87.09mph)

 2 Andrew Hibberd (Lotus 22) +28.499s

 3 Westie Mitchell (De Tomaso 63) +33.841s

 

Formula Ford 50 presented by Historic Motorsport International

 1 Michael O’Brien (Merlyn Mk20A) 9 laps (92.21mph)

 2 Ed Thurston (Elden Mk8) +1.813s

 3 Max Bartell (Merlyn Mk20A) +2.003s

 

Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre ’61 Sports Cars

 1 Chris Ward (Lister Costin) 20 laps (86.74mph)

 2 Rob Barff (Lotus 15) +14.251s

 3 Richard Kent (Lister Costin Jaguar) +24.043s

 

John Fitzpatrick Trophy for Under 2 Litre Touring Cars

 1 Mark Sumpter (Ford Lotus Cortina) 19 laps (82.16mph)

 2 Ambrogio Perfetti/Augusto Perfetti (Ford Lotus Cortina) +38.596s

 3 Karl Jones/Chris Ward (Ford Lotus Cortina) +39.183s

 

Kidston Trophy for Pre War Sports Cars

 1 Gareth Burnett (Talbot 105) 12 laps (62.94mph)

 2 Frederic Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Frazer Nash Super Sports) +0.162s

 3 Charles Gillett/Eddie Williams (Frazer Nash TT Rep) +6.211s

 

Commander Yorke Trophy for Historic Formula Junior (Race 2)

 1 Sam Wilson (Lotus20/22) 9 laps (92.74mph)

 2 Andrew Hibberd (Lotus 22) +4.428s

 3 Timothy De Silva (Brabham BT2) +23.629s

 

FIA Masters Historic Formula One

 1 Nick Padmore (Williams FW07C) 11 laps (116.10mph)

 2 Jonathan Kennard (Arrows A3) +2.502s

 3 Michael Lyons (Williams FW07B) +3.193s

 

Maserati Trophy for HGPCA Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars

 1 Sam Wilson (Lotus 18 372) 9 laps (93.37mph)

 2 Jon Fairley (Brabham BT11/19) +3.966s

 3 William Nuthall (Cooper T53) +7.575s

 

JET Super Touring Car Trophy

 1 Jason Minshaw (Volvo S40) 8 laps (95.32mph)

 2 Jon Minshaw (Audi A4) +31.540s

 3 Dave Jarman (Nissan Primera) +36.210s

 

Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge Trophy (Pro Class)

 1 Steve Soper (Austin A35) 3 laps (57.63mph)

 2 Martin Donnelly (Austin A35) +1.568s

 3 Mark Blundell (Austin A35) +2.003s

 

Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge Trophy (Amateur Class)

 1 Neil Primrose (Austin A35) 3 laps (56.68mph)

 2 Tony Jardine (Austin A30) +3.048s

 3 Jason Kenny (Austin A35) +7.983s

 

Gallet International Trophy for Classic GT Cars (Pre ’66)

 1 Oliver Bryant (AC Cobra) 16 laps (67.92mph)

 2 Roger Wills (Bizzarrini 5300 GT) +1.032s

 3 Andrew Haddon (AC Cobra) +1.658s

 

Group C

 1 Steve Tandy (Spice SE90 GTP) 10 laps (88.40mph)

 2 Mike Wrigley (Spice SE89C) +11.487s

 3 Tony Sinclair (Spice SE90C) +44.542s

 

SUNDAY RACE RESULTS:

 

Formula Ford 50 presented by Historic Motorsport International

 1 Michael O’Brien (Merlyn Mk20A) 8 laps (78.31mph)

 2 Callum Grant (Merlyn Mk20A) +1.235s

 3 Benn Tilley (Merlyn Mk20A) +7.012s

 

Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre ’63 GT)

 1 Wolfgang Friedrichs/Simon Hadfield (Aston Martin DP212) 20 laps (83.49mph)

 2 Martin Hunt/Pat Blakeney-Edwards (AC Cobra) +2.043s

 3 James Cottingham/Harvey Stanley (Jaguar E-type) +5.439s

 

Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for Pre ’56 Sports Cars

 1 Frederic Wakeman/Pat Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper T38) 20 laps (86.66mph)

 2 Andrew Smith/Chris Ward (Cooper Jaguar T33) +20.341s

 3 Gary Pearson/John Pearson (Jaguar D-type) +39.886s

 

Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for Pre ’56 Sports Cars

 1 Frederic Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper T38) 20 laps (83.54mph)

 2 Chris Ward/Andrew Smith (Cooper Jaguar T33) +20.341s

 3 Gary Pearson/John Pearson (Jaguar D-type) +39.886s

 

FIA Masters Historic Formula One

 1 Michael Lyons (Williams FW07B) 11 laps (116.0mph)

 2 Nick Padmore (Williams FW07C) +6.527s

 3 Jonathan Kennard (Arrows A3) +8.075s

 

Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge Trophy (Owners)

 1 Mike Jordan (Austin A30) 7 laps (74.27mph)

 2 James Colburn (Austin A30) +0.889s

 3 Jonathan Lewis (Austin A35) +0.891s

 

Jaguar Classic Challenge

 1 Gary Pearson (Jaguar E-type) 13 laps (84.90mph)

 2 Graeme Dodd/James Dodd (Jaguar E-type) +1.155s

 3 Ben Short (Jaguar E-type) +13.592s

 

FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars

 1 Martin O’Connell (Chevron B19) 21 laps (103.29mph)

 2 Rob Garofall/Philip Hall (Lola T212) +7.221s

 3 Andrew Banks/Max Banks (McLaren M6B) +8.155s

 

Maserati Trophy for HGPCA Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars

 1 Jon Fairley (Brabham BT11/19) 9 laps (93.24mph)

 2 Sam Wilson (Lotus 18 372) +5.309s

 3 Barry Cannell (Brabham BT11A) +39.560s

 

Group C

 1 Kriton Lendoudis (Mercedes C11) 12 laps (100.39mph)

 2 Steve Tandy (Spice SE90 GTP) +19.041s

 3 Philippe Scemama (Spice SE89C) + 48.353S

 

JET Super Touring Car Trophy

 1 James Dodd (Honda Accord) 8 laps (88.02mph)

 2 Jason Minshaw (Volvo S40) +1.187s

 3 Darren Fielding (Ford Mondeo) +28.318s