Wins for Williams, Aston Martin, Matra and Ferrari
Porsche Club GB takes ‘Scarf and Goggles’ Award
Spotlight now switches to Tin Top Sunday
Even by its own record-breaking standards, Saturday (30 July) was very special at the 2016 Silverstone Classic with more than 16 hours of awe-inspiring action and epic entertainment wowing tens of thousands of fans at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival.
It all started at dawn with 21 hot air balloons taking to the skies and ended after dusk with eighties chart-toppers, The Stranglers bringing down the curtain on another memorable day at the ‘Rocking and Racing’ Classic.
In between, the famous Grand Prix circuit hosted no fewer than 11 fiercely-fought races featuring something for everyone, ranging from early eighties DFV-powered F1 cars and fifties GTs, to slightly more modern Super Tourers and Group C prototypes. Spectators also witnessed three high-speed demonstrations and a succession of significant anniversary track parades.
Notable among these were the Lamborghini Club celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Miura plus 100 years since the birth of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, the Viper Club marking its 20thbirthday and Porsche Club GB which was honouring Porsche’s first ‘transaxle’ sports cars 40 years ago.
Indeed, the German marque was out in force with a massive display fronted by its Le Mans winning 919 Hybrid plus an impressive number of beautifully restored 924s, 944s and 968s. In total, no fewer than 2,500 club members were displaying 1,200 Porsches, including 200 transaxle models which took to the famous track for the special parade.
The efforts of Porsche Classic and the Porsche Club GB were rewarded with the coveted Mervyn Garton ‘Scarf and Googles’ Award for the best off-track visitor attraction.
While the unrivalled quantity and quality of the racing absorbs many, the amazing array of in-field entertainment is an equally important attraction at the Classic. Those at Silverstone were treated to an incredible array of privately-owned classic cars, fun fair rides, adrenaline zone activities and live festival music. The Boomtown Rats topped the bill on Friday before Reef and The Stranglers sent the fans home happy on Saturday evening.
Many of today’s highlight races will be back in action tomorrow along with a number of saloon and touring car showdowns on what’s a dedicated Tin Top Sunday.
Race 1: Commander Yorke Trophy for Historic Formula Junior
A huge grid of late 1950s and early 1960s Formula Junior single-seaters opened the weekend’s packed programme of racing, with more than 50 cars stretching back right around Club Corner at the start.
Sam Wilson took the lead, while Westie Mitchell, Callum Grant and pole-sitter Andrew Hibberd squabbled behind him. Hibberd moved into second and began to reel in Wilson but ultimately was unable to make up the lost ground.
There was a great battle between Cameron Jackson and Nicholas Fennell who were switching places all over the circuit and they caught Grant ahead, with Fennell battling through into third. But Grant wasn’t to be denied a podium grabbing back third place on the penultimate lap. Further back, Ray Mallock finished first of the older-generation front-engined cars, in 14th overall.
The trophies were presented by racing legend Richard Attwood, the 1970 Le Mans winner and more relevantly victor of the high profile Formula Junior race supporting the Monaco Grand Prix in 1963.
Sam Wilson (Lotus 20/22) 9 laps
Andrew Hibberd (Lotus 22) +1.073s
Callum Grant (Merlyn Mk 5/7) +16.611s
Race 2: Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-’61 Sports Cars
Next up was the first of the pit-stop races, with drivers competing for the actual trophy awarded to Sir Stirling Moss for his first ever Grand Prix victory at Aintree in 1955.
The crowds were treated to a great train of cars from first to fifth positions with the Lister Jaguars leading from the off. It wasn’t long, however, before Sam Hancock fought his way to the front in the scarlet Ferrari 246S ‘Dino’ with Oliver Bryant’s little Lotus picking its way through to second place.
Bryant briefly nosed the Lotus ahead of the Ferrari but then dropped back to fourth after spinning on oil at Stowe. He fought his way back past the Listers back into second but the Lotus lost ground later on after Oliver handed over to father Grahame.
Up front the Ferrari Dino won comfortably, the car taking back-to-back wins at the Classic in ’15 and ’16, Hancock thrusting both hands into the air in jubilation as he took the flag.
Sam Hancock (Ferrari 246S) 20 laps
Richard Kent (Lister Costin Jaguar) +28.255s
Tony Wood / Will Nuthall (Lister Knobbly) +29.837s
Race 3: Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre ’63 GT)
The coveted Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars was won by the pole-sitting Aston Martin DB4 GT of Wolfgang Friedrichs and Simon Hadfield… but the victory was far from straight-forward.
The early laps of the 50-minute, pit-stop encounter for Pre ’63 GTs were led by the striking and unique Ferrari 250 SWB ‘Breadvan’, with the AC Cobra of Martin Hunt and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards plus a pack of jostling E-type Jaguars in hot pursuit, as Friedrichs dropped back in the Aston.
The intervention of a safety car following an incident involving an Alfa Romeo TZ1 changed the face of the race, however. Lukas Halusa thought he’d taken advantage of the Safety Car to make his compulsory pit-stop, but came in before the pit stop window was open and thus was forced to make a second stop a few laps later.
Friedrichs, though, got his timing right and handed over to hot-shoe Hadfield as soon as the window opened and, when all the pit-stops had been completed, the Aston held a comfortable advantage over the AC Cobra with the fastest of the E-types shared by James Cottingham and Andrew Smith in third. After his earlier error, Halusa charged back through the field in the fabulous Ferrari and only just missed out on reclaiming a place on the podium, crossing the chequered flag right on the back bumper of the Jaguar.
Wolfgang Friedrichs / Simon Hadfield (Aston Martin DB4 GT) 18 laps
Martin Hunt / Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (AC Cobra) +16.468s
James Cottingham / Andrew Smith (Jaguar E-type) +30.698s
Race 4: Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for Pre '56 Sports Cars Presented by Jaguar
Pole-sitting Chris Ward in the Cooper-Jaguar was expected to take an easy victory in the 50-minute Woodcote Trophy showdown for pre 1956 sports cars after qualifying more than a second ahead of the opposition. But, come raceday, he was challenged all the way by Frederic Wakeman / Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in another of the Cooper-Jaguars.
Wakeman stole the lead at the start, with Ward harrying him all around the opening lap before nipping through at Chapel, then building a comfortable lead as cars made their mandatory pit-stops.
However, the on-form Blakeney-Edwards exited the pits right on Ward’s tail and then grabbed the lead with 15 minutes left. Blakeney-Edwards eked out a lead of just over a second, but Ward was always close behind.
With less than five minutes remaining Ward caught back up and re-took the lead, getting the power down exiting the Loop in a controlled slide. He pulled ahead onto the Wellington Straight, before holding on for a hard-earned victory in a fantastic contest between the two Jaguar-engined cars.
Chris Ward (Cooper-Jaguar T33) 19 laps
Frederic Wakeman / Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper-Jaguar T38) +3.370s
Tony Wood / Barry Wood (RGS Atalanta) +1m 35.440s
Race 5: FIA Masters Historic Formula One
The pair of 25-minute FIA Masters Historic Formula One races are always two of the big draws at the Classic. The huge crowd was treated to the spectacle of a rolling start for 29 DFV-engined Formula One cars from the late 70s and early 80s.
At the start, Ollie Hancock made a fantastic pass around the outside of pole-sitter Nick Padmore to lead in the 1978 Fittipaldi F5A, but Padmore would have none of it, wasting no time in re-gaining the lead at Brooklands.
Martin Stretton, who struggled to get heat into his tyres in qualifying, fell back to fifth in the ex-Michele Alboreto Tyrrell 012. Ahead of him, Hancock was under pressure from the fast-starting Loic Deman, the earlier Tyrrell 010 up from seventh to third on the first lap. The Belgian made a bold but necessary move up the inside going into Copse as the iconic black and gold Lotus 91/5 of Gregory Thornton was catching them both. The Fittipaldi fell back down the field, but took the victory in the pre ’78 class.
Thornton continued to press Deman in his Lotus, raced by Elio de Angelis in period, but couldn’t quite find a way past, pirouetting at Abbey on the last lap. He caught the spin after one rotation and continued without losing a spot.
Championship front-runner Nick Padmore claimed his fifth consecutive victory this season and a fitting one at Silverstone, where Clay Regazzoni took Williams’ first-ever Grand Prix win racing a similar FW07 in 1979.
Nick Padmore (Williams FW07C) 14 laps
Loic Deman (Tyrrell 010) +3.861s
Gregory Thornton (Lotus 91/5) +8.402s
Race 6: JET Super Touring Car Trophy
Evoking memories of the BTCC races of the nineties, the JET Super Touring Car Trophy was another crowd-pleaser coming immediately after the Masters Historic Formula One event.
Pole-sitter Colin Noble Jnr, running a Vauxhall Vectra from 2000 (when Jason Plato partnered Vincent Radermecker) started well and opened up a gap to James Dodd’s Honda Accord and Frank Wrathall in his ex-Emanuele Pirro Audi A4. Dodd, though, soon settled in and began to reel Noble Jnr back in.
Once he caught the leader, Dodd’s ex-Peter Kox Accord darted left and right in search of a way past, but the youngster kept a cool head in front and held his own to take a narrow but well-earned victory.
Craig Davies led the Group A runners in his flame-spitting Ford Sierra RS500, while two-time Bathurst winner Tony Longhurst – in his 1994 Australian Manufacturers’ Championship winning BMW 320 – finished just inside the top 20 after a race long battle with 1985 European Touring Car Champion, Gianfranco Brancatelli.
Colin Noble Jnr (Vauxhall Vectra) 9 laps
James Dodd (Honda Accord) +0.206s
Frank Wrathall (Audi A4) +9.824
Race 7: Can-Am 50 Interserie Challenge
This year’s Silverstone Classic is celebrating 50 years since the birth of the fearsome Can-Am sports car series with two very special showdowns. Saturday’s opener featured no fewer than ten of these mighty V8 beasts plus a great array of less potent but more agile cars from European championships and Le Mans.
The mighty Can-Am breed was headed by the brute force of Andrew Newall’s thundering 8.8-litre McLaren M8F from 1972 with Rob Hall’s glorious sounding V12 Matra MS670B/C from 1974 fastest among the World Sportscar interlopers.
Hall started slowly from pole with Andrew Newall blasting the McLaren into the lead but could not drop the hard-chasing Matra which harried the McLaren for the first 15 of the 20-minute race.
Then, with the McLaren starting to struggle on worn tyres, Hall slipped through into the lead. Newall used his car’s power to blast back alongside but eventually had to settle for second place overall and victory in the Can-Am category. The trophies were presented by Jackie Oliver; winner of the Can-Am Championship in 1974 which was the series’ final year.
Rob Hall (Matra 670B/C) 10 laps
Andrew Newall (McLaren M8F) +1.758s
John Grant (McLaren M8C/D) +31.944s
Race 8: Maserati Trophy for HGPCA pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars
48 fantastic Grand Prix cars dating between 1937 and 1964 took the flag at the start of this race, with third-placed qualifier Jon Fairley leading as the field went through Abbey. Pole-sitter Will Nuthall soon put the Brabham BT11 under pressure, his older 1960 Cooper T53 harrying the 1964 machine.
Indeed, the Cooper passed the Brabham at Brooklands, but Nuthall was unable to slow the car and allowed Fairley to re-pass, before running wide himself at Stowe, giving up the lead.
Once Nuthall went ahead he was able to stretch the Cooper’s legs, opening up a good advantage, before Fairley began to put the pressure on again. Behind them, Peter Horsman was running a steady race in his Lotus 18/21, ready to pick up any positions if things went awry in front.
Fairley’s Brabham re-took the lead with just over two minutes left, Nuthall briefly slowed in the Cooper, before picking up speed again and setting up a final lap showdown.
Fairley seemed to have the 20-minute race all under control with half a lap left, but he then suffered a leery moment letting a surprised and delighted Nuthall finish in front.
Will Nuthall (Cooper T53) 9 laps
Jon Fairley (Brabham BT11) +1.403s
Peter Horsman (Lotus 18/21) +13.041s
Race 9: FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars
The pole-sitting Andy Willis’ Matra MS650 led the 50-minute FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race from the start with Chris Ward’s Lola T70Mk3B taking second from Nick Padmore’s Chevron B19 before the Lola grabbed the lead to cap an entertaining first lap.
Padmore then slipped past the Matra too, and the Chevron began to catch the leading car before things settled down with Oliver Bryant holding off Gary Pearson – both in 5-litre Lola T70 Mk3B’s – battling for fourth.
Willis was the first of the front-runners to make the mandatory pit-stop handing over to team-mate Rob Hall, looking to capitalise on Hall’s speed to regain the lead.
Up front, Ward and Padmore continued to battle for the lead, the little Chevron briefly nosing ahead before the grunt of the Lola helped it retake first place.
The two leaders pitted together but with Hall’s Matra now lapping faster than them on track he took the lead, with Max Smith-Hilliard now in the Chevron coming out in second and Ward’s Lola now driven by Paul Gibson in third.
Bryant, running the whole race solo, passed the Chevron and quickly set after Gibson, passing the T70 soon afterwards.
But Rob Hall was too strong for the field in the light blue Matra, pulling away to take an impressive victory, and the second of the day for the French equipé.
Andy Willis / Rob Hall (Matra MS650) 23 laps
Oliver Bryant (Lola T70 Mk3B) +28.536s
Chris Ward / Paul Gibson (Lola T70 Mk3B) +52.577s
Race 10: International Trophy for GT Cars (pre ’66)
The day’s final 50-minute pit-stop race – the International Trophy for GT Cars – starred a capacity 57-car grid packed with wonderful Jaguar E-types, AC Cobras, Austin Healeys, Lotus Elans and MGBs. It was the TVR Griffith of Mike Whitaker which led away from pole position chased hard by the growling AC Cobras of Oliver Bryant and Leo Voyazides.
Bryant stalked the TVR for several laps before pouncing to take the lead. Behind him Julian Thomas in the leading E-type slipped past Voyazides for third and chased down the TVR.
After the mid-race pit-stops, just a handful of seconds covered the top four with Simon Hadfield now aboard Voyazides’ Daytona Cobra. He quickly slid past the E-type, which was then further slowed by a drive-through penalty, and set his sights on the leader. With a couple of laps remaining, the two Cobras – now with lights ablaze in the fading light – were battling side-by-side before Hadfield edged ahead to take the victory.
Leo Voyazides / Simon Hadfield (Shelby Daytona Cobra) 20 laps
Oliver Bryant (AC Cobra) +4.635s
Mike Whitaker (TVR Griffith) +12.482s
Race 11: Group C
An amazing day’s retro racing concluded with a spectacular 30-minute sunset showdown for Group C prototypes.
Stirring up memories of Le Mans in the eighties, Nathan Kinch took full advantage of pole position in his Judd V10 powered Lola. Behind the two Nissan R93s of Bob Berridge and Katsu Kubota, Christophe D’Ansembourg’s high-tech Jaguar XJR14 and Mark Sumpter’s Porsche 962 were all sending up sparks in the dusk as they skirmished for second.
Kinch wasted no time making his escape but the four cars behind put on a fantastic show. The Ross Brawn-designed Jaguar eventually making its way through the squabbling Nissans but then slowed on the final lap to elevate Kubota and Sumpter into the remaining places on the podium.
There was no stopping the dominant Kinch, though, who romped home to take the day’s final victory.
Nathan Kinch (Lola T92/10) 17 laps
Katsu Kubota (Nissan R93) +51.742s
Mark Sumpter (Porsche 962) +57.885s
Photo captions – Top: Can-Am McLaren battles against victorious Matra. Below (clockwise from top): Aston and Ferrari lead the packed TT grid; huge crowds in the paddock; Vectra leads Honda in Super Touring showdown; Williams recreating history at Silverstone; The Woodcote Trophy winning Ferrari; The Boomtown Rats; Porsche Club GB being presented with the ‘Scarf and Googles’ Award; battling Cooper-Jaguars; fun for all the family; Group C racing into the Silverstone sunset.
The record-breaking Silverstone Classic opened its doors today (29 July) to another action-packed, high-octane, three-day festival.
In a busy programme, the famous Grand Prix circuit witnessed no fewer than 14 exciting qualifying sessions with drivers from no fewer than 28 different countries jockeying for top starting positions for the weekend’s spectacular line-up of 20 nostalgic races covering the full spectrum of historic motor sport.
Many magical marques such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Matra and Williams were to fore and, with the majority of grids featuring more than 50 of the world’s finest racing classics, the scene is set for two days of epic competition.
The opening day at the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival also featured two additional sessions for Legends of Modern Formula One and 90’s Endurance Legends. Meanwhile, the infield began to fill up with many of the 10,000 privately-owned classic cars displayed by more than 100 car clubs.
On top of nearly 12 hours of track action, crowds were treated to some great family entertainment, including a fun fair, JET Village Green, Adrenaline Zone plus an evening rock concert headlined by The Boomtown Rats. Fans queued throughout the day for the popular F-TYPE Art of Performance Tour while the clock has started on Restoration Live, presented by eBay, where a Range Rover Classic is restored to its former glory.
Four-time World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty MBE was also at the Classic, revealing a custom Triumph Bonneville T120 and meeting fans on the Triumph stand.
Commander Yorke Trophy for Historic Formula Junior
The Classic got under its traditional start with an oversubscribed grid of 62 Formula Junior machines who are starting out on a three-year world tour to celebrate their forthcoming Diamond Jubilee.
The field were led by protagonists Andrew Hibberd and Sam Wilson. Those two were separated by a miniscule 0.088s, with Westie Mitchell just 0.346s back in third.
As well as the front-runners mentioned, single-seater star Harrison Scott, GT racer Lee Mowle, and the legendary Ray Mallock were among those taking part.
Andrew Hibberd (Lotus 22): 2m 21.064s
Sam Wilson (Lotus 20/22): +0.088s
Westie Mitchell (DeTomaso 63): +0.474s
Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-’61 Sports Cars
While many eyes were focused on Sam Hancock and Bobby Verdon-Roe in the gorgeous ex-Phil Hill/Wolfgang von Trips Ferrari 246 S ‘Dino’ and Lola’s first-ever car – the ’58 Mk1 Prototype – it was a trio of Listers that set the pace ahead of the scarlet Ferrari.
Oliver Bryant's little Lotus 51 was also among those lapping quickly. Ultimately, though, it was the Pearson brothers who took pole position by just 0.006s, with the top four separated by less than a second, boding well for the race.
Gary Pearson / John Pearson (Lister Jaguar-Knobbly) 2m 24.198s
Mark Lewis / Jamie McIntyre (Lister Knobbly) +0.006s
Tony Wood / Will Nuttall (Lister Knobbly) +0.608s
Historic Touring Car Challenge (’66-’90)
The Historic Touring Car Challenge is making its Classic debut in 2016 and was the first of the grids competing on Tin Top Sunday to hit the track. Mark Smith took pole in another close contest, 0.026s ahead of Silverstone Auctions Managing Director Nick Whale, both aboard BMW M3s.
A light sprinkling of rain mid-session made things tricky for all involved, though Rob Huff enjoyed himself sliding the ’76 Ford Capri through the corners in the damp conditions. Look out for the Capri during the race as it qualified lower than its potential.
The AMC Javelin – or ‘The Beast’ as it was known in period – made its first appearance for 40 years. Although it qualified well back in the 50+ car field, new owner/racer Marc Devis was just happy to have the car in competition again.
Meanwhile, the ’75 Zakspeed Ford Escort – only purchased last night in the Silverstone Auctions sale– qualified ninth in the hands of its new owner David Tomlin.
Mark Smith (BMW M3 E30) 2m 24.020s
Harry Whale / Nick Whale (BMW M3 E30) +0.026s
Grant Tromans / Richard Meaden (Ford Capri) 0.362s
John Fitzpatrick Trophy for Under 2-Litre Touring Cars
There was no let-up in the frantic action as the packed U2TC grid fought for space on track as if they were already racing each other! The Wolfe/Meaden Ford Lotus Cortina took pole by 0.351s from Fortec Motorsport boss Richard Dutton, sharing with engine guru Neil Brown. Dutton, though, made hard contact with a spinning car at Club Corner as the flag flew at the end of the session.
Touring and sports car legend Steve Soper, partnered with David Cuff, qualified third with Andrew and Maxim Banks rounding out the top four in their Alfa Giulia Sprint GTA with just 0.850s separating the top four. 1969 Le Mans winner Jackie Oliver and Richard Shaw qualified sixth in the BMW 1800 TiSA.
Andy Wolfe / Richard Meaden (Ford Lotus Cortina) 2m 31.902s
Richard Dutton / Neil Brown (Ford Lotus Cortina) +0.367s
Steve Soper / David Cuff (Ford Lotus Cortina) 0.769s
Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for Pre '56 Sports Cars Presented by Jaguar
No one could get near Chris Ward’s Cooper Jaguar, as his blistering lap of 2min 30.170s secured to pole position for the RAC Woodcote Trophy. The Frederic Wakeman / Patrick Blakneney-Edwards Cooper took second with the Pearsons in third after their earlier pole in the Stirling Moss Trophy.
Former BTCC stars John Cleland in a Lotus MkVI and Patrick Watts in an Allard J2 both piloted their machines solo, qualifying in 40th and 10th respectively.
Chris Ward (Cooper Jaguar T33) 2m 30.170s
Frederic Wakeman / Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper T38) +1.748s
Gary Pearson / John Pearson (Jaguar D-type) +2.730s
Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars (Pre ’63 GT)
Qualifying for the RAC Tourist Trophy race was interrupted by a mid-session safety car to recover a stricken Austin Healey, which cut down time for the ‘faster’ runners to qualify.
Simon Hadfield and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards started setting quick sectors, with Hadfield flying to the top slot in his Aston Martin DB4 GT (photo above) with a few minutes. Setting up an enthralling final minute, the Halusa’s unique and priceless Ferrari ‘Breadvan’ jumped into second place. Till Bechtolsheimer in the ex-Jackie Stewart Tojero Ecurie Ecosse Buick – running in the invitational class – took third on his final lap of the session, setting up an exciting race.
Wolfgang Frederichs / Simon Hadfield (Aston Martin DB4 GT) 2m 32.717s
Martin Halusa / Lukas Halusa (Ferrari 250 SWB) +0.374s
Till Bechtolsheimer (Tojero Ecurie Ecosse Buick) +1.624s
FIA Masters Historic Formula One
A highlight for many at the Classic is the biggest grid of the FIA Masters Historic Formula One season featuring more than 30 evocative F1 cars from the DFV era. Nick Padmore’s Williams FW07C, as raced by Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni in 1981, pipped Gregory Thornton’s iconic Lotus 91/5 by 0.638s to secure pole position. Martin Stretton left it late to pop into third in the ex-Michele Alboreto 1983 Tyrrell 012, while title challenger Loic Deman could only manage seventh, and will have his work cut out to reel in championship rival Padmore.
Nick Padmore (Williams FW07C) 1m 51.711s
Gregory Thornton (Lotus 91/5) +0.638s
Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012) +0.996s
Maserati Trophy for HGPCA pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars
Two expected challengers for the overall win headed the way in this session for some mouth-watering machinery from an earlier F1 era. Will Nuthall was the man to beat in a 1960 Cooper T53, comfortably ahead of Peter Horsman’s ’61 Lotus 18/21. The unique Maserati Tec Mec of Tony Wood, qualified ninth overall and fastest of the front-engined cars.
Will Nuthall (Cooper T53) 2m 20.032s
Peter Horsman (Lotus 18/21) +1.946s
Jon Fairley (Brabham BT11/19) +3.052s
Can-Am 50 Interserie Challenge Trophy incorporating the Canadian American Challenge Cup
The screaming 1974 Matra MS670B/C of Rob Hall stole the Can-Am thunder in their celebration race, edging Andrew Newall’s mighty McLaren M8F to pole by 0.168s. John Grant also upheld CanAm honour qualifying third in his McLaren M8C/D. The rare and extraordinary Shadow Mk1 of Harm Lagaaij was a real crowd-pleaser but qualified outside the top 20.
Rob Hall (Matra MS670B/C) 1m 58.723s
Andrew Newall (McLaren M8F) +0.168s
John Grant (McLaren M8C/D +1.695s
Lights-ablaze, the iconic Group C prototypes grabbed everyone’s attention on Friday afternoon. Bob Berridge set the mark mid-way through the session in his yellow Nissan, only to watch Nathan Kinch’s Lola pip him late on with a great last-gasp lap. Behind the front two, Christophe D’Ansembourg took the beautiful Jaguar XJR14 to third place.
Nathan Kinch (Lola T92/10) 1m 50.676s
Bob Berridge (Nissan R93) +0.292s
Christophe D’Ansembourg (Jaguar XJR14) +2.174s
International Trophy for GT Cars (pre ’66)
Father and son combo Oliver and Graheme Bryant topped the timing for most of a frenetic qualifying, their AC Cobra heading the Jaguar E-type of Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie by less than a second, before Mike Whitaker put in a fantastic effort in the TVR Griffith to head the sheets. A late response by Lockie looked set to challenge Whitaker but traffic at the final corner baulked his final lap. The Jaguar consequently will start from the second row.
The Shelby Daytona Cobra of Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield narrowly slotted into second place by 0.069s. If the race is anything like qualifying, this will be one not to miss.
Mike Whitaker (TVR Griffith) 2m 23.842s
Leo Voyazides / Simon Hadfield (Shelby Daytona Cobra) +0.326s
Oliver Bryant / Graheme Bryant (AC Cobra) +0.395s
Big Engine Touring Cars (pre ’66)
While the crowd present was captivated by an epic battle between the US muscle cars of Leo Voyazides and Craig Davies, first Eugene O’Brien’s Mustang and then Sean McInerney’s Lotus Cortina both set fastest laps to demote Voyazides.
After the mid-session driver changes, fastest sectors were set but none of the new pilots could hook it up for a full lap on a busy Silverstone circuit. With less than a second covering the top runners, any one of them could take victory in what promises to be another dramatic race on Tin Top Sunday.
Sean McInerney (Ford Lotus Cortina) 2m 31.085s
Mark Burton / Eugene O’Brien (Ford Mustang) +0.667s
Leo Voyazides / Simon Hadfield (Ford Falcon) +0.956s
JET Super Touring Car Trophy
The Super Touring field featured a number of standout entries including double Bathurst 1000 winner Tony Longhurst in his ’94 Australian Class II championship winning BMW 320, Tim Harvey’s ’92 BTCC championship winning BMW 318 coupe, the ’94 Paul Radisich World Cup winning Ford Mondeo and the ex-Emanuele Pirro’s Audi A4 – the last four-wheel-drive touring car built by the marque.
The 1998 Vauxhall Vectra of Colin Noble Jnr and James Dodd – in the ex-Peter Kox ’99 Honda Accord – swapped pole position several times, with Frank Wrathall then popping into second place in the Audi A4. The final lap as the chequered flag flew was astonishing, with first Dodd pipping Noble Jnr by thousandths of a second, but then the Vectra bounced back with a sublime lap to grab pole position.
Colin Noble Jnr (Vauxhall Vectra) 2m 13.252s
James Dodd (Honda Accord) +0.982s
Frank Wrathall (Audi A4) +1.614s
FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars
The early part of the busy day’s final session was dominated by the stunning speed – and sound – of the Matra MS650 shared by Rob Hall and Andy Willis, but the battles were tight behind the light blue French car.
Nick Pink and Scott Mansell initially headed the ranks of chasing Lolas, before a red flag – the day’s first – for oil on track caused a brief delay. Once battle recommenced the Paul Gibson / Chris Ward Lola T70 Mk3B moved up to second place, before Nick Padmore’s little Chevron B19 squeezed between the Lola and pace-setting Matra, but neither could prevent the Gallic marque taking its second pole of the day.
Rob Hall / Andy Willis (Matra MS650) 2m 05.377s
Max Smith-Hallard / Nick Padmore (Chevron B19) +0.543s
Motoring nod to 50th anniversary of England v Germany World Cup win
Stiles, Barnes and Hodge defend home honour
Formula 1 world champ Damon Hill captains 'Germany'
Silverstone Classic is renowned for celebrating important anniversaries and 2016 is no different. To mark the 50th year since the 1966 World Cup Final between England and Germany, which took place just 70 miles down the road, six stars were drafted in to recreate the home nation’s famous victory, in support of Prostate Cancer UK – official charity partner of the event.
England, in the red of 1966, were represented by International footballers John Barnes (c) and Steve Hodge as well as John Stiles (son of World Cup hero Nobby). The Germans – in white – lined up with ex-Formula 1 stars Damon Hill (c), Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson.
However this was no ordinary match. Thanks to the support of SsangYong – official courtesy & event team car partner of the Classic – each competitor piloted a Tivoli car, trying to score goals with an oversized inflatable football.
Trying to control this bunch was English Premiership referee Lee Probert, and he was a busy man during the 30-minute contest, handing out both yellow and red cards.
Despite warning both teams of the rules and regulations before ‘kick-off’, there were last ditch ‘tackles’, goal-line clearances and some inevitable impact for the vehicles to ably cope with, plus some pre-event shenanigans involving Herbert cranking up the hot air and heated seat in Stiles’ Tivoli!
There was plenty of end-to-end action and while some thought ‘it was all over’, the match went to the wire with the last ‘kick’ in an exciting finale. To find out who took the glory you’ll have to tune in to Sky Sports F1 during Saturday’s German Grand Prix qualifying or, for those at the event, a film of the match will be played on the big screens around 3pm on Saturday afternoon – exactly 50 years on from the World Cup kick-off at Wembley on Saturday 30 July, 1966.
Damon Hill (captain Germany): “Normally I’d say it’s a proud day, but I’m captaining Germany so I’m on the opposing side. Johnny Herbert was a wildcard, he’s like a little dog: he gets excited, his tail is wagging away, he sees the ball and that’s it, he’s off and has to get it. He’ll learn, he’s young! I hope everyone has a safe weekend and it’s a successful event.”
John Barnes (captain England): “They started well and closed us down. Once John Stiles took his handbrake off, we came into it! We soon realised it was no-holds-barred and that this was a contact sport after Herbert hit us two or three times in the first minute – we could be a little more aggressive we did ok!”