Silverstone Classic gears up for 70th celebrations

Want to relive F1’s golden era? World’s largest classic motor-racing festival is back on July 20-22, celebrating 70th anniversary of home of motor sport

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Silverstone Classic will play host to special celebrations marking 70 years of Formula 1 racing on July 20-22. The extravaganza will commemorate seven decades since the first Grand Prix, with 21 unmissable retro races featuring more than 80 iconic vehicles.

Event director Nick Wigley commented: ‘Seventy years of Grand Prix racing at Silverstone is an incredible landmark that presents us with a wonderful opportunity to recount the extraordinary story behind that first historic race in 1948 – it was one of the most important days in British motor sport.’

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Tickets must be booked in advance, and details can be found here, with savings available for families and those planning to spend the full weekend at Silverstone.

So what’s on?

Among the incredible line-up of races arranged for the event, the brace of FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship races are set to be the weekend’s raison d’être, featuring DFV-era cars from 1966 to 1985, resplendent in their period liveries and iconic soundtracks.

Further gladiator battles are set to take place, with a pair of races for the Adrian Flux Trophy for Pre-’66 Grand Prix Cars. A 50-plus grid will demonstrate a number of front-engined F1 cars from the 1950s, in addition to a showcase of ground-breaking rear-engined machines from the first half of the 1960s – the very vehicles that paved the way for F1 car design until the present day.

Channel 4 will be previewing the event during its coverage of the British Grand Prix, showcasing former F1 greats such as Mark Webber, Karun Chandhok and Susie Wolff. They will be experiencing some of the original stars of the first Grand Prix starting grid.

Where it all began

Silverstone burst into the hall of fame with a 100,000-plus crowd desperate for some relief during the bleaker periods of post-war Britain. The first international race took place in 1948 on a disused wartime airfield, featuring two factory-entered Maserati 4CLTs piloted by the hugely talented Luigi Villoresi and Alberto Ascari.

Having started at the back of the grid due to delays arriving at the circuit, the Maserati racers shredded all competition and created a spectacle that set the foundations for Silverstone’s now-decorated history.

A further 50 British Grand Prix have taken place since the inaugural straw-bale and oil-drum affair, with the Silverstone Classic offering a unique opportunity to celebrate the highlights of the past seven decades in the venue’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Nick Wigley said: ‘Under the leadership of the legendary Jimmy Brown, a run-down aerodrome was transformed into an international race circuit in little more than 10 hectic weeks, laying the foundations to what is now one of the most hallowed rounds on the Formula One calendar.’

More information can be found here

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