The Silverstone Classic 2017 drew to a close on the 30th July; with a record-breaking attendance of over 100,000 visitors on the final day alone.[Scroll to the bottom for a gallery of images]
More than 1,000 entries spanned eight decades of glorious motorsport history over the course of the weekend, from evocative Pre War Sports Cars all the way through to DFV-era Formula 1 machinery and tin-top icons from the much-loved Super Touring era.
Away from the circuit, a treasure trove of 10,000 classic cars were stationed on the infield, from fabulous Ferraris to awe-inspiring Aston Martins, legendary Lotuses and magnificent Maseratis – and everything else in-between. The dazzling display included another massive turnout from Porsche Club GB, Jaguar’s hugely-popular F-type drift experience and the Gaz 21 Club, all the way from Russia.
One car that travelled to Silverstone from even further afield was the striking, shark-nosed BMW 635 CSi, which made the trip from Australia to be piloted in both JET Super Touring Car Trophy races by its original driver, ‘Gentleman Jim’ Richards – one of which saw the New Zealander indulge in an entertaining wheel-to-wheel duel with fellow tin-top hero Steve Soper.
The JPS-liveried car was brought over by its owner Peter Sturgeon, who was rewarded for his outstanding endeavour with the Stuart Graham ‘Scarf and Goggles’ trophy. Introduced in 2015 to mark the festival’s 25th anniversary, the award is now presented annually to what is judged to be the most admired car competing at the Classic. Sturgeon received the accolade from Graham, one of the inspirations behind the original Classic event staged at Silverstone and a TT winner on both two wheels and four.
True to form and building upon a phenomenal Friday and sensational Saturday, Sunday’s track action saw a trio of single-seater and sportscar races serve up some spectacular entertainment at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival.
The new-to-the-bill Jaguar Classic Challenge was an instant crowd-pleaser, with hordes of eye-catching E-types producing a spectacular showpiece as they were pushed right to their limits and occasionally beyond. The low-drag example of Julian Thomas grabbed the early lead but its glory was short-lived – a technical issue leading to its retirement. Victory finally went to Gary Pearson from the fast-finishing James Dodd.
The JET Super Touring Car Trophy appropriately brought the curtain down on another super-successful Silverstone Classic, with Saturday star Jason Minshaw and James Dodd waging a titanic duel for glory on a drying track. Dodd’s Honda Accord ultimately got the better of the ex-Rickard Rydell Volvo S40, as former European Touring Car king Gianfranco Brancatelli winning the simultaneous Group A race in his flame-spitting, Spa 24 Hour-winning Ford Sierra RS500.
As well as this, the Silverstone Auctions took place over the weekend.
- £5.5 million of sales were achieved in three days, with a 71 per cent sales rate for classic road cars, at the Silverstone Classic Motor Racing Festival.
- 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona formerly owned by Sir Elton John sold for £551,250.