Moving to a late August date over the late summer Bank Holiday, the Silverstone Classic delivered yet another incredible weekend of racing at the superb Northamptonshire circuit.
Pooling the collective grids of the phenomenal Masters Historic Racing, alongside the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association, Historic Sports Cars Club, Motor Racing Legends and Formula Junior Historic Racing Association, a superb array of grids were assembled, representing a wide selection of eras from Post War through to a more contemporary field of GT4 cars, in the new Masters GT4 Classic Challenge.
In addition to a superb assembly of grids, a couple of special showcases were squeezed into the already packed timetable, with a debut for the Ignition GP demo over all three days, offering a chance for fans to witness screaming V8, V10 and V12 powered cars that succeeded the turbo era in Formula One, leaving a legacy of ear-piercing soundtracks that are a rarity in the modern age.
2022 also marks 40 years since the inception of the Group C era of Sports Car Racing, indeed, it was at Silverstone where the first race for Group C cars was held, being the opening round of the World Endurance Championship in 1982 – the Six Hours of Silverstone. Fittingly, a startling array of Group C machinery was on display in the paddock for fans to get up close and personal with a huge assortment of these sports cars. In addition, two on track demonstration sessions were taken over the weekend, once again seeing Group C cars put to the test around the Northamptonshire circuit, led by Derek Bell, at the wheel of the synonymous Rothmans Porsche.
A world exclusive for the Silverstone Classic, where a display of all seven of Sir Lewis Hamiton’s championship-winning cars were brought together for the first time. In tribute to the most successful Formula One driver of all time, the 2007 McLaren was joined by the six Mercedes from Hamilton’s title winning seasons with the AMG team from 2014 to 2020.
The prestigious Silverstone Auctions also held a remarkable sale, with a huge, eclectic presentation of lots, with notable sales of the ex Stirling Moss 1966 Mercedes Benz 230SL selling for £177,750, the 1988 EuroBrun Cosworth going for £233,333 and an ex Richard Burns 2001 Impreza WRC changing hands for £392,500.
Adrian Flux Trophy for Transatlantic Pre-66 Touring Cars
Mustangs dominated the field in qualifiying, with only the Lotus Cortina of Jewell and Clucas raising a challenge in the top five, however during the race, the Ford Falcon of Thomas/Lockie proved to be the class of the field, leading a quintet of Ford Mustangs over the finish line, with Thorpe/Quaife and McInerney/Keen claiming the other steps on the podium.
Frank Williams Memorial Trophy for Masters Racing Legends
Always a highlight of the Classic, the field of DFV engined F1 cars saw a dominant performance from Mike Cantillon in the Williams FW07C, claiming pole, and both race wins over the course of the weekend. Steve Hartley placed second in race one, ahead of Ken Tyrrell in the Tyrrell 011, while Jamie Constable, again in a Tyrrell 011 lead Ken Tyrrell home in the second race of the weekend.
HGPCA Pre-66 Grand Prix Cars
A great fight between Will Nuthall and Michael Gans in race one, saw Nuthall in the Cooper T53 take the win, by a margin of three seconds over Gans. The second race of the weekend saw an even closer fight over the course of the race, with the chequered flag falling with a mere 1.8 seconds between the pair, Gans unable to wrestle the win away from the hands of the all-conquering Nuthall.
Historic Formula Junior
Despite the best efforts of Horatia Fitz-Simon in the Lotus 22, the race win went to Michael O’Brien in the Brabham BT6, with a wafer thin margin of only 0.130 separating the pair. Race two saw a more dominant win for O’Brien, with a comfortable 13 second gap to the second placed Cooper T59 of Sam Wilson.
HSCC Historic Formula 2 International Series
The stunning Martini Mk19 of Ben Mitchell claimed the race win in the first outing of the weekend for the Historic F2, leading the pair of March 782s of Matthew Watts and David Shaw over the line. Mitchell was to prove untouchable in the second race, with a 16 second gap to the March of Greg Caton, and the Chevron B35 of Tim De Silva.
The thunderous McLaren M8F of Dean Forward claimed a dominant pole, almost three seconds clear of the Chevron B26 of John Burton. Misfortune struck the McLaren on lap five, leaving Burton to romp home for the victory, edging out the March 75S of Greg Caton and the Chevron B23 of Claridge/Gomes, with all three finishing within a second of each other.
International Trophy for Pre-66 Classic GT cars
A spectacular field of some of the most beautiful GT cars from the pre-66 era, saw a race win for the Shelby Cobra Daytona of Thomas/Lockie, despite the best efforts of James Dodd in the Jaguar E-Type, trailing at the line by a mere 1.9 seconds after 20 hard-fought laps. A trio of TVR Griffiths made up the remainder of the top five, ahead of three E-Types.
Masters Endurance Legends
Superb battles throughout the field in both races over the weekend made for incredible viewing for the large number of fans lining the circuit. Jamie Constable brought the Pescarolo LMP1 home in first place in race one, ahead of the Peugeot 90X of Steve Tandy. Michael Lyons putting a superb performance in, to come home third in the first outing of the Lola B12/80. With a race under his belt, Lyons demonstrated his talent in race two, bringing the Lola Mazda home for the victory, ahead of Tim De Silva in another Pescarolo, and Steve Tandy claiming his second podium of the weekend.
Masters GT4 Silverstone Challenge
The GT4 showcase saw two races over the weekend, with a thrilling duel between Seb Hopkins in a Porsche 718 GT4 and Freddie Tomlinson in a Ginetta G58. The race one victory going to Hopkins, while in race two, after an incredible battle, Tomlinson coming home victorious, with a margin of a second and a half.
Pre-War Sportscars BRDC 500
The elegant pre-war race saw a dominant performance in the Frazer Nash TT Replica of Fisken and Blakeney-Edwards, romping home almost half a minute clear of Rudiger Friedrichs in the Alvis Firefly Special, with third place going to Gareth Burnett in the Alta Sports.
RAC Woodcote Trophy & Stirling Moss Trophy
A high attrition rate in one of the most evocative grids of the event, saw the race win going to the Lotus 15 of Roger Wills, amassing a huge 25 second gap ahead of the superb battle for second place, between Spiers/Hancock in the Lister Knobbly and Cottingham/Stanley in the Tojeiro Ecosse Jaguar, a mere 0.2 separating the cars as the chequered flag fell.
Tony Dron Memorial Trophy for Historic Touring Cars
The fire breathing Nissan Skylines proved to be too much to handle for anyone in the field to challenge their dominance. Andy Middlehurst victorious ahead of Simon Garrad. The Ford Capri RS3100 of Pearson/Brundle clinging on to the coat tails of Garrad to claim third step on the podium ahead of a trio of Sierra RS500s.
Yokohama Trophy for Masters Historic Sports Car Legends
The imperious Tom Bradshaw continued his successful year in the Chevron B19, taking the race win by a 16 second margin over the Chevron B23 of Claridge/Gomes. The Beighton/Hadfield Lola T70 sweeping up the third step on the podium ahead of Nick Padmore in the fierce Chevron B21.