SILVERSTONE CLASSIC: tribute to the flying Scotsman

THE legendary racing achievements of double world champion Jim Clark will be honoured during a special event at this summer’s Silverstone Classic.

Staged in the dramatic new Silverstone Wing building, the inaugural BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner will take place on Friday July 26, almost exactly 50 years after Clark won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 20, 1963 en route to his first World Championship crown. Open to members of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and Silverstone Classic competitors, the commemorative dinner will include special tributes to the Scotsman – a racing legend still widely hailed to be the greatest ever Grand Prix driver.

Many of those who knew Clark from the 60s will be sharing their memories during this dedicated evening and several of Jimmy’s trophies, cars and other memorabilia will be on display in the Wing.

As well as being inexorably linked with Colin Chapman and Lotus, Clark is also remembered as a Silverstone specialist. He won three consecutive British Grands Prix at the superfast Northamptonshire circuit in 1963, 1965 and 1967 (the race was staged at Brands Hatch in the intervening years) and 50 years ago did the F1 double at Silverstone winning both the non-championship BRDC International Trophy in May and then the British Grand Prix two months later.

“Jim Clark was one of the greatest racing drivers of all times as well as a notable member of the BRDC and a true Silverstone hero – that’s why we are so pleased and privileged to be honouring his incredible career with this special BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner in July,” said Derek Warwick, President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club.

Pictured here is fellow Scot David Coulthard, who took Clark’s 1963 title winning Lotus 25 for a spin round the Silverstone track at the Classic media day

“The Classic is now firmly established as a major event on the international historic motor racing calendar and it presents us with the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to past champions. We hope this BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner will become a regular highlight in the years to come,” added Warwick.

Famous F1 cars once raced by Clark feature in two hugely evocative races organised by the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association (HGPCA) for Pre-1966 Rear Engined Grand Prix Cars; they are among an amazing collection of more than 100 of the world’s finest F1 cars still competing at the Classic. In honour of Clark, these two HGPCA races will be renamed the Jim Clark Trophy for Pre-1966 Rear Engined Grand Prix Cars.

A limited number of public tickets for the exclusive BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner in the Silverstone Wing are priced at £99 (including VAT) and available from the official website: SilverstoneClassic.com/BRDCdinner.

The annual event never fails to live up to its star billing as ‘The World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival’ and this summer’s three-day blockbuster (26-28 July 26-28) is all set to exceed all expectations with record race entries, record ticket pre-sales plus record numbers of mouth-watering car club displays and parades.

The on-track entertainment features no fewer than 24 action-packed races, many boasting massive oversubscribed 58-car grids.

Such is the festival’s incredible popularity that current predictions suggest the 2013 edition is poised to break the record of 1104 entries set in 2011, which is believed to have been the biggest race meeting ever staged in global motor racing history.

Once again the entire Silverstone site will be taken over by racing, displays, attractions and activities for the entire family, capped by sensational music concerts on Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Advanced ticket sales are at an unprecedented level and, sticking to the event’s widely acclaimed ‘access all areas’ policy, all these tickets include free entrance to racing paddocks, trackside grandstands and the live music concerts.

Nowhere will fans be able to see so much glorious Formula One history in on-track racing action. Three double-header grids (with races on both Saturday and Sunday) add up to more than 100 famous F1 cars covering more than seven decades of grand prix history.

As well as sports car races, for the first time this summer’s Silverstone Classic will include three saloon car grids showcasing more than 40 years of thrilling touring car history.

And another flying Scotsman, Sir Jackie Stewart, will be joining many of the men responsible for designing and crafting the cars that have graced F1 grids throughout time at the 2013 Classic.

Founded by Stewart, the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust looks after the interests of past and present F1 mechanics; in that role it’s organising a very special reunion at this year’s Classic enabling its members to meet old friends and reacquaint themselves with many of the wonderful machines they created.

“It seems to us to be the ideal place for a gathering of the most vital part of any racing team – the mechanics,” said Stewart who will be hosting the reunion at the Classic on the Saturday.

This year the Classic will host no fewer than three major parades, the biggest of which will see – appropriately – 911 road and competition versions of Porsche’s evergreen 911 marking 50 years in the life of a car that everyone instantly recognises.

An equally momentous milestone will be marked on Saturday when Aston Martin celebrates its centenary with a parade of 100 Aston Martin models.

Famed for its family-friendly entertainment, the Classic has so much more to offer those of all ages with everything from WW2 air displays and hot air balloon fly-outs to fun fair rides and pampering. Visitors can even learn to play some classic rock riffs at the Gibson Guitar Experience.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy free gondola rides in the imposing BMW Eye. Standing more than 40-metres tall, the BMW Eye will give vast panoramic views over both the dramatic racing action on famous Silverstone circuit and the display areas showcasing thousands and thousands of classic cars.

The Classic again includes live music concerts on both Friday and Saturday evenings. One of Britain’s most famous bands – The Hollies – will top the live music bill on the second night. They will be preceded on Friday by another illustrious band, this time from the silver screen. The ‘Stars from The Commitments’ includes original cast members from the BAFTA winning movie The Commitments and they are still performing many of the film’s soul classics.

Silverstone Classic festival-goers will also be treated to a host of other familiar favourites from four top tribute bands. Floyd Reloaded and Boot Led Zeppelin will be performing Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin classics on Friday while The Hollies will be supported on Saturday by the Ultimate Eagles and the Guns N’ Roses Experience.

More information at www.SilverstoneClassic.com

 

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