Silverstone to celebrate 50 Years of Touring Car action with BTCC Legends and a Display of BTCC Classic cars

Silverstone will be celebrating the 50th, 60th and 80th Anniversaries of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), Silverstone and British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) respectively on 31 August, when the Northamptonshire circuit plays host to the penultimate round of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship. Silverstone is looking forward to the BTCC's return to the Home of British Motor Racing and to mark the three anniversaries some of the greatest touring car legends and their competition saloon cars will be re-united at the historic circuit, as Silverstone celebrates 60 years since hosting its first-ever Grand Prix in 1948.

Legends such as "Gentleman" Jack Sears - winner of the inaugural British Saloon Car Championship, as it was known back then, in 1958; Richard Longman - who piloted his Mini 1275 GT to back to back championships in 1978 and 1979; and Andy Rouse - winner of a record 60 races and four BTCC titles (1975, and 1983-1985), have already confirmed their attendance at a gathering of past masters on the Sunday (31 August) of the race weekend. Both current and former BTCC drivers will be available to meet with fans and sign autographs throughout race day. A range of winning BTCC competition cars, spanning the five decades of the series, will also be on display next to the open paddock, ranging from the Austin Westminster A105 that Jack Sears drove when he went on to win the inaugural championship in 1958, through to Andy Rouse's Ford Sierra RS500 from the late 80's and the Nissan Primera driven by the late BTCC legend, David Leslie in 1999.

Speaking at the launch of Silverstone's celebrations back in June, Jack Sears commented, "It means a great deal to me that the BTCC is coming back to Silverstone. Seeing the first Grand Prix and Saloon Cars race, and then racing here myself for the first time in 1950, has always made Silverstone special to me. To be here 50 years later and to see the enthusiasm of the current BTCC drivers gives me great pleasure."

Silverstone will showcase what promises to be an exciting penultimate raceday in the BTCC calendar. Spectators will be able to watch the drama unfold throughout a busy day featuring not only the three BTCC races on Silverstone's tight 1.6 mile National Circuit, but a superb line-up of support races, including the Porsche Carrera Cup, Renault Clio Cup, Formula Renault UK Championship, SEAT Cupra Championship and Ginetta Junior Championship, providing fans with a full day of top class entertainment. It is an event weekend not to be missed by motor racing fans as the tin-top action is fast and furious, with plenty of thrills and spills to wow the crowds.

Free access to the centre of the circuit and BTCC paddock will provide race-goers with the opportunity to rub shoulders with the drivers and teams, while away from the track - and in addition to the BTCC classic car display, autograph sessions and Q&As with the BTCC legends - spectators will also enjoy a spectacular Red Devils parachute display and FREE family entertainment, including fairground rides. Taster experiences, such as the Caterham Autotest (Saturday and Sunday), and helicopter pleasure rides (Saturday and Sunday) will also add to the festival atmosphere and ensure there's plenty to keep younger fans entertained.

-credit: silverstone