The 2013 Silverstone Classic was yet another record breaking event for the Northamptonshire circuit, with a total of 1113 entries over the 24 races, spanning almost 90 years of motor sport history.
Despite terrible conditions, the blue riband Piper Heidseick International Trophy for Pre-’66 GT cars in association with Chopard took place on Saturday evening, won by Gary and John Pearson, who not only overcame torrential rain, but beat a capacity 58-car grid to take victory in their Jaguar E-Type.
The Piper Heidseick International Trophy had to battle the elements on Saturday evening. (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)
Earlier in the day, World Touring Car Champions Andy Priaulx and Rob Huff enjoyed some exciting battles in their respective races. Priaulx led the early stages of the Sir John Whitmore Trophy for Under 2-litre Touring Cars in a BMW 1800, battling with a sister BMW and two Lotus Cortinas in the opening stint of the race.
“I definitely enjoyed it,” said the three-time WTCC champion. “It’s always fun to lead a race, and we were dicing for 1st and 2nd for the majority of the stint. The Lotus was much quicker in the straights but I was able to keep ahead in the corners and it was just bloody good fun.”
Reigning WTCC champion Huff took victory in his class in the Trans-Atlantic Touring Car Trophy, providing the fans with a brilliant sight as Minis fought alongside the might of American Ford Falcons and Mustangs.
Huff (47) believes that the Silverstone Classic is what racing is all about (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)
“That was mega, one of the best races I’ve been in,” Huff told TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk. “This is what racing is all about, it was just a delight to be out there. People would pay a lot of money to just watch that kind of racing, let alone be in it. We’ve been working on the car for the past two years and to be able to come out with the class win is fantastic.
“I’d definitely love to have a go in the Super Touring race,” he continued. “I had a go in Dave Jarman’s Nissan Primera at Donington and it was just mega.”
The Super Touring races provided the majority of the drama on Saturday afternoon, with Patrick Watts crashing out on the second lap and Tim Harvey managing to hold on to third place despite his engine giving way at Club on the final lap. Frank Wrathall came away with both wins after a stewards enquiry on Saturday evening disqualified original race one winner, Neil Smith.
The Super Touring Trophy provided much of Saturday’s drama (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)
Keeping with the record breaking theme, Nicolas Minassian set a new Classic record in Sunday’s Group C Endurance race, which was extended after Saturday evening’s race was cancelled due to poor weather conditions. The Frenchman set a time of 1:36.712, averaging at 122mph, more than a second faster than Bob Berridge‘s 2011 set in a Mercedes C11.
On top of all of that, there were fantastic battles throughout the weekend in the Historic Formula Junior and Historic Formula Ford races and a fitting class victory in the Jim Clark Trophy for HGPCA pre-66 GP cars for Clark’s 1963 Lotus 25, driven by Andy Middlehurst. Michael Lyons also dominated in Historic Formula 1 and the Peter Gethin Trophy for Formula 5000 and Formula 2 cars, taking victory in all 4 races by no less than 20 seconds in each race.
Michael Lyons was a class above the rest in Historic Formula 1 (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)
“It has gone fantastically well,” said Event Director Nick Wrigley, who competed in the Historic Formula Ford races. “It has just been phenomenal from my point of view. The Classic is getting bigger every year, we’ve hit some record numbers in 2013. We’ve had 1113 entries which is more than ever before, 1208 Porsche 911s on the circuit which is more cars than ever before, and there’s been a fantastic increase in ticket sales. I’ve just been up on the BMW eye to close out the day, and it’s incredible to see how this event has developed over the last four years.”