Silverstone Classic 2021

When the dedicated photographs and notes were completed for a specific article, I am left with over 150 photos to decide what is to be done with them. I edited  today with respect to the marshal who lost his life at the weekend at Brands Hatch, we all know that without marshals there can be no racing. They are there as volunteers, and as a photographer, seeing them on the pitlane and trackside, I know they are there protecting us all. Condolences to his family and colleagues.

Even though the rain decided to continue throughout the weekend, my camera also decided that he wanted to continue shooting and made me step out into the very very wet pit lane and join him to capture driver changes and other moments of curiosity.

If only I had better behaved camera equipment, I would have stayed dry and watched the races from the comfort of the press room or the BRDC lounge (thank you ever so much British Racing Drivers Club for allowing members of the Guild of Motoring Writers into your clubhouse over the Silverstone Classic weekend). Yes, both my Leica M240 and Leica M10P insisted I carry on shooting. The 1964, 135mm f2.8 Elmarit-m lens didn’t help matters either when he demanded to be used the whole weekend.  Perhaps it was my eyes and my passion that made me stay out in the rain – perhaps I give my camera equipment a hard rap. Thanks to my Billingham bag where everything else inside it stayed dry!

But it is their fault, without such good equipment, knowing that they can achieve a great image in such wretched weather, I would have easily stayed dry and carried my passion through the TV screens with a warm cup of tea. I still blame them. So I edit images and think what to do with them: do they make for art, or editorials, do they make for race teams collections? We’ll see, they are uploading as I scribe and we’ll see.

The Silverstone Classic weekend was well attended. The paddocks brimming with mainly British based race teams, – hardly any  – if any – from overseas – Covid times – made for a paddock that knew who was who and some very tight racing – despite the water. This very weekend also, had a every race circuit being used, every car enthusiast venue being used in the country, it seemed to be the busiest motoring and motorsport weekend I can remember. We were all so eager to get to go out and smell petrol – meaning some regular drivers were elsewhere.

The press releases coming from the Silverstone media centre are full of exciting facts and figures, so do forgive me if I simply copy and paste some information below, and of course do look on their website for full details of the event – as my ditty hadn’t meant to be a race report – simply … for next year – DO book tickets because  the Classic is real racing with such an amazing atmosphere, you can get up so close to every single car and get to see some sublime wheel to wheel action.

Marking the 25th anniversary of his World Championship win in 1996, Damon Hill delighted a record attendance when reunited with his title winning Williams-Renault FW18 for some evocative laps of the famous Grand Prix track.

“I can’t believe this is the 30th year of the Classic and yet it is my first visit. I have thoroughly enjoyed the day and the accessibility to the paddocks and cars is superb,” enthused Damon.

I can’t believe it is the 30th year of the Classic? I mean, I have known so many people for just over 20 years… so perhaps it is? My goodness.

Another eye-catching parade marked the 40th anniversary of the time-travelling DeLorean DM-12 with no fewer than 20 of the iconic time-travellers attracting massive attention throughout the day.

My guest and I were amazed to see THREE DeLoreans – we must have arrived either too early to see them all parked, or they were simply the overflow  – we physically remarked – my gosh THREE of them, that’s special… and then they go and parade 20 of them!

Notable racing performances in the worst of the morning’s weather came from the flame-spitting Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 shared by Mark Wright and David Coyne which won the Adrian Flux Trophy for MRL Historic Touring Car Challenge and Andrew Smith who won the second of the weekend’s HSCC Historic Formula 2 Series in his March 742.

I witnessed that flame thrower in the pitlane during driver changes, it was brilliant to the eye and made everyone scream with excitement.

The 60th Anniversary E-Type Challenge was another wet race – Jon Minshaw being declared the victor ahead of impressive young guns Ben Mitchell and Danny Winstanley. Father and son team Martin and Alex Brundle were among the leaders but fell back to finish eighth.

With a dry track, the afternoon’s programme saw Michael Lyons (1981 Ensign N180B) do the double in the second of the weekend’s Murray Walker Memorial Trophy for Masters Historic Formula One races and Andrew Haddon scored a surprise win in the second HGPCA Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars showdown – his front-engined 1960 Scarab Offenhauser conquering all the later generation rear-engined Brabhams and Coopers.

These races were super to watch and the E Type race was my favourite of the weekend, despite the weather, I hung out in my pit lane awaiting the 2nd drivers and watched the race from the pit wall – soaked but super.

I have two galleries the first with my main picks then the second with my…. Seconds…! For drivers really… or for the pot. Click on the first gallery to take you to the second!

It was lovely to spend the day with my father who, I had arranged a comfy sofa for him, yet he wanted to walk around the paddock and go ‘into’ the village… we got dropped off half way in the village so we could walk back. That was quite enough for both of us I think, I was there purely for the racing and I think my father realised that the whole event was so totally huge, for an octogenarian to be walking around.

Once again, thank you to the BRDC, GOMW and the Silverstone team, who created such a brilliant weekend – as always. Being a marshal is an excellent way to be part of an amazing racing community so do look at the BARC website for details.

Photographic Gallery from Silverstone Classic 2021 – 1sts

Photographic Gallery from Silverstone Classic 2021 – 2nds

Lots of love