Now Christmas is over and we’re motoring on into February, thoughts naturally turn towards filling your motoring diary with drives and events to while away the longer, lighter and warmer evenings.
This summer’s Silverstone Classic is all set to break yet more records with its biggest ever line-up of spectacular touring car race action and MotorMartin will be there every step of the way, reporting on the thrills and spills for those not fortunate enough to get along. Can’t wait!
For the first time in it’s history, the packed programme at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival will feature no fewer than four separate touring car grids, providing fans with hitherto unseen levels of epic bumper-to-bumper entertainment. Adding to the appeal, all four grids will be included on the final day’s schedule under the evocative and exciting ‘Tin-Top Sunday’ banner.
Silverstone Classic’s organisers are well aware that both U2TC and Super Touring races are already strong fans’ favourites at the Classic and continue to go from strength-to-strength. The former is for pre-1966 under two-litre cars and features Alfa Romeo GTAs, BMW TiSAs, Lotus Cortinas and hordes of giant-killing Mini Coopers. The latter is from a more recent era, putting the spotlight on the high-tech tourers from the nineties when, for many, saloon car racing reached its absolute zenith.
As MotorMartin is a big fan of Classic American Muscle Cars I’m particularly looking forward to the following where some Yankee V8 thunder has been added to the bill. The Big Engined Touring Cars also make a welcome comeback. The mighty American muscle cars from the sixties were last out in 2014 as part of the Ford Mustang’s memorable 50th birthday celebrations, a car which is certain to inspire new fans after Ford’s belated (50 years,) decision to finally build and import a right-hand drive Mustang to these shores.
While these three grids return by popular demand, the fourth is a never-before-seen new addition, ensuring the full spectrum of dazzling touring car history is included on the unprecedented Tin-Top Sunday racecard. If you can only make it one day at this year’s Silverstone Classic then Sunday would appear to be a superb choice.
The Historic Touring Car Challenge (HTCC) was launched back in 2011 by Motor Racing Legends (MRL) and revives the heydays of the British and European Touring Car Championships from the seventies and early eighties. It was the golden Group 1, Group 2 and Group A era that spawned such racing icons as the TWR Jaguar XJS, Rover Vitesse, BMW CSL and Dolomite Sprint – not forgetting the evergreen Ford Capri which dominated the BTCC between 1976 and 1981. Such was the interest in the new series that entries were quickly extended to include further cars from the late sixties.
Now, as the HTCC prepares to make its eagerly anticipated Silverstone Classic debut in 2016, the regulations have been widened still further to include non-turbo cars right up to 1990. While not catering for the fearsome Sierra Cosworths which will remain among the Super Tourers, newcomers such as the BMW M3, Golf GTi and Astra GTE will be permitted to enter the fray.
Sharing with MotorMartin, MRL Chairman, Duncan Wiltshire said, “Featuring so many great cars from such a great era, the HTCC has already gained a huge fan base among both competitors and spectators,” before continuing with, “Its arrival on the coveted Silverstone Classic programme is yet more proof of its spiralling popularity, and the further widening of eligibility is certain to produce an incredible grid well worthy of this landmark occasion.”
The HTCC’s debut on Tin-Top Sunday at the Silverstone Classic will come in the guise of a 40-minute showdown on the full Grand Prix circuit with a compulsory pit-stop and optional driver change adding to the retro drama.
“Right from its very early days, touring car racing has always been a massive hit with the British public and that’s why we have created this very special Tin-Top Sunday,” explained Nick Wigley, CEO of Goose Live Events, the company responsible for the Silverstone Classic to MotorMartin. “By adding the flourishing HTCC to our more familiar U2TC, Big Banger and Super Touring grids, Tin-Top Sunday will live up to its star billing as the biggest and best celebration of touring car history ever seen at the Classic. There really will be something for everyone.”
MotorMartin can certainly recommend that fans wanting to experience Tin-Top Sunday, take advantage of Early Bird tickets now on sale for the 2016 Classic, offering significant savings of up to 17 per cent. There is also the all-new Family Ticket available for 2016 – this includes camping for two adults and two children across the whole weekend and gives a discount of more than 20 per cent on advance tickets if bought individually, a bargain.
If anyone needs further convincing as to the amazing racing and vehicles on show during the Silverstone Classic Weekend then try the following film from ITV highlighting the sights and sounds of last summer.
Full details of all tickets (which must be purchased in advance) – as well as hospitality packages and weekend festival camping – can be found on the event website at: www.silverstoneclassic.com
MotorMartin will see you there, pop on over and say hello.
Where will you go?