Victorious 24 Hours of Spa team reunited for Classic showdowns
BTCC star Karl Jones back in the RS500 hot-seat
This summer’s Silverstone Classic (28-30 July) will celebrate the Ford Sierra RS500’s 30thbirthday with two very special double-header races.
For the first time ever both JET Super Touring Car Trophy showdowns taking place on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons of the Classic will feature not one, but two stellar grids racing simultaneously. The first will be filled with high-tech Super Tourers, the second with Group 1 and Group A racing saloons, including a large number of legendary RS500s.
The focus on the famed RS500 – the competition version of the original Sierra RS Cosworth – is highly significant, too, as the all-conquering turbocharged winged icon was first launched in July 1987 and thus is celebrating its 30th anniversary milestone at the Classic.
In total, the amazing and unprecedented line-up will feature more than 50 iconic entries spanning more than 25 years of glorious touring car racing history, all still displaying their evocative period liveries. There will be Group 1 Capris and Rover Vitesses from the late seventies and early eighties, Group A favourites such as the mighty RS500 and impressively rapid BMW M3s from the late eighties plus, of course, the more extreme Super Tourers from the nineties.
After what promises to be a hectic joint qualifying session on Friday, the field then will be split into two individual grids for the weekend’s pair of stand-out races. The more modern Super Tourers will line up in front and take the first rolling start. Then, 30 seconds later, the combined Group 1 and Group A grid will flash across the line thus providing spectators with two spectacular showdowns running in parallel on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
“It’s going to be very special and, with so much wonderful tin-top history on track, an amazing experience that no touring car enthusiast would dream of missing,” enthused Nick Wigley, CEO of event organiser, Goose Live Events. “The exciting Super Tourers have always been a big hit with the fans ever since the very first David Leslie Memorial Trophy race at the Classic back in 2009. Now we are doubling the eye-catching entertainment with what’s effectively a second stunning race running at the very same time – even more so, as this ‘second race’ will put the spotlight on the incredible achievements of the rightly idolised RS500.”
Introduced by Ford to put some much-needed sparkle into its humdrum showroom Sierra, the three-door RS500 is rated by many to be the world’s most successful competition car of all times. With its signature whale-tail rear spoiler and Cosworth inspired 500+ bhp power pack, in its era the seminal Sierra was virtually unbeatable totally dominating Group A touring car championships right around the globe.
Perhaps its greatest triumph came at the 24 Hours of Spa in 1989 when Gianfranco Brancatelli, Win Percy and Bernd Schneider took top honours in their Eggenberger Motorsport entered RS500. Today that victorious Bastos liveried car (below middle right) resides in far away New Zealand but it will be coming to Silverstone for a very special reunion at the Classic. Once again, multiple touring car champion Brancatelli will be back behind the wheel and team principal Rudi Eggenberger will be back on the pit wall.
Welsh racer Karl Jones is another reliving his RS500 glory days at Silverstone this summer. Back in the late eighties, he raced a Duckhams branded Sierra (below middle right) in the BTCC, scoring several podium finishes. Come July, Jones will be sharing a drive with Paul Linfoot in the striking Lui liveried RS500, (below middle left) formerly raced successfully in the 1988 German DTM championship by twice Le Mans winner Manuel Reuter.
As befits a 30th birthday party, Brancatelli and Jones will be joined by a number of other notable RS500 revellers. Those already confirmed include Andrew Kirkley in his ex-Laurence BristowCAM Shipping liveried Sierra, Mark Wright’s iconic Texaco liveried machine plus the yellowDunlop RS500 as raced in the Japanese Touring Car Championship. More ‘Cossie’ entries are expected, too.
Not only will visitors to the Silverstone Classic witness all these fabulous RS500s in dramatic flame-spitting action out on track but also, thanks to the event’s acclaimed ‘access all areas’ tickets, they will be able to observe the incredible cars close up in the paddock and even meet their renowned drivers.
Indeed, all tickets (which must be purchased in advance) give access to both racing paddocks, trackside grandstand seating, live music concerts on both Friday and Saturday evenings, vintage funfair rides, air shows, car club displays as well as a host of other family-friendly demonstrations, activities and entertainment. Adult admission starts at £43 and weekend camping and hospitality upgrades are available.
Full ticket details and all the latest news is available on the official website: silverstoneclassic.comand via the event’s social media platforms.
Our last auction, which took place in March, was our most successful yet, with over 70% of Auction Lots sold, so we are delighted to announce that our Seller's Special Rate Offer will also apply on all new entries placed into the May auction, which takes place over the weekend of 6th and 7th.
As before, our Commission on all sales will be just 2.5%* up to the Reserve amount and then 5%* after that. Buyers too will also benefit as we hold our Buyer's Rate to an industry low of just 5%* - and Buyers will also benefit from Free Entry and Auction Catalogues at just £5.00 each.
Once again it will be at our incredible venue, the Crowne Plaza Five Lakes resort just outside Colchester and if you haven't already attended one of our events, you are in for a wonderful surprise when you do - and don't forget, if you want to stay for the weekend, we have even arranged a special rate with the Hotel of just £129.95 for two people in a double-occupancy room, including dinner and breakfast.
With nearly 40 Lots confirmed and a substantial list waiting to be finalised, our 7th May auction already has a wide variety of vehicles entered, such as a 1947 Daimler DB18 once owned by Royalty, a stunning 1960 Morris Minor "Million" with just 32,000 miles on the clock, a superb 1963 "Museum Quality" Fiat 500D, complete with forward-opening "suicide doors" and a much sought-after 1984 2.8i Capri - we even have a 1974 Vespa 150 "Sprint Veloce" that was restored and then stored!
We'd like to say a big thanks to everyone who attended our March auction and we hope to see you again in May.
Sometimes something comes along that is too special to not be noticed and that is exactly what we felt when we first saw this lovely 1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 2+2, so we thought we'd tell you a little more about her...
This lovely left-hand drive Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 “four seater” was manufactured, according to its Heritage Certificate, between the 28th and 31st of March 1960 and then despatched to Los Angeles, USA on the 7th of April the same year. Here it stayed until circa 1990 when it was exported to Norway.
Once in Norway it was restored and entered into the year 2000 “Rallye Monte- Carlo Historique”, before staying in Norway (apparently in the front room of the owner’s house!) until being purchased and shipped to the UK in 2014.
The Austin-Healey 3000 was announced on 1 July 1959 with production commencing soon after, making this car a very early example. Its 3 litre engine replaced the smaller 2.6 of the 100- 6 and gaining front disc brakes for the first time. Options were limited, comprising of "wire wheels, overdrive gearbox, laminated windscreen, interior heater, adjustable steering column, detachable hard top for the 2+2, and two-tone paint” but this one had the lot, with the rare hard top still being present with the car, as is the soft top and “tonneau” cover.
As previously mentioned, restoration took place the best part of 20 years ago and while still in excellent order, there are one or two areas where some paint rectification could be carried out on minor chips etc. - remember this car ran in the Monte-Carlo Rally. However, nothing that detracts from the looks and presence of the car though and only very minor. The interior is still in very good order and trimmed correctly. Chrome work, badges etc. are all present, correct and in very good condition.
The engine bay is very presentable, needing no more than some minor detailing to be "Show Quality" and they engine fires up willingly, soon warming to a smooth but purposeful tick over. The gearbox has overdrive which is reported to work and all the mechanics are described as "good".
So there you have it, a lovely example of a rare car that not only stands to appreciate in value but will give you much pleasure and enjoyment should you choose to take her out for a spin occasionally.