The 2008 edition of the Silverstone Classic was an event to remember as an impressive 57,000 visitors enjoyed a sun-drenched weekend with top-level entertainment and driving.
London's foremost historic automobile dealership Fiskens and the Royal Automobile Club once again supported the Woodcote Trophy, the series for production-based sports cars produced between 1948 and 1956. With a 46-strong entry list featuring four Aston Martin DB3Ss, five Jaguar D-Types, a Ferrari Testarossa, two Maserati 300Ss, as well as Morgans and Healeys amongst others, it represented the best of Le Mans from the 1950s.
The race was a fantastic spectacle with Gary Pearson, driving Nigel Webb's C-Type Jaguar, doing brilliantly to get his car into the overall lead from Spencer Marsh in Gavin Pickering's D-Type. The pit stops loosened the field and after the demise of the Pickering Marsh D-Type, modern racer Neil Cunningham had a clear run to the finish to take his second consecutive Trophy victory. Second place went to the famous, ex-works Jaguar D-Type OKV2.
The Spirit of the Woodcote Trophy was awarded to Mike Thorne, acknowledged as one of the most helpful and friendly members of the paddock, who drives a Healey 100M. His car suffered extensive damage in Monza last month and he worked hard to re-prepare it for Silverstone.
Duncan Wiltshire of Motor Racing Legends commented: "The Award went to Mike who has been a very regular entrant in the Woodcote Trophy. He has been to almost all our races and he is always around to give a hand. He had a nasty accident in Monza and his car was badly damaged and he managed to get it re-built and ready on time for Silverstone so we just thought it was good stuff to give him the Spirit Award."
Podium for Fisken and Clark in the Gentleman Driver's race
Fiskens Managing Director Gregor Fisken also took part in the Gentleman Drivers GT and Sports Endurance Masters in which he finished third alongside John Clark in John's Jaguar E-Type.
After the engine was rebuilt by the Dennis Welch Team in only a handful of weeks since the Dijon meeting, John qualified in seventh place on the grid despite initial ignition trouble.
"We had a great battle with Jon Minshaw in his E-Type, Peter Horsman in his Lotus 17 and Roger Wills in the Le Mans Bizzarini 5300GT, with only one second separating the top four cars," explained Fisken. "In the second stint, John did a solid job to bring our car home in third, with the much deserved race win eventually going to Jon and team-mate Martin Stretton. They drove beautifully in the closing stages to hunt down and pass the Peter Horsman and Jac Nelleman Lotus to make it a Jaguar win, Lotus second and then our Jaguar in third."
Fisken concluded: "Top compliments to the BRDC and the event promoter Motion Works. Silverstone Classic has been moving on in leaps and bounds, and has definitely returned to its former glory. A great thank you also to Motors TV for their pan-European coverage of the event. It was simply a perfect weekend for us all at Fiskens."