Jackie Stewart returns to Silverstone to celebrate his maiden Grand Prix win whilst raising awareness and funds for dementia research, a charity cause that is very close to his own heart.
It was nearly half a century ago that the legendary Jackie Stewart was victorious at superfast Silverstone; a significant landmark in the iconic racing drivers illustrious career in motor racing and one that signalled the beginning of the first of his three world championship titles.
The flying Scot will pilot the super Matra-Ford to mark the occasion with some high-speed demonstration laps on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the 2019 Classic (26-28 July).
“I am looking forward very much to getting back to Silverstone in the Matra, even if not at quite the same speeds as 50 years ago!”
“The 1969 British Grand Prix was one of the most exciting and enjoyable Formula One races that I ever had,” recalled Stewart. “Jochen was one of my best friends. The cooperation we had in not trying to block each other allowed us to definitively run away from the rest of the field. We knew, because in those days there was no aerodynamic sophistication, that we could draft each other and pass if we were not blocked. Almost every lap, we exchanged the lead on the Hanger Straight and going into the 155mph Woodcote corner, which in those days had no chicane. We pointed to each other which side to be passed on, to avoid reducing our lead from the rest of the pack. We exchanged the lead more than 30 times and it was a fantastic race for both of us.
“The Matra MS80 was a wonderful car to drive and the Lotus 49 was also exceptional, in addition to which we were such good friends that there were no nasty circumstances during the entire race, until the unfortunate point at which Jochen’s rear wing came loose. My father and my brother were there to see me win. It was a big day in my life as we had lapped the entire field.”
Following the news his wife, Lady Helen Stewart, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, Stewart founded Race Against Dementia believing the application of Formula 1 technology and philosophies could produce earlier solutions to the condition. Almost one million people in the UK alone are living with dementia.
Ian Wilson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re so excited that Sir Jackie Stewart will be returning to Silverstone this year to honour this iconic anniversary, while also raising much-needed funding and awareness for dementia research. Like so many people today, Sir Jackie knows only too well the heartbreak dementia causes and the desperate need there is to find a cure. Thanks to the incredible support of the Silverstone Classic, we will be able to fund research that will make breakthroughs possible.”
Visitors wishing to witness Stewart’s evocative return to the scene of so many of his major successes and, indeed, to experience all the amazing attractions on offer at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival have until midnight on Thursday 25 July to buy their tickets.
Adult general admission starts at £45 and all tickets will provide access to both Silverstone racing paddocks, all open trackside grandstands, live music concerts which this summer marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock on both Friday and Saturday evenings, Drive Live test drives, funfair rides and the vast majority of the family entertainment on offer.