All this week we are urging you to go to Silverstone this weekend for the Classic — the biggest entry motorsport event of the year anywhere in the world with well over 1000 cars, 24 races with an average grid size of 44.
Yesterday we showed you the mighty Ferrari 512, which will race against the nearest thing to a real Porsche 917 you will ever see (especially now 917s have become effectively priceless and rarely, if ever, stray out).
Today it’s the turn of the F1 cars which race in three different groups. We’ll focus on the pre-85 FIA Masters, as with the ‘Rush’ movie almost in cinemas we’re all getting dewy-eyed about the Cosworth DFV era of F1: back when it seemed like almost anyone could assemble an F1 car from a small industrial unit within spitting distance of Heathrow or Silverstone.
35 cars are entered for the pre-85 class including a Lotus 72 (the JPS car), a Lotus 79 and, for Martini Racing completists, a radical Lotus 80, designed to race without the need for front and rear wings. There’s also a Hesketh 308E, the final descendent of the 308B in which James Hunt made his name. This one was driven by Rupet Keegan, a disciple of Hunt’s, but never as cool. Or as fast.
The Brabham-Cosworth BT49c (above) is the car in which Nelson Piquet won his first world championship (the second was in the insane 1500bhp BT52 which starred at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year). And, appropriately, what with all the celebrations around Williams’ 600th GP, there are also a whole host of Cosworth-powered Williams, including the FW07 which took the team to its first grand prix win (Silverstone 1979) and its first World Championship (Alan Jones 1980).
Practice is Friday, qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday and it’s the same for the other two F1 categories: “pre-61” (in the Froilan Gonzalez Trophy) and “pre-66” in the Jim Clark Trophy. This features the 1963 British Grand Prix winning Lotus 25 that Clark took the championship and featured in a pretty memorable film with David Coulthard on the BBC recently…
(You can check out the full timetable and how to get tickets — which you have to buy before 17.00 on Thursday, there won’t be any ‘on the door’ — at the Silverstone Classic website www.silverstoneclassic.com)