Silverstone Classic - The day i nearly died!
I was lucky enough to be invited to the famous Silverstone circuit on behalf of Marmalade and representing young drivers. We were able to get an exclusive glimpse into what they have in store for their main event this year, the Silverstone Classic! From GT’s to old Dragsters and the howling engines of Formula 1. It’s safe to say the Silverstone Classic event will not be cutting corners or chicanes this year!
Silverstone competitors – the on track F1 test
We had a great opportunity to take videos and pictures on the trackside of the historic F1 cars in full swing! You could hear their engines literally a mile away and, as the photographers waited in anticipation for the first car to come round and complete its first lap, they all soon came past in a roaring army! The speed at which they flew past you was enough to literally blow my hat off straight off my head. We captured the perfect moment when 3 of the cars came past simultaneously side by side. What a formation!
Another amazing experience was meeting 2015 British Touring Car champion and Nicolas Hamilton’s younger brother - Nicholas Hamilton as well as Sam Brabham (grandson of 3 time F1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham) who has been racing in the British Formula Ford championships since 2013! Both very young racing drivers who we managed to collar each for an interview to find out a bit about how they initially got into Motorsport, their inspirations and also find out about life outside the track, and what their official driving tests were like!
An abundance of beautiful racing cars
Aside from veering in and out of the incredible looking cars they had on display such as TVRs and Ferraris, we also got to see them in action on the track itself! Fortunately we were really lucky with the weather and this only added to the effect as the cars pulled out onto the main track ready for testing, with the sunshine bouncing off the roof.
But one of the biggest highlights was when the trio of Jaguar XJ220’s pulled up at the paddock in front, you couldn’t help but feel a sense of elation at the very sight of them…
My heart was in my mouth and I thought I was going to die…
Before the pre-arranged static, and on track, testing officially took place, a few of us media people had the opportunity to have a passenger ride and a lap of the track. As exciting as I was at the prospect of getting to zoom round the famous Silverstone circuit in this gorgeous Jaguar E-Type Low Drag (Only 3 in the world ever made) – it wasn’t long before I started to feel a bit scared when the driver was drifting round these tight corners at nearly 120mph and you could feel the car losing its grip of the road.
Of course this seems silly as that’s the whole point of racing is to put your foot down right? But after about a minute, we went round a really tight hair pin ben and the next thing I know the driver had lost control and we were spinning in 3 x full 360s! This waft of burnt rubber hit me in the face and I held onto whatever I could whilst screaming quite a bit... luckily he managed to pull it round and he looked at me after and gave me a thumbs up and I shakily returned the hand gesture. We then continued the lap, but for a moment I certainly thought we were going for more than just a “spin”... Amazingly good fun however and an unforgettable experience! :)
The driving force of the mini fleet!
Although these little run arounds may look very similar to the classic Mini, these were initially made by an English manufacturer called “the Austin Motor Company” in 1953! These tiny 2 door saloons are known as the Austin A30’s and were very popular back in those days before the A35 took over in 1956 with some minor modifications and upgrades. The top speed for these little run arounds is 70mph and 0-50mph in 29 seconds. It was great to see them still being a favourite among historic car fanatics at the media day!
It’s full throttle for the main event!
If this isn’t enough to get you geared up for this year’s Silverstone, we don’t know what is! But this is just a small taste of what they will have in store for you if you plan on attending this year. The main event itself will have so much going on! From live bands, to fairground rides, delicious food stalls that cater for any palette, and of course a full 3 days of non-stop motoring mayhem suitable for any young driver as well as the older generation! Whether you’re a young supercar fanatic, someone who is into their vintage and retro cars, or an excited puppy who just enjoys the smell of race fuel – you won’t be disappointed with what Silverstone have to offer! So grab your mates, grab a tent for the weekend and get ready to watch one of the greatest racing spectacles ever! :)
You can purchase your tickets for the 2017 Silverstone Classic here.