British Touring Car legends are gearing themselves up for a return at the Silverstone Classic in July, stepping back in to the machines of their past in the Super Touring Trophy.
Former champions Tim Harvey and John Cleland, along with the ever-enthusiastic Patrick Watts, will be in action in the popular race, which made its debut at the 2012 Silverstone Classic before evolving into its own series for 2013.
The 1989 and 1995 British Touring Car Champion, Cleland, says he found his car in the most unlikely of places. “My son found it on Facebook,” the Scot explained to media at Silverstone for the event. “He told them they had the wrong stickers, to which they replied ‘what do you know, sonny?’ He replied with ‘My dad drove it’.”
Watts had to travel a little further to find his old Peugeot 406, going halfway around the world to Australia in order to get it back. “The 406 was a good car,” he said, after Cleland had joked about the Peugeot being notoriously poor in its day, “We had good drivers, too. It was the team that held us back. The team is gone and we’re going for the front.”
“When you look back at that time [the Super Touring era], we really were in a golden era,” he continued. “There were nine manufacturers throwing millions of pounds at the sport, and we had some of the best racing out there.”
Tim Harvey was also present at the Silverstone Classic Media Day, re-familiarising himself with both his Ford Sierra RS500 and BMW M3 touring cars. “I know the complete history of the RS500 since its last race here at Silverstone in 1990,” said the 1992 British Touring Car Champion. “I’ve just been driving it this morning, I tried to tell the owner it needs a lot of work and it would be best if I just take it off his hands, but I think he knows he’s got something special there.”
Since its debut at the 2012 Silverstone Classic, the Super Touring Trophy has grown into its own standalone series, running four races throughout 2013, including the Super Touring Trophy at the 2013 Silverstone event on 26-28th July. “It has the potential to be a great series.” added Cleland.