New races, a wealth of special celebrations, a new headline sponsor and tickets already on sale - the perfect last-minute Christmas present - all mean that next year’s Silverstone Classic should trounce even this year’s spectacular.
Now officially called the Silverstone Classic powered by the AA, the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival takes place from 20-22 July and organisers are confident attendance will dwarf 2011’s 80,000 visitors.
The partnership with the Automobile Association means that not only will the Silverstone Classic be promoted directly to the AA’s 15 million members - who will qualify for discounted tickets - but also that the even will feature “a significant AA attraction centred around Silverstone’s infield Stowe Circuit”.
Event director Nick Wigley said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with the AA in what’s a massively significant new partnership. Together we are introducing many more new and interesting innovations right across the festival weekend – not least the chance for visitors to test drive many of the latest models right at the heart of the show."
The highlight of the rejuvenated festival, however, will remain the astonishing on-track action, with 1100 cars or more taking to the grid in 2011, making it the biggest motor sport event in history.
Popular favourites such as Group C will be back along with DFV-powered F1 cars, HGPCA, World Sportscar Masters, Gentlemen Drivers and, having provided the most gripping action this year, full 58-car grids of Historic Formula Junior and Under 2-litre Touring Cars.
After the success of the frenetic, all-drama, all-E-type grid this year, the staple races will be joined by a host of special celebrations and 50th anniversaries including MGB, Triumph Spitfire, AC Cobra and Ford Cortina.
For many enthusiasts the infield displays are just as big an attraction as the racing and organisers are pledging 120 car clubs and 7000 cars to drool over.
On the now-established music front, already signed up are 1980s icon Adam Ant and the appropriately named Mike & The Mechanics led by ex-Genesis man Mike Rutherford.
Ticket prices (see bottom) have been announced, and are available at special 'early bird' rates until the end of March. Wigley added: “Tickets not only provide free access to car parking, grandstand seats, air displays, fun fair and both Silverstone paddocks allowing festival goers to rub shoulders with drivers and see the amazing collection of classic competition cars up close, but they also include admission to all the live music concerts in the evenings.”
Perhaps most crucial for 2012 is a promise that access to the site will be improved and everything possible will be done to combat this year’s traffic chaos, plus more buses will be laid on to transport visitors between the paddocks.
Another innovation is the so-called Snoozebox, basically on-site hotel rooms - complete with wifi and other mod cons - for those who want a few more home comforts than the campsites offer.
Full details of the 2012 Silverstone Classic powered by the AA - including information on ‘Early Bird’ ticket offers and a selection of on-site camping facilities - are available via the event’s official website.
2012 TICKET PRICES
Adult Early Bird General Public Admission*
Friday – £30 (£40 on the gate)
Saturday – £40 (£50 on the gate)
Sunday – £40 (£50 on the gate)
Friday/Saturday – £60 (£80 on the gate)
Saturday/Sunday – £70 (£90 on the gate)
Friday/Saturday/Sunday – £80 (£110 on the gate)
Children (6-16 years old)
£5 per day
£7.50 for two-day ticket
£10 for three-day ticket
Kids (5 and under) free