The Silverstone Classic Was An Awesome Display Of Motor Racing Muscle
Photography by Jayson Fong
Held in the primetime of the historic racing season, the Silverstone Classic always makes for one of the most exciting events of the calendar. Together with non-stop track action that takes place from morning until evening, the Classic delivers on bringing together one of the largest collections of historic racing cars anywhere in the world. And last weekend’s 2017 edition of the event brought the goods—with over 1,000 entries across 22 races, there were more than enough classic cars to keep the fans thoroughly entertained.
Among the highlights, the FIA Masters Historic F1 series once again brought together one of the loudest automotive orchestras in the world, with over 30 Cosworth DFV-powered Formula One cars battling for championship points across two closely fought races. On the other end of the speed spectrum, the celebrity Austin A30/A35 race provided some spectacular bumper to bumper and upside down moments as drivers pushed what power they had to the limits.
In similar fashion, the Under 2-Litre Touring Car lineup danced around the circuit with Mini Coopers frequently cornering on three wheels, and Cortinas spending more time sideways than straight. As heavy rain arrived on Saturday evening, the pre-’66 GT cars came out sliding in dramatic fashion as their drivers toed the fine line between power and grip.
Moving into more recent times, the touring cars’ grid was broken into two groups, resulting in a spectacle that saw constant overtaking and last minute corner dive-bombing. Among the colorful grid, a very special JPS-liveried BMW 635CSi that has never been seen outside of Australasia made its European debut. Check back soon, as we’ll be featuring that car more in depth next week.
Alongside the racing, the Classic also hosted a number of celebrations headlined by the 25th anniversary of the Jaguar XJ220 and what seemed like a constant stream of them on the circuit. Led out by the three cars that contested the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was an incredibly rare opportunity to see so many together, and a treat to see the different forms and evolutions in the same place. Visitors were also taken on a nostalgic trip back in time to celebrate 40 years of the Williams F1 team as the symphony of a high-revving V10 from the championship-winning Williams FW14B once again echoed around the circuit.
With such diversity present throughout the weekend, the Silverstone Classic really is a one stop shop for anybody looking to get a year’s worth of viewing done in one weekend. But like any large collection, perhaps the only problem is that seeing absolutely everything becomes more difficult, which is why I’ll definitely be there again for another full weekend in a year’s time.