Historic Racing

Ex-F1 And Touring Car Drivers To Light Up Silverstone Classic

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Former Formula One and British Touring Car drivers head the list of over 1000 drivers entered in 22 races across the three day 2011 Silverstone Classic weekend.

Fans of the BTCC will recognise several names from seasons gone by on the entry list. 1989 and 1995 champion John Cleland will be among the drivers taking part in the E-Type Challenge, a special pair of races included on the programme as part of the celebration of the sportscar's 50th anniversary.

Kiwi Paul Radisich and Patrick Watts – both veterans of the BTCC's Super Touring era will also be on track, in an Elva Mk7 and Ford Mustang respectively. Mike Jordan, a BTCC race winner, now team principal of Pirtek Racing, will drive a Lotus Cortina at the event while Rob Austin, making his BTCC debut this year with his own team will drive his Arrows A4 in the Grand Prix Masters races.

Tony Crudgington, Charlie ButlerHenderson and Andy Middlehurst – all former BTCC drivers – will also drive the new Grand Prix circuit during the event.

24 Hours of Le Mans winners Richard Attwood and Jackie Oliver will lead the historic sportscar drivers on the July 22-24 weekend. Oliver, who won in 1969 in a Ford GT40 will race against Cleland in the Jaguar E-Type grid, as well as in the race for Under Two-Litre Touring Cars. Attwood, part of the driver line-up that took Porsche's first win in 1970 will drive the 1959 Le Mans winner – an Aston Martin DBR1.

Silverstone Classic's Le Mans connection is brought right up to date by Andy Meyrick, who raced in the 24 hour spectacle this year of Aston Martin, in a Group C Spice – a slice of Le Mans history itself. He will share the car with his father Peter as part of a headlining grid of 30 Sportscars.

Arturo Merzario and Desire Wilson will be the former F1 drivers racing classic machinery. Merzario a former Williams, Ferrari and Wolf driver before setting up his own team will driver several cars during the weekend. Wilson is another who will climb behind the wheel of an iconic E-Type.

Further star power will be provided by the celebrity race, using race-prepared Morgans and raising money for the Bobby Moore Fund. TV chef Heston Blumenthal and dancer Brendan Cole have dominated the build up to the race, but with more names being added to the race all the time they will face stiff opposition.

Silverstone Classis is the world's largest classic racing festival, with over 1000 cars and drivers expected to race during the three day event. As well as the on track action, a full program of off-track entertainment – headlined by live music on Friday and Saturday night – will also be put on.

The Checkered Flag will have a full preview of the 2011 Silverstone Classic in the week before the event, and will be following the spectacular event for the full three days.

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