It’s well worth watching this video from Auto Express – you might just be surprised at the result. The Honda Civic Type R represents just about the fastest thing with FWD, the BMW M3 is a serious rear wheel weapon and the Audi RS3 has quattro all wheel drive. There’s a power difference between each and also a marked step up in price from the Honda, Audi then BMW. But which can complete the circuit quickest? Watch the video to find out where your money is best spent.
The Facts and Figures behind ‘The World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival’
- The trend-setting Silverstone Classic celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015. When founded in 1990 it was the UK’s first historic motor racing festival.
- For the first time in the Classic’s 25 year history, a crowd of more than 100,000 is expected for this month’s Silver Jubilee celebration. All tickets must be purchased in advance and pre-sales are at record highs.
- Last year’s incredible total of 1,125 race entries made the Silverstone Classic not just ‘The World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival’ but also the largest race meeting ever staged anywhere on Earth. And that figure could be topped in 2015.
- The packed on-track programme features 20 races covering the full spectrum of motor sport history plus 6dramatic High-Speed Demos for 90s GTs and F1 cars.
- The oldest car competing is a 1923 Bentley racing in the Kidston Trophy for Pre-War Sports Cars; the most recent a howling Super Aguri raced by Takuma Sato in the 2006 F1 World Championship. The Cosworth V10-powered projectile is part of the exciting new High-Speed Demo for Legends of Modern Formula One.
- The two FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship races have attracted a record 44 entries from F1’s evocative 3-litre era. It could be the world’s biggest-ever F1 race.
- The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain will be commemorated with two special Trophy races for British sports, touring and GT cars plus flypasts by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
- No fewer than 90 entries were received for the 58 starting places on the Guards Trophy grid.
- With more than 60 UK chart hits to their name, Saturday evening’s bill toppers Status Quo have amassed more top selling singles than any other rock group.
- Full 800-acre Silverstone site is filled with family attractions and entertainment guaranteed to excite and inspire all ages.
- A new record of 10,000 privately-owned classic cars will be descending on Silverstone over the three-day festival, providing race-goers with a spectacular classic car show.
- An unprecedented total of 120 motor clubs and groups are displaying their cherished classic cars on the in-field.
- More than 40 key motoring milestones are being celebrated with special track parades on Friday and Saturday. Models with special birthdays include: Aston Martin DB6; Bentley S1; BMW 3-Series; Borgward Isabella; Honda NSX; MGB GT; Range Rover; Toyota MR2; Mazda MX5; Nissan Skyline; Triumph TR3, TR4A and TR7 plus the Sinclair C5. There will be no C5 circuit cavalcade, though, due to time restrictions!
- The huge 40m giant wheel on the Jet Village Green provides panoramic views over Silverstone for FREE.
- The Shopping Village has swelled to more than 150 outlets in 2015 offering retail therapy for all ages including: motoring memorabilia, vintage clothing and accessories, toys and models, motoring books and literature, restoration services, art and photography, cars and car parts, antiques, autojumble and so much more!
- Silverstone Auctions estimates £2.55m worth of important race cars will be going under the hammer on Thursday evening with sales totalling around £6.4m being generated from its classic car sales on Saturday and Sunday.
- The Silverstone Classic lap record stands at 1m 46.712s – an average speed of 123mph (198kph) and was set by French sportscar specialist Nic Minassian in the 1991 Jaguar XJR14 GpC sports-prototype in 2013.
- Television programmes with highlights from this year’s Silverstone Classic will screened 4 times on ITV4 – firstly at 20:00 on Sunday 12 August.
- With gates opening at 07:30 and not closing until 23:30, the Silverstone Classic is serving up 43 hours of epic entertainment.
- In total, 95 trophies will be awarded to race and class winners over the weekend. There are 2 new Scarf and Googles Awards honouring event founders Stuart Graham and Mervyn Garton, too.
All tickets for the 25th anniversary Silverstone Classic must be purchased in advance. Adult admission starts from £40 and ticket prices include booking fees, parking, infield, grandstands, paddock access, live music – including Status Quo – and the vast majority of the numerous attractions. Full details – together with hospitality packages and weekend festival camping – can be found on the official website: www.SilverstoneClassic.com.
Rob Wilson is possibly one of the most important players in Formula One racing that you’ve never heard of. Based at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in South Leicestershire, Rob is instrumental in carving split seconds from the lap times of at least 12 drivers on the current grid, and his key training weapon is… a standard Vauxhall Astra.
As improbable as it seems, Rob’s Astra Sports Tourer – along with a GTC and Insignia Sports Tourer – are perfect for his training sessions, which also benefit drivers from Indycar, DTM and even WRC.
“The Vauxhalls will do everything that an F1 car does dynamically, just at a far lower speed,” said Rob. “This allows me to explain the physics behind what the car is doing out on the track in real time, which I’d never manage in a performance car. The other advantage is that the driver’s engineer can ride along too, and this is crucial since a change in driving technique could result in a different set-up for the race car.”
Rob’s techniques, which have been honed from his own long and successful career in motorsport, assume a very high base-line in driving ability at the start of his sessions. The focus is on cornering and braking weights, and how to minimise both by adopting sometimes counter-intuitive cornering lines; even gear-changing comes under the microscope: “Many top drivers have never heel-and-toed during down-changes, because they’ve never needed to. But the discipline makes them appreciate the importance of smoothness and how it can have a positive effect on the balance of the car into corners,” said Rob.
So of all the production cars Rob could have chosen over the past 15 years that he’s been running his sessions, why has he opted for Vauxhalls? “Stability, handling predictability and durability – these seem to come as standard in every Vauxhall I’ve used,” said Rob. “The cars have an unbelievably hard time out on our track, as drivers try to beat my lap time, so I need to know that they’re not going to break, or do something unexpected when we’re cornering at over 100mph.”
And Rob’s road wheels for his 200-mile daily commute between his home in London and Bruntingthorpe? “A Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer – after spending a day being looked after on the limit in Vauxhalls there’s really no other option!”
For a fleeting moment, an air of silent and rarefied civility descended upon the super-car paddock at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last Sunday (28th June 2015) as a Rolls-Royce Wraith, resplendent in Ensign Red with contrast Jubilee Silver coachwork, settled into its starting position at the famous Hillclimb.
There was nothing more to disturb the reverential hush of one of the weekend’s most hotly anticipated moments than an appropriately ethereal puff of smoke from the rear tyres as Hillclimb legend Joerg Weidinger summoned all 624 BHP to effortlessly urge the most powerful Rolls?Royce in history up the famous course.
Even at speeds well in excess of 140 mph, the loudest noise you could hear was, for once, not the ticking of the electric clock, but the sound of gasps from the awestruck crowd as Weidinger expertly piloted the world’s most supremely luxurious Gran Turismo with staggering pace and poise.
Wraith crossed the line at 106mph, completing the 1.16-mile course in 57.21 seconds, placing it ahead of the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale Centennial Edition (59.00), the Bentley Continental GT (60.65), the Maserati GranCabrio MC (60.66) and the Porsche 918 Spyder ‘Weissach’ (61.37).
The Midland Automobile Club hosts two days of nostalgic competition this coming weekend (4th to 5th July 2015) when both classic and modern cars compete on Saturday followed by the inspiring sights and sounds of Vintage racing cars taking to the iconic hill on Sunday.
Saturday’s event is the Reg Philips Memorial Trophy Meeting, named after the man who played a big part in Shelsley Walsh life from before the Second World War until his death in 2008. This event has attracted a capacity entry in special classes for classics, saloons, sports, racing cars and motorcycles.
The event also hosts rounds of individual club championships including Aston Martins, The Revington TR Register Sprint & Hill Climb Championship with TR2, 4, 6 and 7 model sports cars competing against Dolomite Sprint and Vitesse saloons. There is also a class for Westfield sports cars entered into the Northampton Motorsport Speed Series, together with a Ford Cortina GT and Austin Mini taking part in the Historic Rally Car Register class.
Nearly 30 cars are entered into two classes with specific target times for classic pre-1975 saloon, sports, Sports Libre and racing cars, including names such as Riley, Lagonda, ERA, Morgan, Austin Healey, Cooper Jap and Lotus.
Lovers of more modern machinery can see determined driver and hill climb sponsor Will Gough of Droitwich in action in his Porsche 911, together with Mick Harriman in his Audi Quattro, Chris Westwood in a Lotus Exige, Martyn Silcox in a Subaru WRX and Derek Sweeney of Kidderminster in his OMS 2000M single seater racing car.
Over 30 motorcycles and sidecar combinations are taking part in their own National Hill Climb Championship with machines from Velocette, Triumph, KTM, CCM, Honda, Ducati, Aprilia and Husqvarna in action.
Sunday sees the Midland Automobile Club’s ever popular Vintage meeting, complete with smoking tyres, loud exhausts and the odd drop of spilled oil, which is held in conjunction with the Vintage Sports Car Club, creating a fantastic atmosphere from days gone by. There is an impressive entry list of over 130 cars built between the two World Wars, most of which have competed at Shelsley Walsh since then and to this day, with examples from Lea Francis, Fraser Nash, Talbot, Railton, Alvis and a Stutz Bearcat.
A class for Edwardian vehicles will include entries by local drivers Mike Lemon, of Pershore, in his 1913 Vauxhall 30-98 and well-known local character Hicky Hickling, from Tenbury Wells, with his well-used and very original 1911 Sunbeam 16/20.
The action starts with two practice runs for each driver from 9.15am on both days, followed by competitive timed runs in programme order with full commentary on both drivers and their cars after lunch.
Tickets are available on the gate, at £15.00 for Saturday and £20.00 for Sunday admitting you to the Paddock and seated enclosures. Children under 16 are free. Programmes are available on the day at £3.00.
Further details can be found at www.shelsley-walsh.co.uk.
Latest research suggests that those driving silver cars are cool, calm and elegant – what’s more they can also be part of history at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (24-26 July 2015).
The World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer and the celebrations include a special Silver Jubilee track cavalcade. The dazzling birthday parade is open to everyone with a silver car: old or new.
Hundreds of the UK’s 7.25 million silver cars have already registered – others have until the end of June to join those already taking to the hallowed Silverstone Grand Prix circuit at lunchtime on Silver Sunday at the Classic.
Silver cars aren’t just the most popular on Britain’s roads but they also say a lot about their owners. Analysis carried out in the US suggests those opting for silvery paintwork tend to be ‘calm, cool, elegant, futuristic and possibly detached’. Those choosing green paintwork are trustworthy, red are dynamic, white are fastidious and blue are dependable.
Here’s a full list of what research shows the colour of your car says about you:
- Silver: You are calm, cool, elegant, futuristic and possibly detached
- White: You are fastidious, enjoy a simple life, have a strong attention to detail and are possibly a perfectionist
- Green: You are trustworthy, traditional and balanced, but can also be lively and occasionally hysterical
- Brown/Beige: You are practical, reliable, down-to-earth and pragmatic.
- Yellow: You are upbeat, intelligent and young at heart
- Grey: You are calm, sober and very career-driven
- Blue: You are confident, quiet and dependable
- Red: You are energetic, dynamic and have a lust for life
- Pink: You are gentle, loving and caring
- Black: You are conservative, empowered, elegant and professional
- Purple: You are creative, unafraid of stepping outside of the norm and happy to be seen as unique
Owners of silver cars now have until midnight on 30 June to register for the Silver Jubilee parade. Participation in this milestone occasion costs just £25 – appropriately – on top of general admission tickets. Other benefits include a dedicated infield ‘Silver Zone’ parking and a special 25th anniversary car sticker.
All tickets for the 25th anniversary Silverstone Classic must be purchased in advance. Adult admission starts from £40 and ticket prices include booking fees, parking, access to paddocks, infield, grandstands, live music (this year topped by rock legends Status Quo) and the vast majority of the numerous attractions. Full details – together with hospitality packages and weekend festival camping – can be found on the official website: www.SilverstoneClassic.com.
In 2011, after three years of racing, Lucas Ordonez became the first GT Academy winner to compete at Le Mans. In 2013, after just two years of racing, Jann Mardenborough made his debut at La Sarthe. Now, in 2015, Gaetan Paletou will race a Nissan-powered LMP2 car at Le Mans, just 10 months after winning GT Academy.
Since winning GT Academy Europe on 6th August 2014, Paletou has been on Nissan’s intensive driver development programme, the same programme that prepared Jann Mardenborough for GP3 and Lucas Ordonez for Super GT. He raced a Nissan 370Z to numerous victories in club races to obtain his racing licence in time to compete at the 2015 Dubai 24 Hours in a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Paletou was a key member of the all-gamer driving squad that took fifth place overall and second in class at the Dubai 24 Hours in January before starting simultaneous racing seasons in GT3 (Blancpain Endurance Series) and LM P3 (European Le Mans Series).
He has made the grade quicker than any GT Academy graduate before him.
Click on the following link to view the video: http://www.newsroom.nissan-europe.com/EU/en-gb/Media/Media.aspx?mediaid=133495
When he was told he could be racing the Greaves Motorsport Gibson-Nissan LM P2 car at Le Mans, Paletou was surprised to say the least:
“I really don’t know what to say…Le Mans!” said Paletou. “This was completely unexpected and I honestly thought that Darren (Cox) was playing a trick on me, like on one of those TV shows. I dreamt of racing at Le Mans as a child but I didn’t expect to ever race there. I love driving the LM P2 car and I really like the guys at Greaves so this is going to be a great experience for me. It is far too soon to talk about expectations, I just want to go there and do the best job I can.”
“One thing that every graduate of GT Academy learns very quickly is that this is not a free ride, so to speak,” said Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO. “We push our graduates hard via our driver development programme, which gets stronger and tougher every year. We have given Gaetan all the backing and the training he needs and he has proved to us that he is ready for Le Mans.
“Le Mans is the world’s greatest race and it happens to be in France,” continued Cox. “For a Frenchman like Gaetan to make the transition from virtual-to-reality in less than a year and race at Le Mans is an incredible achievement. He has handled everything we have thrown at him so far so we have absolute faith in his ability to do a good job at Le Mans.”
Paletou completed his ten mandatory rookie laps of Le Mans behind the wheel of the Greaves Gibson-Nissan LM P2 car during the official Le Mans Test Day last weekend.
This year’s Motorcycle Off-Road Experience (MORE) will take place over four days – between Tuesday 7th July to Friday 10th July. It’s a national event, which has been staged in various parts of the UK since it started three years ago. This year it will take place in Upavon in Wiltshire.
The price, which is heavily subsidised, is just £30. This includes hire of all kit, bikes and top class instruction for either a morning or afternoon session. Places are highly sought after, the majority of which usually go within the first few hours of booking going ‘live’.
The group behind MORE includes Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha, who will all be bringing their latest models, including KTM’s electric FREERIDE. Off-road sporting body AMCA run the practical side of the day and it is project managed by the Motorcycle Industry Association to encourage new people to off-road riding and sport. Instruction is by the UK’s top trainers, who have all competed nationally and internationally, including three times world champion Dave Thorpe.
Here’s the critical bit. Booking is via the website www.rideoffroad.co.uk and goes ‘live’ on Saturday May 16th at 10am. Places go quickly, so if you want one, you need to be on the website with your credit or debit card ready.
Sandra Cole, event manager for the Motorcycle Industry Association says:
“You don’t necessarily need to be an experienced road rider or have a license. You just need to be interested in having a go off-road. Whether your long term goal is some gentle green laning, becoming the next motocross star, or you have a David Beckham style off-road adventure in your sights – you have to start somewhere and MORE gives you that first opportunity”.
This year’s Cholmondeley Pageant of Power (CPOP) will celebrate 65 years of Lotus, with a concours, parade and class on track all dedicated to the British marque.
On Friday 12th, visitors will be treated to the first-ever parade of all production Lotus models ever manufactured, organised by the Historic Lotus Register. These production cars will also take part in a special concours on the same day.
A highlight within this parade, will be the only Lotus MKII. This unique car was built in 1949 by Colin Chapman and competed in trials, speed tests and circuit racing.
The MKII will be joined by another one off – the Ian Walker, aluminium bodied, Lotus Elan. Built to order for Swiss businessman, Hermann Huber, the road car was based on the race version, driven to a class victory by Sir Jackie Stewart in the 1964 Montlhery Prix de Paris.
These rarities will be joined by a wide range of stunning motors including a 1972 GS Europa, a 1954 MK6 and a 1960 Elite.
Overseeing Friday’s celebrations will be Clive Chapman, son of founder Colin, who will also be bringing along a Lotus 11, which has always been owned by the Chapman family.
Out on track throughout the weekend, visitors will see a 1963 23B put through its paces. Colin Chapman’s first and only mid-engined small capacity sports racing car, the 23 went on to dominate its class in both national and international racing.
Another highlight joining the Lotus celebrations is a type 18 once driven by motorsport legend, Sir Stirling Moss, to victory in the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix – the first F1 victory for Lotus. The racer was so competitive in both Formula 1 and 2 that it was emulated by the majority of cars in those formulae.
James Hall, event director at CPOP, said: “Lotus has been a pivotal part in Britain’s automotive and motorsport history over the past 65 years, which is why we wanted to honour the wide range of production and race cars produced by the marque. We look forward to sharing such a great selection of motors with the public and reminding them of the great contribution Lotus has made to the industry.”
The eighth staging of CPOP will celebrate ‘power’ on land, air and water with events including a 1,000bhp-plus class on the famous Cholmondeley track. Alongside the Lotus marque on Friday, the festival will also honour American Muscle cars on Saturday and Eighties supercars on Sunday.
As for the two-wheeled aspect to the event, CPOP is welcoming bike legends Dougie Lampkin MBE and Sammy Miller MBE throughout the weekend, in addition to Triumph, the Millyard Viper V10 and a Suzuki Hayabusa.
In addition, Sunday will see the world’s only flying Vulcan take to the skies above Cholmondeley, with the Red Bull Matadors entertaining the crowd with an aerobatic display. This exciting air programme will follow the appearance of the RAF Typhoon Display Team on the Saturday.
On the lake there will be a wide range of watersport action including jet ski racing and flyboarding demonstrations.
The above, combined with camping, live music from Tenors of Rock and the RPJ Band and hundreds of exciting trade stands, will make CPOP the family-friendly motorsport event of the summer.
Tickets are now on sale at www.cpop.co.uk for the event at Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas, Cheshire. Adult tickets are priced from £29 with children’s tickets starting from £7.
Sir Chris Hoy and his team-mate Charlie Robertson took a class victory in the opening round of the European Le Mans Series for 2015 at Silverstone on 11th April. This was Hoy’s first win in international motorsport and his first win with Nissan.
Driving the #3 Ginetta-Nissan in the four-hour race, Hoy and Robertson took a brilliant victory, setting the pace for a stunning new season of Le Mans racing. This race marks the next step on Hoy’s road to the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours with Nissan.
It was Robertson who took the start in the #3 car and he made a great getaway from the back of the grid, setting Hoy up for the drive of his life in the middle stint of the race. Behind the wheel for almost two hours, Hoy learnt a great deal about the nuances of endurance competition.
“I knew we had a good chance of making the podium when Charlie got that great start and extended the lead,” said Hoy. “I knew I had to hang onto it. I had some scary moments – a couple of spins when the tyres started to go off – but other than that I had a great time and I really enjoyed it. It’s the longest stint I’ve done in a racing car and I have the new challenge of the GT cars and the P2 cars around me too. Everything was new to me and it was an amazing experience. The car is great to drive, especially when it’s on fresh tyres and for a novice like me to be able to come and race it, it shows how well the car is built.”
In the #2 sister Ginetta-Nissan, 2014 GT Academy Europe winner, Gaetan Paletou came home in second place on his LM P3 debut with his team-mate Mike Simpson. Paletou made a late switch to LM P3, a decision that paid off for Nissan when he showed off his talents in today’s race, only a few months after winning Nissan’s virtual-to-reality competition.
The debut of the LM P3 cars, which are exclusively powered by Nissan, has been a great success for everyone involved and the new category looks set to become an important step on the sports car racing ladder.