Just three weeks after the British Grand Prix, Silverstone will play host to another Formula 1 grid, this time echoing the sights and sounds of the 1970s and ‘80s.
The FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship headlines the annual Silverstone Classic and boasts a superb entry. Headed by Nick Padmore (Williams FW07), who has taken double wins at Brands Hatch and Donington Park, and Zolder double-winner Loic Deman (Tyrrell 010), there will be a battle royal between the two.
Deman’s ex-Jean-Pierre Jarier car was unstoppable at Zolder but Padmore has been mighty in recent races and starts as favourite but there will be plenty of drivers going all out to steal their glory. Multiple Spa 24 Hours winner Jean-Michel Martin drives a Tyrrell 009 and will be a front-running driver and so too will Martin Stretton aboard a Tyrrell 012. Joaquin Folch can never be discounted aboard his ex-Riccardo Patrese Brabham BT49C, while Rob Hall’s evocative ex-Jacques Laffite Ligier JS/17 adds welcome variety.
Padmore’s is not the only front-running Williams. In addition to Nick’s ex-Alan Jones chassis, Christophe D’Ansembourg’s FW07 will be quick, while Tommy Dreelan is at the wheel of the later FW08C from 1983. Look, too, for Greg Thornton’s ex-Elio de Angelis Lotus 91/5 which should be up near the front and the Ragno-liveried Arrows A4s of Steve Hartley and David Abbott.
On a grid full of variety, Belgian Marc Devis drives the ex-Tony Trimmer Maki F101, Doug Mockett and Chris Drake bring their Penske PC3s from North America and Philip Hall is aboard the Theodore TR1, the type of car that Keke Rosberg splashed to victory in at the 1978 Silverstone International Trophy. There is the ex-Jochen Mass ATS HS01 of Christian Perrier and the ex-Jackie Stewart Tyrrell 001 of John Delane. Alex Furiani is aboard the ex-Vittorio Brambilla Surtees TS20 and Pierre-Alain France drives the Gitanes-liveried ex-Jacques Laffite Ligier JS11/15.
There are also Heskeths to excite the James Hunt fans in his World Championship-winning anniversary year, as Rick Carlino and James Hagan line up in their 308s, both with a Hunt pedigree.
With March, Ensign, Shadow and Fittipaldi on the grid as well, there is a fascinating snapshot of a bygone age of Formula One.
“We are very happy with the entry for Silverstone – it’s our biggest Historic Formula One grid of the year so far,” says Masters Founder and President, Ron Maydon. “The grid will showcase a golden age of Formula One racing, with some constructors that still exist and many that have fallen away from the sport. Most importantly, we will have two exciting races for fans to enjoy the sight and sound of these evocative cars and whether you saw the cars in period or are seeing them for the first time, you will be thrilled by the spectacle.”
The FIA Masters Historic Formula One cars qualify on Friday July 29th at 1415 and have their first 25-minute race on Saturday July 30th with race two at 1305 on Sunday July 31st.