Days At The Races, The Silverstone Classic Is An Unmissable Event
Silverstone hosted, in the vicinity of hangars that once housed fighter airplanes, the first Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix in 1950 and, over the years, has established itself as ’The Home of the British Motorsport’. Last weekend, this homey feeling was in the rain-dampened air as Silverstone welcomed hundreds upon hundreds of historic racing cars that arrived for the annual celebration of vintage motorsport that is the Silverstone Classic. We were there to see it all unfold and we’re already making arrangements for next year - and you should be close behind!
If you are keen to browse through the classifieds in automotive magazines from 40 or so years ago, you’ll find plenty of interesting racing cars selling for nothing or close to nothing, while those same cars are out of the reach for most of us mortals. You could, for instance, buy an unlovedFerrari 250 GTO (yes, that GTO) for the equivalent of $51,000 in the late ’60s. Likewise, four or five decades ago, historic racing was seen as a weird way to spend your weekends. Who’d want to waste their time trying to bring back to running order some old, outdated race cars when new ones were the talk of the town? But, as it happens, people started appreciating these old cars more and more and, by the early ’80s, historic racing started to become a thing.
It’s been over three decades since then and now, historic motorsport events are some of the most popular in the world with venues such as Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, Daytona International Speedway, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps or, indeed, Japan’s Fuji circuit, all hosting race meetings reserved for cars of a certain vintage. It’s big business nowadays and the cars are maintained to the highest standards, just like modern ones are, and they’re also safer than ever - to ensure that you can actually push them to their limits without fearing (that much) for your life, as you would’ve back in the day. Among European historic racing events, the Silverstone Classic is considered to be the biggest, attracting thousands of fans and cars every year for over 20 years, so we had to be there to see it all for ourselves - and to report it back to you.
2017 6 Hours of Silverstone - Race Report
Under a firm layer of heavy dark clouds, over 25 cars flashed down through Abbey to officially begin the 2017 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship with the traditional Tourist Trophy. Toyota was viewed as the favorite by many but it proved to be a much closer contest at the sharp end, a situation that was echoed all the way down the grid in what can only be described as an exciting six hours of racing.
In the preview I laid down late last week I decided to keep my wits about me regarding Toyota’s advantage against Porsche coming to Silverstone. As I mentioned in that piece, Toyota opted to debut its high-downforce aero package while Porsche brought its
ready, low-downforce package. With Silverstone not being anymore the super fast airfield track it once was, Toyota’s added downforce should have given the Japanese-German outfit the upper hand by a clear margin over the reigning World Champions. Qualifying showed that this could be the case but the race was a different kettle of fish.
Toyota Gazoo Racing was coming into qualifying off the heels of dominating all the way through free practice. This was to be the norm in qualifying as well, Kamui Kobayashi managing a a personal best of 1:36.793 to put the No. 7 TS050 in pole. After debutant Jose-Maria Lopez’s turn at the wheel, the car dropped to fourth, but Mike Conway brought it back to P1 thanks to a sturdy 1:37.800 that put the trio’s average at an unbeatable 1:37.304. The other TS050 was close behind, Buemi, Nakajima and Davidson sharing front row with their average of 1:37.593 that surpassed Porsche’s best average by over a second. That time was managed by the No. 1 crew while the No. 2 919 was almost half-a-second behind. If the gap between Porsche and Toyota was to be expected, less so was the huge leap down the order to find the ByKolles – the only non-hybrid P1. Yes, the
engined car was never thought to be a threat to the front-runners, but it was even beating four P2 ORECAs!
Pierre Thiriet and 2017 Sebring 12 Hours winner Alex Lynn got pole in LMP2 for G-Drive racing, their 1:44.387 average being less than a tenth quicker than that of Nicolas Liperre and Matt Rao who put Alpine on the front-row in the virtually spec secondary prototype divison. Jackie Chan DC Racing’s No. 38 ORECA was third via a 1:44:591 that was below the best that any of the two Vaillante-sponsored Rebellion crews could do.
Ford dominated GTE-Pro qualifying with Priaulx and Tincknell pleasing the home crowd with an unrivalled 1:56:202 average time between the two of them. Sam Bird and Davide Rigon were roughly eight-tenths-of-a-second behind for AF Corse in their No. 71 488 GTE. Third was the venerable Vantage of Thiim and Sorensen who partnered for a 1:57:117 average that would have been slower than that of the No. 66 Ford if Stefan Mucke wouldn’t have had his best lap deleted for exceeding track limits. As it was, Mucke and Co. started fourth in the other GT run by Chip Ganassi Racing UK. It was Porsche who found themselves lacking pace, the new mid-engined 991 GTE qualifying seventh and eight.
Portugal’s Pedro Lamy teamed up with Paul Dalla-Lana for yet another pole position in GTE-Am. This time, the No. 98 Vantage beat the Spirit of Race Ferrari and the No. 77 Proton Racing Porsche.
With the starting order now set in stone or, rather, set on the time sheets, it was all about the race. Under the watchful eyes of FIA President Jean Todt – probably reminiscing of his Peugeot days in the early ‘90s – all cars lined up for the flying start on Easter Sunday; It was an important moment for Toyota.
Continue reading for the full story.
Porsche continues to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary 911 in some of the coolest ways imaginable.
It’s already checked the special-edition 911 Carrera off its list. Now, it’s taking a completely different approach by hosting a record-breaking parade of Porsche 911 sports cars at the Silverstone Grand Prix over the past weekend.
All in all, 1,208 classic and modern 911s attended the event, all squeezing into what eventually became a completely packed and cramped Silverstone race track. It’s hard enough to see hundreds of 911s in one location but to see well over 1,000 in one location was a completely surreal sight.
Porsche Club GB and Silverstone Classic took center stage in organizing the event and while it was initially pegged to attract hundreds of 911s to the event, not a lot of people expected to hit 1,000, let alone exactly 1,208 Porsche 911s that all trooped over to Silverstone to attend the record-breaking gathering.
If you’re a Porsche aficionado, this is like heaven on wheels. There are classic Carreras, 911 RSs, RSRs, 911 GTs, Speedsters, Targas, and 911 Turbos.
Needless to say, the expectations for the gathering were far exceeded, something Mark Porsche, the son of Porsche 911 designed founder Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche, said meant a lot to his family.
“Of course, the 911 means a great deal to me as it’s my father’s big design and it will always have a special place in my heart,” he said.
“It’s been a family member over all the generations of the 911 series and I’m very proud to be here today to represent the Porsche family at this great event. I think that to have these 1,200 cars on track is the attention that the 911 deserves for its 50th birthday. I can’t thank the Porsche Club GB enough for making this event possible.”
Click past the jump to read about the Porsche 911 Carrera 50th Anniversary Edition
When Ferrari North Europe began their campaign to reclaim the world record for a parade of Ferrari cars back in June, they set a mark of 1,000 cars to participate in the attempt. Unfortunately, they didn’t hit their 1,000-car target. They only had 964 Ferraris. You could hear the collective heart break from across the Atlantic.
All joking aside, the new record is mighty impressive in its own right, not only because they managed to bring 964 Ferraris and assemble all of them on one track, but more so because these owners actually found some time to participate in the record-setting attempt.
Heck, even Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa was on hand with his 458 Italia to partake in the festivities. And if anybody’s wondering whether this record attempt was done for self-fulfilling reasons, each driver who participated in the event actually donated £5 donation to BEN, the auto industry’s charity out in England.
Congratulations to Ferrari North Europe for the new record! Here’s to hoping that record lasts longer than five minutes!
World records are a funny thing, because you can easily set something just by thinking up a new thing that no one else has. Once you do it, you’re the record holder, until someone else does it. Ferrari of North Europe did something of that sort in 2007 by setting the Guinness world record for number of Ferraris in a Parade, which ended up being 385 cars.
The record was broken recently with a total of 490 cars and Ferrari North Europe plans on reclaiming this title in September. Ferrari has already accumulated more than enough entrants (600) to beat the record, but it wants to make it stick by hitting the 1,000-entrant mark. The event will take place at Ferrari Racing Days at Silverstone Circuit on September 15th and 16th.
Ferrari owners get into the Ferrari Racing Day event free of charge and can even register for the Guinness word record attempt by clicking here.
The rules of the world record attempt are pretty straightforward. The cars must travel over a distance of more than 2 miles with a distance of no more than two car lengths between each other. Simple enough, huh?
So, not only can you get free tickets for taking part in the record-setting event, but you can be forever be recognized as part of a world record in Guinness – whatever that’s worth these days. Either way, the Ferrari racing days event is always a blast, and getting free entry makes it all the better.
Click past the jump to read Ferrari’s full press release on the matter.
Let’s face it; not everybody on this planet is capable of throwing away exorbitant sums of money to buy their choice supercar. It’s unfortunate, yes, but it’s all the sad fact of reality.
The good news is that even if you can’t own a car like a Lamborghini Gallardo, it doesn’t mean that you can’t drive one, even if it means only getting to do it for a few hours.
The Silverstone circuit in the UK is offering this chance to anyone who would want to get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, or Lotus through their Supercar Thrill package. The whole thing only costs £99 - $156 – and if you pay for the privilege, you get to spend a few laps with these supercars. Now if you happen to have a particular bias towards Lamborghini, you can purchase the Lamborghini Thrill package for an even cheaper fee of just £60 - $95 – at least until December 19th, 2010.
In addition to the cursory hot laps onboard the cars, customers who avail of either package will get the chance to pick the brains of Silverstone’s racing experts, have your entire day chronicled by a professional photographer, and even get a certificate that you can proudly show off to your friends as proof that you can hang with the big boys of the racing world.
It’s not as good as having you own supercar to play with, but it’s definitely something that’s worth experiencing. After all, it’s not everyday that you can drive the wheels off of a supercar. But with this package, you’re given free reign to do so.
Check out a few videos of the experience after the jump.
Sebastian Vettel has always been one of Formula One’s young and promising drivers and in past seasons, has shown glimpses of brilliance that has ‘future World Champion’ written all over it. And now that he has a car that is as competitive as its ever been in a long time, Vettel is finally proving that those lofty praises showered his way was more than just hype.
Vettel’s latest moment of glory came last weekend at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, where he put on a racing clinic in front of a partisan British crowd on his way to dominating the race from start to finish.
Starting on pole position, Vettel made a fantastic start, breaking away from the pack and leaving every other driver – including season point’s leader Jenson Button – eating his gravel. From the get-go, nobody seemed to even get in sight of Vettel’s side-view mirrors. Even Mark Webber, Vettel’s teammate with the Red Bull Renault racing team, who came in second, wasn’t able to catch up to the speedy German.
After two races on European circuits, Hitech Racing looks forward to a return to home soil, when it competes in the Unipart F3/GT Festival, rounds 15 and 16 of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at Silverstone this weekend (August 11/12).
The current leaders of the series head into its home event looking for a return to the top step of the podium in a bid to extend its 60 point lead secured with seven victories so far. But with still eight rounds remaining, and a (...)
A perfect start for Lewis Hamilton.The young driver managed to keep the lead in front of Kimi Raikkonen and his team-mate Fernando Alonso. Felipe Massa was not so lucky, the Italian driver lost his 4th position in the starting grid becase he had some problems with the car.
First pit stop was with probems for Hamilton who lost the lead in front of Kimi Raikkonen.After a misunderstanding with a McLaren engineer, Hamilton lost almost 10 seconds at the first stop.
Alonso’s stopped for 6.3 (...)
The British race track offered the pole position to a British citizen: the best of the best a.k.a. Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton demonstrated everyone that he must have the last word.HE obtained the pole position in the Lewis style.As we know when he wins a pole position the next day race is already won.
First Alonso had the lead when he made a setting to run with the harder Bridgestone tyres.But he was overtaken by Kimi Raikkonen who set 1m 20.099s.Raikkonen’s team-mate, Felipe Massa was a (...)
Kimi Raikkonnen closed everybody’s mouth at Silverstone’s practice session. He set the fastest time of 1m20.6 seconds, time that helped him to dominate the Friday practice session al Silverstone.
Felipe Massa, the team-mate of Kimi Raikkonnen set the second time, being with over a second slower. Felipe felt that the car needs more settings but overall it is in very good condition.
Ralph Schumaher and his Toyota delivered the big surprise of today’s practice session, his car finishing on 3rd (...)
After the last weekend winning Ferrari seems confident that Silverstone will definetely be a success.Lewis Hamilton believes that he can win this weekends’s race.Now what to say...?Everybody thinks they can win the British Grand Prix.A winner will definetely be, but why not think a surprise will come?They all say they are going to win.Hard to say from now who will be the winner.
The last tests from Silverstone showed that Ferrari was over the other teams, including McLaren.
All the pilots (...)
After the superb race from Magny-Cours, the Italian team believes that they can repeat the success from France at the British Gran Prix this weekend.They are confident that the 25 point behind McLaren will be reduced at Silverstone.
Raikonnen’s win and Felipe Massa’s 2nd place was what Ferrari needed to enter again the fight for the championship.Their victory ended McLaren’s run of three consecutive wins and put Ferrari back on the top step of the podium for the first time since Massa’s (...)
This weekend at Silverstone David Coulthard and Mark Webber will race their Red Bull Racing RB3s painted with 30,000 faces.Instead of the traditional corporate sponsorship and blue and red team colours, the bodywork of the two RB3s will be plastered with photographs of fans.The “Faces For Charity” initiative was announced at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix with the aim of raising money for Wings For Life, a charity that supports research into a cure for paralysis caused by back injuries. The (...)
Renault is celebrating 30 years of glory since 1977, when Jean-Pierre Jabouille raced his RS01 monopost , and obtained the victory at the British Grand Prix .For this moment a car matching the same colours as the original RS01 from 1977, was created and will be used at Silverstone race track.
Dubbed ‘The Yellow Teapot’ , RS01 has been a favourite with British crowds for three decades. Between 2000 and 2005, the car appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where the pilot René Arnoux drove (...)
Thursday,at the final day of testing at Silverstone Felipe Massa had the last word.He set the quickest lap time of 1m20.805s on the British circuit.
Nico Rosberg,the Wiliams driver,finished the testing on the second. Fernando Alonso got the 3rd place.The last year champion managed to drive 58 laps,overlooking the fact that he had an oil system problem.
Nelson Piquet Jr,the Renault driver finished on the 4th place.He was the only driver who managed to complete more than 100 laps.On the (...)