Silverstone Classic 2015

Described as the world’s biggest motor racing festival, the Silverstone Classic this year celebrated its 25th anniversary, including a Saturday night concert by rock legends Status Quo.

With a hundred thousand visitors, ten thousand cars from a hundred and twenty car clubs displayed on the infield and eleven hundred entries in twenty races, this annual celebration is established as a major event in the classic car calendar.

The races and the displays were supplemented by a two day auction of classic cars and memorabilia, a shopping village with a hundred and fifty outlets and a fun fair with a forty metre big wheel, so there was something to interest everyone. There were aerial displays from a spitfire and in the evening, a pair of stunt planes featuring lights and firing fireworks from the wing tips.Jaguar Interest In The Racing

Qualifying sessions on Friday were heavily influenced by rain which fell for most of the day, potentially favouring nimble and less powerful cars.

Stirling Moss Trophy (pre ’61 sports)
Race was won by a Ferrari 246S, with Lister Jaguars in the next two places. Originally in pole position, the D-type of Chris Ward and Andrew Smith faded in the race to finish eighth, but this was still the best Jaguar placing. Andy Wallace and Ben Eastick piloted the other two D-types and we saw two XKs driven by Chris Scholey and Marc Gordon, drivers from the JEC-Racing XK Challenge.
Applicable pictures prefixed R1Jet Battle Of Britain TrophyThe E-type of Matt Nicholl-Jones qualified fastest but was quickly passed by a TVR Griffith which stayed ahead to win with former BTCC star driver Steve Soper third in another E-type. A stand-out drive by Jim Tester in his XK120, up from eighteenth to eighth, was the next Jaguar finisher ahead of five more E-types and Simon Drabble in a lovely Mk2 saloon.

A second and very wet race to end the Sunday programme was won by Matt Nicholl-Jones, as Jim Tester improved on Saturday’s result to finish sixth in the XK120.Pre ’66 Classic GT Cars

Another ex-BTCC driver Matt Neal was fastest qualifier in a Sunbeam Le Mans Tiger and led for the first few laps. Then, in the most competitive race of the day, we saw a tremendous, side by side, three way battle for the lead between Martin O’Connell’s E-type, an AC Cobra and a TVR Griffith, eventually finishing in that order but only after the Cobra got out of shape trying to defend on the exit from Copse.

Sixteen E-types in this race, the next best finishing in eighth and tenth places.

Group C

Closing Saturday’s programme was an evocative evening race for 1990s Le Mans cars running with lights into the twilight.

The Jaguar XJR14 still holds the outright lap record for the Classic at 1min 46.7 (123mph) and its speed through the Maggots, Becketts, Chapel series of linked curves is phenomenal to watch. The Jaguar took the lead from the Spice SE90 on pole, was then passed by a Nissan R90 and after very close racing for a number of laps, regained the lead to win by fifteen seconds. Another Jaguar, an XJR16, finished in a distant fourth place.RAC Woodcote Trophy (pre ’56 sports)

First race on Sunday was run in dry conditions just before the return of the rain. An early battle between a Cooper Jaguar, a D-type and a C-type changed through the driver changes leaving the two Jaguars with a clear lead. As spots of rain fell to make the track slippery, the C-type prevailed over the D and went on to take the chequered flag.

Later Races

From this point, steady rain set in for the rest of the day, leaving the track awash. Extensive and systematic use of the safety car was used in every race to ensure that the drivers fully understood the conditions before they were released to compete, leaving a limited number of laps in each case.

RAC Tourist Trophy

The race started and ran a number of laps behind the safety car before the cars were able to race. The Melling/Hall E-type finished second behind an Aston Martin DB4 GT, and Jeremy Cottingham was third in another E-type.Post by Roger Gage | Photographs in the Gallery