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Silverstone Classic, 23 - 25 July 2010

The Silverstone Classic is back to the prominence in classic motoring circles once enjoyed by the Coys Historic Festival at the same venue a few years ago. The 2010 running was a bumper edition, with full and sometimes oversubscribed grids, a vast array of one make car club displays, expansive vendor areas, rock bands in the evenings, and a large funfair for the young in mind and body if interest in the on track activity waned, making it a great event for the whole family. As a bonus, the meeting was blessed with beautiful weather over the whole three days, making the experience even more enjoyable, as Silverstone can be an inhospitable place in inclement weather.

The gathering also heralded the return to racing of Sir Stirling Moss after the fall at his home earlier in the year, when he broke his ankles. His return was celebrated by a photo call with a bevy of RAC beauties on the Friday, and he raced his OSCA in the RAC Woodcote Trophy race, unfortunately ending in retirement whilst leading its class with co-driver Ian Nuthall, when it stuck in 4th gear with only ten minutes of the one hour race remaining. Another returning driver, Willie Green, who was making his racing return after his horrendous crash at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in 2005, was more fortunate. Co-driving with Carlo Vogele, owner of the 4 litre GTO in which they competed, he won the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars, after a great battle with the Aston Martin DB4 GT driven by Richard Attwood and Stuart Graham. The Aston Martin had held the advantage for most of the race on the track, but a slicker driver change pit stop saw the Ferrari emerge ahead and go on to take victory.

There was also plenty of single seater action, with grids for Pre - ’61 GP Cars, Pre - ’66 GP Cars, Formula Juniors and Pre - ’85 GP Cars, in the first of these Gary Pearson completed a double, winning on both occasions from Tony Smith’s Ferrari Dino 246. There was a double win for John Chisholm’s Lotus 18 in the Pre - ’66 GP Car race, whilst in the Formula Juniors it was a double victory for Jon Milicevic, victory in the second race being by a scant 0.03sec! In the Pre - ‘85 GP Car races, race one win went to the Arrows A4 of Steve Hartley, who was just beaten to the flag in race two by the Tyrrell 009 of Bill Coombs, after the former dislodged his front wing in his efforts to pass. With other races for sports racing cars and “big banger” saloon cars, Trofeo Abarth 500 races and a racing motorcycle display parade, there was a great mix to keep the fans enthralled throughout the weekend.

David O’Neill