On this occasion, the Silverstone Classic media day as always, packed an explosion of test rides, a super lunch and the opportunity to photograph cars on track or interview the drivers.
Familiar names such as David Coulthard enjoyed a run in Jim Clark’s iconic Lotus 25, filmed by the BBC to be screened as part of a pre-Grand Prix programme later in the year, Clark – who claimed his first Formula One title exactly 50 years ago in 1963. Triple FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx’s participation at the Silverstone Classic in July, who will be racing a BMW 1800 from the Sixties. Continuing the touring car theme, stars from the new Super Touring Trophy series were also out in force and were joined by some of the cars that made them famous. John Cleland, Tim Harvey and Patrick Watts took to the circuit in some of their machines from the 1990s – widely regarded as the heyday of the BTCC.
Needell said: “The Silverstone Classic is the perfect event for me – I can race and ogle at stunning cars all day and then listen to rock music all night! To race will be fantastic but then to become a spectator and see my old F1 car racing and also my Group C car from Le Mans, plus I get to listen to the music of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the evening – it’ll be like reliving my youth! I’ve brought back the Lotus 69F Formula Ford. It’s the first car I ever raced, so I’ve put it back in its original colours and am delighted to be competing in it once again. It’ll be an epic slip-streaming battle going down the straights at Silverstone.”
A number of Porsche 911s were also on show ahead of a massive parade of the iconic high performer, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary at this summer’s Silverstone Classic when – appropriately – 911 examples of the evergreen sportscar take to the Grand Prix circuit. By Lara Platman