Saturday Success At The 2018 Silverstone Classic

Silverstone Classic

Three high-octane Daytona at Dusk races ensured an epic conclusion to action on a thrilling second day of the 2018 Silverstone Classic, complemented by a series of splendid parades harking back to the halcyon days of motoring.

Saturday’s 11 races ensured the on-track action came thick and fast with the high-quality retro line-ups delivering breathtaking racing reminiscent of yesteryear, while bumper crowds soaked up the festival atmosphere across a venue resplendent with thousands of beautifully tended to machines from more than 100 of the UK’s top car clubs.

On a weekend celebrating the 70th anniversary of the very first Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone, the Classic today tipped a nostalgic nod to the racing inspired by the landmark 1948 race, highlighted by a cavalcade of cars that participated in the historic event.

Siverstone Classic
Siverstone Classic

Jim Clark Trophy

The racing today began with the oversubscribed Jim Clark Trophy for Historic Formula Junior (’58-’60), won by Will Mitcham in his U2 Mk2, followed later by the Denny Hulme Trophy for Historic Formula Junior (’61-’63), won by renowned Formula Junior exponent Sam Wilson in his Lola Mk2.

In a treat for spectators, the two vast Formula Junior fields also came together in spectacular fashion for a record-breaking parade of the 100+ cars to mark the formula’s Diamond Jubilee. A magnificent sight as the marvellous selection of machines poured onto track, the gathering is believed to be the largest-ever number of single-seaters to come together on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit at one time.

Historic sportscars took centre stage on Saturday morning, with the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre ’63 GT) going the way of Martin Hunt and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in their AC Cobra, before renowned historic racer Chris Ward steered his Lister Knobbly to victory in the Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre ’61 Sports Cars.

High-speed lunchtime demonstrations from both the World GP Bike Legends and Legends of Modern Formula One tantalised the senses with their spine-tingling sounds and evocative designs, before the terrific on-track entertainment multiplied with a parade of retro motorcycles celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Ace Cafe, followed by car parades that included 50 Morgans honouring the half-century of the Plus 8 and a magnificent display from the Aston Martin Owners’ Club marking the 70 year anniversary of the DB1 and 60 years of the DB4’s unveiling.

Turning attentions to the infield entertainment, Mike Brewer’s Car Clinics presented by Haynes Publishing drew large crowds, while the activities to be found on the JET Village Green – including festival rides, the shopping village and racing simulators – ensured fun was being enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

The Mervyn Garton “Scarf & Goggles” Award for the best off-track visitor activity was presented by his widow Janet to Young Driver, an initiative enabling youngsters aged 10 and over the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a car for some expert early tuition.

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The inimitable FIA Masters Historic Formula One guaranteed a bold opening to the afternoon’s racing with Nick Padmore charging to victory at the wheel of his ex-Carlos Reutemann Williams FW07C. Michael Lyons clinched second place in his Hesketh 308E with Christophe D’Ansembourg completing the podium in his own Williams FW07C, the Belgian having benefitted from a tangle ahead that delayed Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012) and Matteo Ferrer-Aza (Ligier JS11).

In the HSCC Road Sports (’47-’79) race, John Davison took the chequered flag for victory in his Lotus Elan S1, heading off a brace of Morgan Plus 8s, while a red flag for oil on the circuit curtailed an exhilarating four-way tussle for victory in the Adrian Flux Trophy for Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars (HGPCA) with William Nuthall (Cooper T53) awarded the win ahead of the Lotus’ of Peter Horsman and Timothy de Silva.

In the first of the weekend’s touring car races, tin-top legend Rickard Rydell targeted a famous win in the JET Super Touring Trophy from pole position driving the Volvo S40 in which he claimed the 1998 British Touring Car Championship title but couldn’t halt the charge of fellow front-row man James Dodd who swept to victory in his identically aged Honda Accord.

2018 Silverstone Classic
2018 Silverstone Classic

With the sun beginning to dip, the trio of Daytona at Dusk races started with the International Trophy for Classic GT Cars (Pre ’66) being won by Jake Hill. The young gun produced a marvellous giant-killing performance in his nimble Lotus Elan to resist a hoard of more powerful AC Cobras, TVR Griffiths and Jaguar E-types with an exemplary display of inch-perfect driving.

The keenly-contested Yokohama Trophy for FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars ended with Oliver Bryant leading a Lola 1-2-3 after the Can-Am McLaren M6B of Andrew and Max Banks suffered a late retirement whilst leading comfortably.

Saturday concluded with the new Masters Endurance Legends race – cars running lights ablaze in the dusky conditions – which brought the action to a captivating conclusion against a stunning sunset backdrop. Steve Tandy in the Lola B12/60 claimed the spoils for the category’s inaugural Silverstone Classic outing, finishing ahead of the iconic Gulf-liveried Aston Martin DBR1-2 of Christophe D’Ansembourg

The action resumes tomorrow with ten races scheduled on what is being dubbed ‘Tin-Top Sunday’ to celebrate 60 years of the BTCC, plus the return of the FIA Masters Historic Formula One, the British Leyland 50th and Sprite 60th anniversary parades, and much more.

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