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Derek Bell reunited with iconic Group C Porsche

Britain’s most successful sportscar racer, Derek Bell MBE will top a star-studded bill as Silverstone celebrates the 40th anniversary of the legendary Group C era at The Classic over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of this month (26-28 August).


The five time winner of the illustrious Le Mans 24 Hours will be joined by fellow Group C luminaries including Kenny Acheson, John Fitzpatrick and John Watson to mark the 40 years since revered Group C cars first took to the track at Silverstone in 1982. 


“I have just had an utterly unbelievable week with Porsche driving all their old Group C cars flat chat at their Leipzig test track. It was just spectacular and bought back lots of great memories. Now I’m really looking to being back at The Classic driving the Rothmans 962 I last raced to a podium finish at a somewhat different Silverstone 35 years ago. It’s going to another wonderful celebration.”

Fittingly, it was Bell who took Group C honours in that milestone opening six hour race, sharing an iconic Rothmans liveried Porsche 956 with fellow legend Jacky Ickx.

For the track action, Bell will be back behind the wheel of a Porsche when reunited with the final factory prepared Rothmans 962; the very car he shared with Hans Stuck at the start of the 1987 season.

“It’s just amazing to think it was 40 years ago that Group C started at Silverstone,” said Bell. “It was the greatest era of sportscar racing and I was just so lucky to be around and available at that time – those amazing cars are what made my career.

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Other highlights include John Fitzpatrick being reunited with the recently restored JDavid liveried 956 which he famously shared with Derek Warwick to win the Brands Hatch 1000kms in 1983 and the rare sight of all three of the early V12 Jaguar XJR6s lining-up together, two in their striking British Racing Green colours. 

Marking the special 40th year milestone, a spectacular display of more than 25 seminal Group C sportscars – including impressive gatherings of Jaguars, Mercedes and Porsches – will be on display throughout The Classic, many taking to the Grand Prix circuit for evocative demos on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  

Others revving up for the not-to-be-missed demos include Alex Brundle who will be driving the 1987 World Championship winning Silk Cut Jaguar XJR8 which his father Martin raced in period and Kenny Acheson.

The Ulsterman will be rolling back the years in the hot seat of the Sauber-Mercedes C9, similar to the Silver Arrow he campaigned with notable successes for the Mercedes team in 1989. 

Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx shared this Group C Porsche to win at Silverstone in 1982


Derek Bell reunited with iconic Group C Porsche