Promoted as the world’s biggest classic racing festival, the Silverstone Classic is set to take place on 23-25 July 2010 at the renowned Silverstone Circuit between the Northamptonshire villages of Whittlebury and Silverstone in England. Legendary British racing driver, Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, OBE, will be one of the guests of honor at this three-day celebration of auto racing, which includes activities and entertainment to suit the entire family.
Having recently hosted the Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix as part of the 2010 Formula 1 Championship series of events, the Silverstone Circuit will play host to a series of events representing five decades of auto racing heritage during the festivities. More than 800 cars will make an appearance on the track for the 22 race program. These finely-tuned machines will include Grand Prix classics, sports, saloon, GT and single-seater cars, some going back to the 1930s. Motorbikes, including the legendary Harley-Davidson, will also feature on the weekend’s action-packed program.
Event director, Nick Wigley, noted that spectators can expect an unrivalled quality of racing as 60 years of Formula One Championships are celebrated and the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars is launched. This sixty-minute event features early 60s racers with two of the rarest Aston Martins among the competitors. The program also includes two twenty-minute events for HGPCA Pre-61 Front Engine GP Cars and two twenty-minute HGPCA Pre-66 Rear Engine Cars, as well as two Formula Junior events featuring cars from the 60s. These trips down memory lane are a vivid reminder of just how far, and how fast, the sport of auto racing has progressed.
Friday evening’s highlight on the racetrack features radio, TV, music and entertainment celebrities competing for the checkered flag in a fund-raising effort for the Bobby Moore Foundation. Among the celebrities driving the fleet of Fiat 500 Abarths will be BBC Radio 2 presenters Richard Allinson and Johnnie Walker, celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal and James Martin, and dancer Brendan Cole.
Entertainment for the weekend includes performances by 60s and 70s British bands Dr Feelgood and the Yardbirds, with the Rick Parfitt Junior Band and Stars from the X Factor taking to the stage on Saturday. Certainly, organizers are going to great lengths to ensure a family-fun weekend for auto racing enthusiasts of all ages.
Sir Stirling Moss OBE was born on 17 September 1929 in London. Moss is a former British racing driver who succeeded in many categories of racing, making him one of the world’s elite. He has often been called the “greatest driver never to win the World Championship”.
Stirling Moss raced from 1948 to 1962 and won approximately 194 out of the 497 races that he entered and took part in. This incorporated a total of 16 Formula One Grand Prix events. Once when he was interviewed he told the interviewer that over the years he had participated in 525 races in total and that he raced as many as 62 races in one year in just as many different cars. Drivers who came out of that era competed in many categories, often at the same time.
Stirling was a pioneer in British Formula One racing and was second four times in the Drivers’ Championships from 1955 to 1958. His first win was at the British Grand Prix at Aintree, with the incredible Mercedes-Benz W196 Monoposto. One of his favourite drives was the 1955 Mille Miglia, a race 1597 km long endurance race on open road through Italy. Here he managed to beat teammate Fangio in second place when he finished with a record time of 10 hours and 8 minutes. His navigator was there to support Moss with notes on the long trip and anything that might affect Stirling’s decision making. This helped immensely as Stirling competed against many local drivers and this gave him as much information as what they would have had.
In 1957 Moss completed one of the longest Grand Prix circuits, winning the daunting 25 km Pescara Circuit. He again beat friend and archrival Fangio showing his skills at high speeds and over a long distance. Stirling Moss was equally gifted in the sports car as he was in the Grand Prix car, winning for three years consecutively the hard and tiring 1000 km race at Germany’s Nurburgring.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed, set to take place 11-13 July 2008 in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England, is considered by many to be the world’s largest and most diverse tribute to the history of car culture and motor sport, attracting participants and spectators from around the world. Visitors can expect to see everything from 19th century steam carriages through to current Formula One cars.
Racing motorbikes, classic rally cars and dragsters will feature at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Visitors can look out for a number of motor sport legends, including Emerson Fittipaldi, John Surtees, Stirling Moss and Mario Andretti, who will be mingling with the top drivers of today, such as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Petter Solberg and Fernando Alonso.
A highlight of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the Hillclimb Competition, with participation by invitation only. This takes place throughout the three-day festival in the grounds of Goodwood House. The start of the almost two kilometer course is in the south of the park near the gate lodge. Participants race along a beautiful tree-lined avenue before turning to pass in front of historical Goodwood House. The trail then climbs a steep and narrow estate road past dense woodland groves, as competitors head toward Goodwood’s horse racing track situated on top of the South Downs. The Hillclimb Competition starts on Friday with free practice sessions with Saturday being the official practice day. Sunday is the timed competition with about 200 vehicles competing. The cars are grouped according to various categories, including Early Cars, Single Seaters, Sports-Racing Cars, Saloon-Based Cars and Motorcycles. With the oldest cars starting first, competitors can participate either in a timed category, or purely as a demonstration run. Competitors complete two runs on Saturday and again on Sunday with each competitor’s fastest time determining the final competition result. When they are not competing, the cars will be parked in four paddocks near Goodwood House for festival-goers to view.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is also a celebration of the role that the United Kingdom has played in providing a competitive and high-profile environment for world-class manufacturers and riders to honor the British Superbike Championship. One of the largest collections of machinery and riders, past and present stars of the British Superbike Championship, will be showcased at the Festival of Speed.
Rally drivers will put their skills, and their cars, to the test on a 2.5 kilometer loose-surfaced track which has been cut into the wooded area near the Hillclimb finish line. Spectators will have unrestricted access to observe these talented drivers demonstrate some daring rally driving techniques, including sideways driving.
Away from the roar of engines, the Cartier Style et Luxe displays some of the most beautiful and innovative automotive designs to come out of this coveted car design competition. The competition consists of about 50 cars divided into 10 classes, representing motoring history. The judges for the competition are not car experts, but noteworthy personalities from the arts. Judging is done on the basis of the beauty and practicality of the vehicle, taking into account proportion, detail, texture and finish. Judging will take place on Saturday and Sunday with a live jazz band adding to the festive atmosphere.
Certainly, all motor sport enthusiasts would not want to miss the exciting Goodwood Festival of Speed. Tickets will not be available at the gate, so book your tickets now!