A full press corps of international motor racing journalists attended the Media Day for the 2017 edition of the Silverstone Classic at the circuit that is the Home of British Motor Racing in Northamptonshire. July’s last weekend (28-30) is when Silverstone fans will be rocking and racing to what has been promised to be the biggest and best Classic yet.
The past two years have seen attendance numbers grow, attracting more than 100,000 visitors for the action-packed three-day program. This year will be further embellished by some notable new innovations and additions planned to deliver even more great family entertainment. This year’s standout bill features exciting new races, a special world record anniversary parade, more off-track entertainment for all ages than ever before, the largest car club participation ever, evocative live music concerts and an impressive lineup of racing celebrities.
“We have a stellar event lined up for this summer,” confirmed Nick Wigley, CEO of event organizer, Goose Live Events. “We are constantly reviewing every aspect of the Silverstone Classic, and feedback has taught us that its three key attributes for fans are the absolute quality, scale and breadth of the racing content, our access all areas policy and the all-inclusive nature of the tickets.
“It’s a fantastic event packed full of entertainment, and we will continue to build upon all the positive elements from last year’s spectacular. Ticket sales are currently up 17 percent on the same stage in 2016, which is very encouraging, and we are selling far more three-day tickets than ever before. We already have a record number of car clubs registered to attend, too, so all the signs are pointing to the biggest and best Silverstone Classic yet.”
Indeed, with the largest number of competition cars and the widest variety of historic racing grids seen anywhere on earth, the Silverstone Classic is the premier event on the international historic racing calendar.
As ever, this summer’s bill includes all of Europe’s leading historic racing championships for Formula One, single-seaters, GT, touring and sports cars from motor sport’s most celebrated eras. The weekend will pack in an impressive 23 races in total — many boasting in excess of 50 entries.
The Silverstone Classic celebrates not only racing cars, but also racing bikes from yesteryear, with former World Champions Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer revving up on a stunning array of screaming two-stroke 500cc bikes from the golden age of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. It will be a Saturday parade that is sure to be a fan favorite once again. Back in the ’80s, both Gardner and Spencer won the British Motorcycle Grand Prix at Silverstone aboard these 500cc beasts, and both champions will be reliving those victories on their return to the superfast Northamptonshire venue at the Classic.
Former Grand Prix driver and Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell will be joining the FF1600 fray, in addition to fronting ITV4’s coverage of the event. “I remember being at Brands Hatch as a 15-year-old spectator for the very first Formula Ford race,” Needell recalled. “I subsequently entered a competition for a Lotus 69F, which I won, and after scraping the rust off my tow car, I transported the little Lotus to races up and down the country.
“Formula Ford has always been a superb training ground, nurturing the formative careers of some of the greatest drivers the world has ever seen — and it gave me the breaks I needed to become a professional racer. With the incredible slipstreaming opportunities these cars offer, there’s sure to be some superb racing at the Classic here in July.”
Jaguar has extended its involvement as an Official Partner, with an even bigger presence both on and off-track. This year’s event welcomes the Jaguar Classic Challenge — featuring GT, sports and saloon cars from the marque’s celebrated past — for the very first time on a special invitational basis. It is sure to be yet another crowd-pleasing attraction, along with a showcase on the infield of Copse Corner and the return of the F-Type Experience that proved such a winner with visitors last summer.
The Classic is also expected to attract its biggest turnout of Car Clubs ever to join the festivities, with already more signed up than attended last year. More than 10,000 privately owned classics will be proudly displayed during the course of the three-day event, with anniversary parades set to include the Jaguar XJ220, Fiat 500, Ferrari OC, Lotus 7, TVR and TR.
Williams will also be marking the 40th anniversary of its Formula One debut in the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix at this year’s Classic, and to help announce the celebrations, Nigel Mansell’s 1992 title-winning FW14B-Renault returned to Silverstone for the first time since the British hero won on home soil 25 years ago.
Returning family favorites include the JET Village Green, complete with the Scarf & Goggles pub, dramatic Street Car Shoot Outs, air shows, a shopping village now with its very own Town Square and live music from the Bootleg Beatles, Tony Hadley and the Dire Sraits Experience — all included in the overall ticket price.
With so much to experience and enjoy from dawn ’til dusk (and beyond), it is no surprise that more and more festivalgoers are taking advantage of special tickets to spend the entire weekend at the Silverstone Classic. Early Bird Three-Day and Family tickets remain available until the end of March.
Full details of all 2017 ticket prices — as well as hospitality and camping options — can be found, together with all the latest news by visiting www.silverstoneclassic.com or via the Silverstone Classic social media platforms.