This years gathering of all things classic and racy at the famous Silverstone circuit was a biggie.
Not only did we see record crowds – some 90,000 over the three-day event – but there were a couple of impressive on-track records too; one for the number of Porsche 911s together in one place, and a Silverstone Classic racing lap record for a stunning ‘Silk Cut’ Le Mans Jaguar.
A bit of a treat all-round then and further proof – if we need it after the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival shows – that show-goers that love their racing metal, love it still further if it’s got a juicy dash of history and providence to it. And as these pics show, there was more history at the 2013 Silverstone Classic than a full set of Encyclopaedia Britannicas!
Sunday at the show was all about the wonderful Porsche 911; celebrating 50 years of rear-engined curviness this year, and a record was planned, and then smashed. The idea was to get nine-hundred and eleven 911s on the track together at Silverstone, but as the record attempt gathered serious momentum pre-show, the organisers soon realised it was going to be way bigger than that. In the end, some 1,208 911s from every model year lapped the track together – with help from Porsche Club GB – with the cavalcade led by five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell and Mark Porsche, son of Ferdinand ‘Butzi’ Porsche, designer of the original 911 first unveiled in 1963, 50 years ago.
Entirely static car shows just don’t cut the motoring-mustard these days, and the whole Silverstone Classic events revolves around the historic cars lapping the world-famous track. It was during a big Le Mans Prototypes demo that Nic Minassian, in the Ross Brawn-designed, 1991 Jaguar XJR-14 – in iconic Silk Cut livery – set a new Silverstone Classic lap record of 1m 46.712 seconds, averaging nearly 123mph around the 3.64-mile grand prix circuit. What a beautiful car to break a record in.
It’s a simple recipe really, just bring a bunch of stunning historic racers to a world-famous track and then fill the place with petrol-heads. The Silverstone Classic organisers clearly know this and that’s why 90,000 fans turned up to revel in the sound, smell and symphony of these incredible old cars.
By Dan Anslow
Images by Chris Wynne