Records tumbled last weekend as the Silverstone Classic reached new heights. With a total of 1104 race entries and more than 8000 classic cars on display, the 2011 Silverstone Classic (22-24 July) more than lived up to its claim of being the ‘The World’s Biggest Classic Racing Festival’.
The entire Silverstone site was taken over by an amazing array of competition cars spanning the decades, classic car displays and parades, a mass of different entertainment attractions and activities, as well as music concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. Both National and new Silverstone Wing pits and paddocks were crammed with some of the world’s finest historic racing cars for what organisers believe to have been the biggest number of race entries ever recorded for a single race meeting held anywhere.
The racing action was viewed by a crowd of more than 80,000, with many race grids over-subscribed. Famous racers in attendance included five times Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE, former bike and F1 World Champion John Surtees OBE and ex-F1 star Stefan Johansson.
Off-track, in excess of 7000 classic cars from 120 clubs packed the Silverstone infield with E-type Jaguars taking pride of place in the key 50th anniversary event for Britain’s favourite sports car. More than 1000 E-types were on hand and in excess of 800 took part in a special track parade on Saturday which is hoped will set a new Guinness World record. Then, on Saturday evening a record grid of 52 E-types raced in the first of two special E-Type Challenge races.
“We believe that in terms of entries this year’s Silverstone Classic was the biggest race meeting ever staged anywhere on Earth. And the fact that this vast number of entries featured so much evocative motor sport history made the event even more special,” said event director Nick Wigley. “The Silverstone Classic is now firmly established as the World’s biggest classic racing festival and we were bowled over by the number of entries and the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. It will be a tough act to follow as we have raised the bar again, but we are already planning to raise it further next year. We will soon be unveiling plans for an even bigger and better Silverstone Classic in 2012.”
RaceCarBuzz will have a report from the event published on the site later in the week.