After Goodwood, it's the Silverstone Classic
Goodwood Festival of Speed might seem impossible to follow, but the ever-expanding Silverstone Classic (Saturday 21 July and Sunday 22 July) appears to be managing it.
There will be a total of 24 races. We can't cover them all, but these are some of the highlights.
One of the most famous races in British motor sport – the Daily Express International Trophy – is being revived. The prize will be awarded later this month to the aggregate winner of the two Grand Prix Masters races. First run in 1949, the roster of winners reads like a who's who of motor sport history. Alberto Ascari won the inaugural event for Ferrari and subsequent victors include Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Keke Rosberg won the final contest held for Formula 1 cars in 1978.
However the Trophy continued, initially for Formula Two cars and thereafter for Formula 3000. The race's continuation gave a new generation of top class drivers such as Derek Warwick, Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Webber a chance to add their names to the impressive list of winners.
This year, it will be the aggregate winner of the weekend's two Grand Prix Masters races who will receive the Daily Express International Trophy. Run for Formula 1 cars from the Ford DFV era, these grids are largely from the Seventies and early Eighties. This year's line up includes Arrows, Ensign, Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren, Penske and Williams as well as two revolutionary six-wheeled F1 cars from March and Tyrrell. All entrants will race in period liveries – including tobacco sponsorship where appropriate.
The Touring Car race line-up will include BTCC star Mat Jackson in an early 1960s Ford Lotus Cortina carrying the famous red and gold Alan Mann Racing livery which he'll share with Mann's son Henry. A grid of 50-plus cars is expected to line up with a fierce scrap anticipated between the Lotus Cortinas, BMW 1800Tis, Alfa Romeo GTAs and Mini Coopers.
Jackson commented: "I've tested the Cortina and it made me feel like Jim Clark – I was up on three wheels through every corner which felt strange but very exciting. With the Cortina there's the lack of grip with cross-ply tyres, the all-round vision isn't great, there's a lot of whining from the four-speed manual gearbox and the brakes are, how shall we say, vague... I absolutely love it!"
The Group C races will include three Martini Lancia LC2s (out of only seven ever built). These were Ferrari-powered racers which were faster than the Porsche 956s, but were also less reliable. This is the first time since the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1983 that three of these cars have appeared on the same grid – and one of the Group C races will further evoke the spirit of Le Mans by running into dusk on the Saturday evening.
The Jaguar E-Type Challenge was first created last year to salute the 50th birthday of Britain's favourite sports car.
"With grids of more than 50 competition-prepared E-types, the two Jaguar races were among last summer's highlights – that's why we are so delighted to welcome back the Jaguar E-type Challenge to the Silverstone Classic in July," said Nick Wigley, Event Organiser. "We will be staging two rounds of the series with races on both Saturday and Sunday."
Last, but not least, there will be a series of anniversary celebrations, including 50th birthday parties for the AC Cobra, Lotus Elan, MGB and Triumph Spitfire plus the UK's first BMW Z-Fest to mark 60 years of the BMW Car Club GB. Another highlight will be the largest ever gathering of over 50 Ferrari F40s, as one of the most important supercars ever built reaches its 25th birthday.