Final countdown the biggest and best Classic ever26 July 2021
This weekend’s eagerly-anticipated 30th birthday edition of The Classic (30 July – 1 August) will be the biggest and best in the festival’s outstanding history with record grids, record classic car displays, record anniversary circuit parades and record ticket sales plus epic levels of very welcome entertainment for the whole family.
“It’s the high-octane, fun-fuelled event that we’ve all been waiting so long for,” confirmed Nick Wigley, CEO of The Classic promoter Goose Live Events. “We promised to celebrate our special 30th birthday in style and that’s exactly what we are doing.
“Now we want everyone to join the party – that’s why our great value tickets not only include admission to grandstands and paddocks but also a host of fun fair rides, driving experiences, entertainment on the Village Green stage, stunt shows and live music from great bands topped by Scouting for Girls, ASWAD and The Brand New Heavies. For a magical mix of excitement and enjoyment there really is no better place to be!”
While the vast array of fun-fuelled, off-track pursuits and recreations will put smiles on the faces of all ages, it is the unrivalled line-up of historic motorsport that is at the heart of The Classic.
Those spending the weekend at Silverstone will experience no fewer than 21 spectacular showdowns all staged on the iconic Grand Prix circuit at the home of British motorsport.
Races hark back to all the golden ages of Formula One, Sportscars, GTs, Single-Seaters and Touring Cars with several grids now featuring no fewer than 61 starters – numbers of evocative competition cars from yesteryear never-seen-before in the UK.
Marking The Classic’s 30th anniversary, a very special ‘Greatest Hits’ programme has been assembled starring all the much-loved crowd-favourites from previous events. What’s more, the standout bill also includes special showdowns to mark 60 years of two British motoring diamonds that were first launched in 1961: the Jaguar E-type and Mini Cooper S.
Qualifying for all the races is crammed into Friday’s hectic schedule and Saturday’s equally packed programme concludes with the spectacular sights and sounds of sportscars racing into the setting sun.
As ever, The Classic’s status as the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival has attracted more than its fair share of famous drivers, too.
Just announced, Sunday’s visitors will be treated to the sights and sounds of Damon Hill being reunited with his 1996 World Championship winning Williams FW18 for some highly evocative laps of Silverstone.
This summer also sees father and son Martin and Alex Brundle teaming up to contest the 60th Anniversary E-Type Challenge and they are joined on the racecard by a host of other renowned racers including 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Guy Smith, Andre Lotterer and Emmanuel Collard. Tiff Needell will also be very much in evidence both racing on track and in front of the cameras co-presenting ITV4’s coverage with Nicki Shields.
Richard Hammond is another familiar personality coming to The Classic. The former Top Gear and current Grand Tour TV presenter is raising funds for his new The Smallest Cog classic car restoration business with several of his cars coming under the hammer at the three-day Silverstone Auctions on site sale staged in the Silverstone Wing. Hammond will be busy filming his exploits for a new show later this year on the discovery+ UK channel.
After the frustrations of last year’s Covid-enforced cancelation, car clubs are also returning in force and record numbers of privately-owned classics will be glittering on the in-field on the three days.
Many of the 10,000+ motoring icons on show will be celebrating major marque and model milestones with special showcases and track parades. Notable highlights include 50 years of the incredible Lamborghini Countach and 40 years of the time-travelling DeLorean DMC-12.
Record numbers of Triumph Stags will also be marking the stylish sportscar’s golden 50thanniversary postponed from 2020.
Jaguar E-types, too, will be prominent on and off track. As well as having their own exclusive 60th anniversary race, a carefully curated infield ‘Cat Walk’ will provide a complete timeline of all the 13 different E-type models ever produced including FHCs, roadsters and V12s.
Adding further to the celebrations two of the world’s most feted E-types will also be on public display: the original gun metal Geneva Show Car and ECD 400.
The former is the very debutant unveiled at Jaguar’s jaw-dropping public launch in 1961 – the show-stopper that Enzo Ferrari hailed as the ‘most beautiful car ever made’. Then, just a few weeks later, the latter famously gave the E-type a winning race debut with the future double world champion Graham Hill at the helm.
Another notable chapter in Jaguar’s rich racing history will also be recalled when a number of the stunning XJR-15s that raced in the unforgettable Jaguar Intercontinental Challenge round alongside the British Grand Prix at Silverstone back in 1991 will once again be taking to the track.
Providing even more thought-provoking motoring memories, event lubricant partner Motul will be showcasing its pioneering pedigree while also providing an oil check service with its state-of-the-art Race Lab while another prominent display will gather together 50 of the UK’s rarest cars as featured regularly in The Telegraph. Rather than one-off prototypes and low volume hypercars, these are surviving examples of familiar ‘my dad had one of those’ everyday cars that not-so-long-ago populated our highways and byways.
Based on an old section of the previous Grand Prix circuit between what were Abbey Curve and Bridge corners, the Shift & Drift Zone will witness the rubber-burning antics of international stunt driver Terry Grant as well as legendary rally car demos by Slowly Sideways.
Petrolheads will also be drawn to the Yokohama Supercar Legends display in the International Paddock where a mouth-watering collection of past and present exotics will be on eye-catching show. Brands represented include De Tomaso, Ferrari, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, McLaren, Porsche, Spyker and Zenvo.
The Village Green stage is yet another proven crowd-puller. Friday sees the return of supercar wrapping kings Yiannimize by popular demand and Adrian Flux will be hosting a special Flux Presents Q&A with Martin and Alex Brundle at their very own stage too. Mike Brewer is back to host his entertaining Car Clinics in the gaps between races on both Saturday and Sunday.
The central Village Green is also home to all the family-focused fun and games as well as a wide choice of food and drinks outlets plus the neighbouring Shopping Village where over 100 retailers will be offering clothing, toys, art, motoring memorabilia and much more.
Fun fair rides, dodgems and crazy golf are always big hits with those of all ages while the Yokohama Skills Zone, with coaches from the Chelsea FC Foundation, will provide kids aged 5-15 with free football coaching sessions and, perhaps, a dream of winning the Champions’ League.
Friday evening’s INEOS Grenadier Fun Ride is another activity open to those seeking exercise and, simultaneously, will raise funds for the Classic’s charity partner Alzheimer’s Research UK. With over 600 riders confirmed to take part already, it should be a spectacular event in itself.
INEOS will also have a display of its hotly anticipated Grenadier 4x4s on show. Making yet more history, another new name to the list of motoring manufacturers – Genesis Motors – will be offering visitors exclusive test drives in its soon-to-be released G80 saloon and GV80 SUV models.
With so much to savour, it’s no surprise that tickets for The Classic are selling fast and must be purchased in advance of the three-day festival. The price of adult general admission starts at £47 and a three-day weekend ticket is on offer at just £125. Free admission is offered to accompanied children aged 10 and under, while day tickets for those aged between 11 and 15 are priced from just £6.