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A new festival of motoring will come to the grounds of Thirlestane Castle this summer, when the Sir Jackie Stewart Classic takes place on 18-19 June.
Organised in collaboration with the Borders Vintage Automobile Club and raising money for Sir Jackie Stewart OBE’s charity Race Against Dementia, it is hoped that the 16th-century estate in the Scottish Borders, about 30 miles south of Edinburgh, will welcome upwards of 1200 classic and modern sports cars over the weekend.
And the event will be a classic car show with a difference: expect a concours d’elegance, a collection of Formula One cars from Stewart’s past, a sprint course and even a clay-pigeon shoot.
There’s more inside the castle itself, as Stewart explains: “All of my trophies for example are on display – can you imagine, all of my trophies – and some more racing cars.”
These cars will follow the theme of Scottish motorsport, campaigned by drivers including 13-time Grand Prix victor David Coulthard, triple Le Mans winner Allan McNish, and four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti.
“And there are some movies being played,” Stewart continues. “My son, Paul, has made a movie of my life, unfortunately, which I think will do quite well. Because of the epidemic it hasn’t been released earlier, so it’ll be released here.”
The BVAC Classic on the second day will comprise a classic car show.
The club has held a meeting at Thirlestane Castle for the past 15 years, drawing more than 1200 classic cars, and with 2022 being the BVAC’s 50th anniversary, it is promising to pull out all the stops to make this year’s display bigger and better than ever.
The Sir Jackie Stewart Classic will also be raising money for his charity, Race Against Dementia, founded following his wife’s diagnosis with frontotemporal dementia six years ago.
The charity sponsors PhDs in the field, to inspire scientists with a ‘Formula One attitude’ towards research progress.
“Our young PhDs are given enormous support: we fly them around, to go to a Red Bull or McLaren factory for them to see the speed of change, the speed of problem-solving in Formula One, it’s faster than anything else,” Stewart explains.
“We’ve got to find new ways of doing business,” he continues, “and that’s why we’re using motorsport. For at least 45 years, they’ve failed to find a cure for dementia.
“Can you imagine failing for 45 years in Formula One? It just doesn’t happen.” So far RAD has sponsored 10 PhD fellowships around the world, including one at the University of Edinburgh.
“I think this event is going to be a good thing for Scotland. It’s a good thing for motorsport in general, and it’ll be global, not just a Scottish and British thing.”
Find out more online.
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