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Silverstone Prepares For Record-Breaking Classic Action

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Silverstone is all set for another record-breaking weekend at the Silverstone Classic, with 2013 offering unprecedented numbers of race entries and world record commemorative parades.

The heart of the three-day historic racing festival is made up of 24 highly competitive races, made up of some of the most iconic racing machines, driven by a number of legendary drivers, including World Champions, F1 stars and Le Mans winners.

Historic Formula 1 races top the bill at the birthplace of the modern FIA Formula One World Championship, with the FIA Masters Series races representing the most modern era, featuring a grid of DFV-powered Lotuses, McLarens, Tyrrells, Marches and Williams’ all in period liveries.

The earlier years of Formula 1 will also be represented in a brace of races for pre-1966 cars in honour of Jim Clark, while the two pre-1961 races take their name from Froilan Gonzalez, who took his maiden Grand Prix victory at Silverstone, and sadly passed away last month.

Saturday evening will see Northamptonshire transformed into Le Mans as two dusk races celebrate the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 200mph Group C prototypes of the 80s, and the new 58-car grid Piper Heidsieck Pre-1966 GTs race, featuring Cobras, E-Type Jaguars, Aston Martins and Ferraris. The most Le Mans era of all – immortalised in the film ‘Le Mans – will be celebrated on Saturday afternoon in the Masters Historic Sports Car showdown, with Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s renewing their rivalry once again.

Touring car fans will be in for a treat, too, as last year’s popular Super Touring Trophy returns to the Silverstone Classic, with former British Touring Car drivers Patrick Watts and Tim Harvey returning to their old cars for another shot at the top of the podium. Two World Touring Car Champions will also be in action throughout the weekend, with reigning champion Rob Huff taking to the wheel of a Mini in the Trans-Atlantic Touring Car races, while three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx will take to a BMW 1800 in the Under 2-litre Touring Car races, which will also feature BTCC star Mat Jackson in a Lotus Cortina.

Capacity grids for Historic Formula Fords and Formula Juniors, along with the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars round out the highly impressive list of competitive on-track action over the weekend.

Between the races, however, will be parades on the track for Aston Martin’s centenary and the fiftieth anniversary of Lamborghini and the Porsche 911. Aston Martin anticipate 100 cars to be out on track at Saturday lunchtime, while the Lamborghini and Porsche displays are expected to be record-breaking, with the largest Lamborghini display in the UK and 911 Porsche 911s out on track.

Away from the circuit, the Silverstone Classic will be living up to its ‘Rocking and Racing’ motto, with two music concerts on Friday and Saturday night, headlined by the Stars of the Commitments on Friday, and the Hollies on Saturday night, with support coming from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and Guns ‘n’ Roses tribute bands.

Fans can also get their speed fix at the circuit with rally car and 4×4 rides, alongside street car shoot outs, a motorcycle stunt show, a period fun fair and the comprehensive shopping village, featuring the classic race and road car auction, organised by Silverstone Auctions, on Saturday afternoon.

Finally, fans will be able to experience free gondola rides in the BMW wheel, standing at over 40-metres tall, giving vast panoramic views of the circuit and the classic car displays.

Tickets for the event start at £35 (plus fees) and must be purchased in advance by Thursday 25 July, with the event taking place on the 26-28 July. All tickets include free entrance to both racing paddocks and pit complexes, trackside grandstands and concerts on both nights.

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Based in Mid-Wales, James joined TCF at the start of the 2013 season, covering a range of disciplines, predominantly Motorcycle Road Racing and NASCAR. Follow him on Twitter @JCCharman
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