This month’s star-studded 30th birthday edition of The Classic (30 July – 1 August) will not only celebrate its anniversary milestone with a ‘Greatest Hits’ schedule of golden age races but also with the largest grids of historic racers ever seen in the UK.
As the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival, The Classic has always boasted unrivalled numbers of retro racers but a change in the Silverstone track licence has now further boosted the grid capacity permitted for certain sportscar and saloon car showdowns from 58 to 61 starters.
Two totally sold-out races already taking full advantage of this welcome increase are the International Trophy for Classic GT Cars (Pre ’66) and the combined Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy & Stirling Moss Trophy.
Starring AC Cobras, Aston Martins, Daytona Coupes, Jaguar E-types, TVR Griffiths and giant-killing Lotus Elans as well as packed classes for Austin Healeys, MGBs, Morgans and early Porsche 911s, the International Trophy race (photos above and bottom four rows below) is always one of the most fiercely-fought on The Classic bill.
Adding to the excitement, the spectacular 50-minute mini-endurance race – now on Sunday afternoon – also includes mandatory mid-race pit-stops with the option of driver changes.
Staged for sports-racers from a slightly earlier pre-1961 era, the race for the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy & Stirling Moss Trophy runs to a similar format and has the honour of racing into the dusk on Saturday evening.
It will be a poignant race, too, as this will be the first time that the Stirling Moss Trophy has been contested at Silverstone since Sir Stirling’s passing in spring 2020. Fuelling the sense of occasion, the winner will be presented with the trophy that Moss was awarded for winning the 1955 British Grand Prix, his maiden GP victory.
The record 61 car grid will include Lotus XIs, Lister Knobblys, Cooper Bobtails and no fewer than seven stunning Jaguar D-types.
“We are very grateful that Motorsport UK has allowed us to invite a record number of entrants – more so after the frustrations of last year, which have resulted in lots of pent-up demand and excitement. We don’t want to disappoint anyone wanting to join us at The Classic,” said Duncan Wiltshire, Chairman of Motor Racing Legends, organiser of The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy & Stirling Moss Trophy race.
Wiltshire is also expecting a full-capacity 61-car turnout of evocative saloon car racers for the Adrian Flux Trophy for MRL Historic Touring Car Challenge race – a stunning field featuring BMW CSLs, Ford Capris, Rover Vitesses, BMW M3s and Sierra RS500s.
With so many historic racers eager to get back out on track, other races such as Historic Formula Junior and HGPCA Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars have also attracted grids full to their respective capacities.
Qualifying for all 21 races takes place on Friday. Saturday’s packed programme blasts off at 9am and concludes 12 hours later just after sunset. There’s a 9am start also on Sunday with the Classic Mini Challenge bringing the curtain down on three days of epic track action just before 6pm.
Source The Classic