Silverstone Classic kicks off in style

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The Silverstone Classic powered by the AA got under way today (20 July), with a huge variety of historic competition cars battling the inclement weather for the practice sessions.

The meeting features more than 1000 racers on-track, with the competitors split between two different pit areas on Silverstone’s wide-open spaces.

The Historic Formula Junior grid was first out, and it was David Methley’s Brabham that took pole position ahead of a swarm of Lolas, Coopers, Elvas and Lotus.

Fortunately, the circuit stayed dry for the F2 and F5000 machinery competing in the Peter Gethin Trophy. Michael Lyons (Lola T400) edged out Martin Stretton’s March for fastest time.

By the time the Woodcote Trophy for pre-’56 Sports Cars took to the GP circuit, the heavens had opened. Jaguars led the way, with the Monteverde/Pearson D-type leading three similar cars. The Webb/Reid C-type spoilt the party by posting third-fastest time.

One of the highlights of the next two days looks set to be the Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy for saloon cars that raced between 1970-2000. The session earlier today saw the later front-wheel-drive cars struggling to cope with the Sierra RS500s.

The Formula 1 machinery competing in the Daily Express International Trophy should also provide good value. The entry list includes Jeremy Smith’s six-wheeled March 2-4-0, which looked at home in the damp qualifying session.

It stayed wet until late afternoon, when the sun made a welcome return for the HGPCA pre-1961 front-engined GP cars. Practice continued into Friday evening, with the Group C cars providing a spectacular final session.

Also set to compete over the weekend are pre-'61 sports cars, the entertaining Under 2-litre Touring Cars, pre-'63 GTs, World Sports Car Masters, plus front- and rear-engined Grand Prix cars.

Organisers have worked hard to overcome the problems caused by recent wet weather, with some elements of the weekend being moved to hardstanding areas.

Owners’ clubs have got a vast display area near the National Pits, where there is also a shopping village and fairground. Silverstone Auctions, meanwhile, will be holding its latest sale in The Wing on Saturday (21 July).

Unfortunately, we are currently having problems uploading pictures to our website. There is, however, a selection of photographs from today on our FaceBook page.

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