After an extremely successful 2016, it’s no real surprise to us fans here at MotorMartin Towers that next summer’s Silverstone Classic will feature more than eight decades of glittering motor sport history, with confirmation that the acclaimed Kidston Trophy for Pre-War Sports Cars is returning to the packed on-track programme in 2017. Superb news I’m sure you’ll agree.
The organisers behind the Silverstone Classic have confirmed to MotorMartin that the inaugural Kidston Trophy was a real crowd-pleaser when introduced for the event’s special Silver Jubilee celebrations in 2015 where a captivating grid of more than 50 eye-catching entries dating right back to the dawn of circuit racing took to the world-famous Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit for a dazzling 40-minute showdown, complete with a mandatory pit-stop and optional driver change. It was an enthralling spectacle featuring legendary marques such as Alvis, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Frazer Nash, Invicta and Lagonda that – by popular demand – will be repeated on Saturday morning at the 2017 Classic.
Though victory went to the Frazer Nash Super Sports shared by experienced racers Fred Wakeman and Pat Blakeney-Edwards, it was the sight of a dozen iconic Bentleys that really caught the imagination of the 100,000 festival-goers – rightly so, as the Kidston Trophy was named in honour of one of the famed ‘Bentley Boys’ of the late 1920s.
MotorMartin has been informed that Glen Kidston was a real life Boy’s Own hero. Back in 1914, he survived being torpedoed twice in the same morning when serving as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy. By the mid-1920s, he was a submarine Commander himself and when not at sea he set records as an aviator, hill climbed, conducted motorcycle speed trials on sand and raced cars, winning the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours in the Bentley Speed Six he shared with Woolf Barnato. Quite a resume.
Sadly and despite having survived several serious scrapes, Kidston sadly lost his life less than a year later when the de Havilland Puss Moth he was flying broke up in mid-air during a dust storm over the Drakensberg Mountains in southern Africa.
Unsurprisingly, it took quite a grid to represent such a buccaneering character, but Motor Racing Legends succeeded in 2015 and its chairman, Duncan Wiltshire, is predicting another amazing turnout in July.
“We were completely blown away by the fabulous entry last time,” shared Wiltshire with MotorMartin recently, “The amazing quality and quantity of these wonderfully evocative cars proved incredibly popular both when on display in the paddock and when racing out on the track. They may not lap quite as fast as some of the slightly more modern machines from later epochs competing at the Silverstone Classic, but they are certainly every bit as spectacular.”
“It’s hard to beat the magnificent sight of so many intrepid drivers sawing away at their wooden steering wheels, fighting for grip on such narrow tyres,” agreed Nick Wigley, CEO of Silverstone Classic organiser Goose Live Events. “It’s not something fans of modern motor sport ever experience and is one of the many marvellous reasons that historic motor racing today is becoming more and more popular with those of all ages. We’re delighted to have these epic Pre-War Sports Cars back on the bill – they really do add yet another incredible dimension to what is always a fantastic show.”
The return of the Kidston Trophy is just one of the many on-track highlights already announced for the 2017 Silverstone Classic. Full details can be found on the silverstoneclassic.com website together with information on how to take full advantage of the Early Bird tickets currently on sale. Adult admission starts from just £35 and the cost of the three-day weekend ticket has been frozen at £99 if purchased before the end of March. Family tickets, camping and VIP Hospitality packages are also available. All tickets must be booked in advance of the event.
Full information about the 2017 Silverstone Classic entertainment programme – including more exciting new races, special car club celebrations and live music performers – will be announced in the coming weeks. All the latest news will be available at silverstoneclassic.com and via its social media platforms. MotorMartin certainly recommends that you keep checking the latest information regarding this quite superb event. I might even see you there.
Where will you go?