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Little Classics News: 25 July 2014

Silverstone Classics Roars into Action for a Packed Weekend

BTCC star Gordon Shedden secured pole position in his Lotus Cortina

The 2014 Silverstone Classic roared into action today (25 July) as the qualifying sessions were completed in sizzling conditions at the world famous Northamptonshire venue.

With more than 1100 classic cars on the bill – from pre-war Grand Prix machines to 1990s GT Legends – the Silverstone Classic is firmly cemented as the World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival.

Sensational cars spanning the full spectrum of motor sport wowed the crowds ahead of a packed weekend schedule of 22 races, glittering parades, dazzling displays of classic cars and a whole host of further family entertainment.

British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden proved to be one of the stars of the show as he secured a pole position and a third place in his Ford Lotus Cortina, which he’ll share over the weekend with his regular BTCC team-mate and triple champion Matt Neal.

Shedden set the pace in the Sir John Whitmore Trophy for Under 2 Litre Touring Cars and will line-up on row two for the Mustang Celebration Trophy Presented by Pure Michigan – a session that was topped by Mike Gardener’s Ford Falcon.

These were not the only tin top stars and cars on show, however, as the hugely popular Jet Super Touring Car Trophy boasts an entry of more than 40 cars from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Supermodel Jodie Kidd took part in the 90s GT Legends demonstration

The FIA Masters Historic Formula One way one of the highlights of this classic car weekend and it was Michael Lyons – the youngest ever winner of an F1 race – who stole the show in qualifying with a blistering lap of 1:54.303s in the Hesketh 308E. A packed grid of DFV-powered Lotuses, McLarens, Tyrrells, Marches and Williams’ will contest two races during the event and represent the most modern era of F1 on show.

The stunning yellow Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB of Gary Pearson and Le Mans winner Jackie Oliver claimed the sports car headlines, edging out its rivals for pole position in the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Pre ’63 GT cars after trading blows with the Jaguar E-type of Jon Minshaw for much of the session. Derek Hood and Chris Ward cruised to a pole position in their Cooper Jaguar T33 in the RAC Woodcote Trophy for Pre ’56 Sports Cars.

The blast for 90s GT Legends came to a dramatic and premature end when a Jaguar XJ220 GT set on fire following an engine problem. Supermodel Jodie Kidd ran in the shortened session but will get a further chance to showcase the sensational Jaguar XJ220 in the remaining high-speed demonstrations over the weekend.

The Lister Jaguar Knobbly driven by Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen leads the way in the Stirling Moss Trophy For Pre ’61 Sports Cars

Phil Keen kept his powder dry until it really mattered in the Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre ’61 Sports Cars qualifying session as he claimed pole position on his final tour in the glorious Lister Jaguar Knobbly. The car was already running well in the hands of team-mate Jon Minshaw but it was Keen’s lap that eventually relegated the Lotus 15 of the McIntyres down to second.

Chief Silverstone instructor Chris Ward set the pace in the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-’56 Sports Cars. The Cooper T33 pilot saw off the challenge from the Cooper T38 of Patrick Blakeney-Edwards and Frederic Wakeman, whilst last year’s winners – the Pearson brothers – had to settle for third in the beautiful Jaguar D-type.

FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars and Group C Endurance rounded out the opening day action in enthralling fashion, with the famous cars from Le Mans covering nearly four decades of history.

The Lola T70 topped the former with Simon Hadfield and Leo Voyazides sharing driver duties. The session also featured former FIA GT Champion Jamie Campbell-Walter piloting the spectacular Ferrari 512, the model in which starred in the Steve McQueen blockbuster movie Le Mans.

Group C ran into the sunset and was dominated by Bob Berridge in the Silver Arrows Mercedes C11. The chasing pack included an evocative line-up of Jaguars, Nissans and Porsches.

The busy schedule of classic car races kick off first thing on Saturday morning and will run until dusk with the highly anticipated Group C Endurance.

Over the next few days we will bring you all the updates and our favourite images from this awesome weekend of classics and speed.



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