SILVERSTONE CLASSIC GEARING UP FOR THE WEEKEND
The minutes are counting down to this weekend's Silverstone Classic, in association with Bonhams. A stunning entry of cars and motorcycles has been received for the racing, which is packed into Saturday and Sunday after a qualifying day on Friday. Sportscar legend Derek Bell makes an emotional return to the wheel of a Porsche 962C in Sunday's Silverstone Classic Trophy for Group C/GTP cars, and another star being reunited with a legendary Group C car is David Leslie, who will take the wheel of the Aston Martin AMR1 he raced in 1989. Ex-Formula 1 driver Mike Wilds, who still races enthusiastically at all levels, will pilot the awesome Nissan R90 CK in the same event.
Another sportscar highlight is Saturday evening's Denny Hulme Silverstone Endurance Trophy for the Hagerty World Sportscar Masters. Jackie Oliver, an endurance racing star of the late 1960s and early '70s, is ready to race a Chevron B16. Also among the packed entry are ex-rally ace Jean-Claude Andruet (in a Ford GT40), former international racer and current Lola Cars owner Martin Birrane (Lola T70 Mk3B) and current Le Mans Series driver Miguel Amaral, in a gorgeous Porsche 917. Oliver is also out in Sunday's saloon race, in which he will share a BMW 1800Ti. Sharing the track with him will be historic racing regular Rowan Atkinson, who joins the legions of American V8 hordes with a Ford Falcon.
Single-seater action will be thick and fast too, highlighted by the James Hunt Trophy and Daily Express Silverstone International Trophy for Invitation Formula 1 Cars with Grand Prix Masters. Cars with Hunt history include the McLaren M26 of ex-touring car racer Bobby Verdon-Roe, and, hopefully, the Hesketh 308 of former touring car champion Frank Sytner. Freddie Hunt, the son of James, will be on hand to present the trophy honouring his father on Saturday.
It's not just racing at the Silverstone Classic: other on-track action includes track parades celebrating 25 years of Group C, and the Silverstone Classic RetroRun, with Lotus Elites, Ferraris and the 289 Register (for AC Cobras) on hand. Off-track, get a dose of period silver-screen cool when the classic Steve McQueen film, Le Mans, is shown in the Scarf & Goggles bar on Saturday evening at 17.45hrs. The film will be shown in between sets from jazz band the Haynes Trio, who will be playing shows throughout Saturday and Sunday. If you can't make it for the qualifying action on Friday, why not start your weekend with that evening's Bonhams auction for Porsche Automobilia and Motor Cars, which kicks off at 17.30hrs.
Return first thing on Saturday morning to catch the first balloon fly-out of the weekend, as well as the fly-in of vintage aircraft. Further action in the skies will come courtesy of the Sunday lunchtime Spitfire and Velocity air display. A period fun fair and an art, photo and antiques gallery should ensure there's something for everyone. Tickets for the 2007 Silverstone Classic, in association with Bonhams, have been priced at an attractive £15 for the Friday and £20 for the Saturday or Sunday if booked in advance (£20 on the Friday and £25 on the Saturday or Sunday if purchased on the day), while a special Event Ticket represents fantastic value at £35 for all three days. Children aged 15 years and under, accompanied by an adult, go free, while parking, roving grandstand seating, paddock access and centre transfer are all also included in these special prices. To purchase tickets, or for further information on the 2007 Silverstone Classic, in association with Bonhams, visit www.silverstone.co.uk, or call 08704 588 260.