Monday, 1 August 2011

Silverstone Classic 2011

Early on Friday morning I got in my car to drive to Bowes to meet Chris to drive down to Silverstone. Sadly neither of us could boast a Triumph capable of getting to Silverstone, mine has a nasty rattle on 2nd and 3rd gear and I wasn’t willing to risk it and Chris’s Gentry just will not start. Sandwiches made and car packed we headed South, meeting up with Gavin and Kevin (MK4 spitfire) and James and his brother (1500 Spitfire), in a services near Sheffield.
Arrival at Silverstone the skyline dominated by new pits which do not disappoint. We found our way to the woodlands campsite, which is a little distance from the circuit. It does pay to book the camping in advance as Gavin and James had left this to chance and ended up in a different campsite.  Camping was £35 each for the weekend but you could camp from Thursday – Sunday making it great value; the campsite facilities were really good too. 
Friday afternoon we wandered around Silverstone looking at E-Types and more E-Types and watching racing.
E-Type Traffic Jam
Saturday we were up early, alarm clock provided by a TVR Sagaris which we could have sworn was in the tent.
New TVR alarm clock
We spent most of Saturday watching more racing including Ford Mustangs, Ford  Mercurys,  MKII Jaguars and even a MK7 Jaguar trying desperately to keep up, the engine capacity ranged from 2.4Ltr to 7.5ltrs.  Next we saw cooper racing cars tear round the track and then E-Type racing. It was awesome to see the Jags race especially to think that is was there 50th birthday.
Also there was a selection of “Hot rods” and “Rat rods” some of which included a couple of Fiat 126’s from TAZ RACING with massive Chevrolet engines and big wheels specially designed to drag race .        
There were lots of car clubs ranging from Ferrari to Lotus to Mazda with Austin Seven and Bentley and Lamborghini and Porsche and Jaguar thrown in for good measure. The TSSC were there too with a stand with some nice club cars, including Chris Gumby’s Herald hatchback. Ken and Sandra and Lyndsey and partner had their MX-5s on display too.  
750cc Motor Club

750cc Motor Club

Rally Skoda

Morgan Pedel Car
Next it was in to the 50th birthday Jaguar E-Type display apparently there were upward of 1500 E-Types at Silverstone that weekend.
Later we went on to the pits, which were accessible via a short free bus ride. Standing next to the Lotus JPS F1 car has to be a highlight as well as seeing a driver try to repair his Cooper nose cone with a hammer and dolly after crashing it in to a fellow racer.
I also made a new friend, after spotting Celebrity Chef Heston Blumenthal. I may have appeared a little too enthusiastic when I asked to have a photo taken with him, but he was happy to oblige.  
Later we went to see the music and group C Racing, I’m not sure that “I’m not in love” by 10CC goes with the roar of Le Mans Jaguars, but it was good fun.
On Sunday we packed up the car and then went to watch the E-Types race again, sadly there was a crash but no-one was hurt, but there were two fairly smashed up E-Types. I guess that is ok though as they were doing what they were designed to do.
All in all a very enjoyable weekend with lots of beautiful cars, brilliant racing, great access to the pits, good camping facilities. Something I would recommend to others maybe on a none Classic Le Mans year, cost wise it works out about £85 per person for ticket and camping based on the 2 for 1 ticket deal, then you need to factor in petrol and food and spends, I would guess if you are careful you could do the whole weekend for under  £200.

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