Record attendancefigures for the biggest historic motor racing event in the UK have beenconfirmed: over 65,000 visitors flocked to the Silverstone Classic 2009; this,which excludes the thousands of children 16 and under who entered free, is thehighest number recorded since the event’s inception five years ago, and a 15%increase over last year.
Silverstone was packed with on-track action: more than 600 carsand 900 drivers took part in 21 races, in celebration of over 90 years ofracing and progress in automobile technology. Bonhams’ auction was a runawaysuccess, with 100% sell-out rate and over £750,000 raised from the Brawn GP andJaguar Heritage collections.
Nearly acentury of racing’s finest provided plenty of adrenaline-fuelled action: fromrare Heskeths battling for the trophy in the Grand Prix Masters race, to theunique short-wheel-base Ferrari GT ‘Breadvan’, winner of the pre-’63 GT race, newfor 2009. All podium positions were taken by XK120s in the Daily ExpressProduction Race for Jaguar Cars, repeating Jaguar’s supremacy in the DailyExpress-sponsored, first ever production car race at Silverstone sixty yearsago. Gentleman Drivers’ AC Cobras chased after Jaguar E-types, and four decadesof touring cars took to the Silverstone Grand Prixcircuit.
Classic carfans Blue shared the outdoor stage with the Pussycat Dolls on the Friday night,and Saturday was another sell-out with Carlos Santana’s only UK concertfollowing a full day’s racing, just after the Linney/Hadfield duo’s big LolaT70 left Chevron B16s and Alfa T33s behind in the evocative Masters Sports Cars‘dusk’ race.
Theprovisional dates for the next Silverstone Classic weekend are July23-25, 2010.