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Bentleys galore! - Report: Bentley Drivers Club 60th Anniversary Meeting, Silverstone, UK

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Silverstone's Bentley anniversary meet celebrated with races, parades and displays

Glorious weather blessed the 60th Anniversary Bentley Drivers Club race meeting at Silverstone over the weekend of August 8-9 – an event first held in 1949 and which has taken place every year since then. “This was surely one of the biggest gatherings of Bentleys of all ages you could ever hope to see,” said Sebastian Welch, Competitions Captain of the BDC. But it’s the atmosphere that sets this meeting apart, as much as the full grids and race action. “Our aim was to celebrate 60 years of BDC racing at Silverstone with two days of ‘proper’ club racing. Racers and spectators responded with enthusiasm, as shown by the record turnout of 180 cars in the Bentley parade.”Over the two days, 18 races welcomed full grids of Bentleys and other invited marques. One of the highlights was seeing modern machinery racing much older cars in both the Bentley Handicap and Bentley Scratch races. Saturday’s Bentley-only Scratch race was won by the 1949 MkVI Special of Michael Higginbotham. Meanwhile, the Bentley Handicap race allowed a Continental GT (driven by Robert Gate) to come fourth overall, despite being a standard road car and looking as though it had just driven out of the showroom.  Other attractions included track demonstrations of John Cobb’s fabulous, 24-litre, 1933 Napier-Railton, and the 600bhp, 217mph, 2003 Le Mans-winning Bentley Speed 8. “We hope we lived up to the spirit and tradition of this great annual event,” concluded Sebastian Welch.

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