Silverstone Classic 2016

The Silverstone Classic is one of the most highly regarded classic Motorsport events in Europe, even billing itself as the Worlds’ biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival. I had not visited Silverstone for a race day since the 1986 British Grand Prix, when I was a lad, and Nigel Mansell clinched a last gasp victory from the clutches of Nelson Piquet.

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It was with eager anticipation that I made the journey down, to cover the event for Autosportpics. I hadn’t shot at Silverstone before, so I was looking forward to being able to put my own spin on the track, and with a veritable feast of classic machinery on display, I was sure that I would come home with some great memories.

The highlight of the event (although there are many) would be having the opportunity to shoot the Group C race into a blazing sunset on Saturday evening. These phenomenal cars were the stuff of dreams when I was growing up, and I had the chance to watch them race in my youth. To relive that dream armed with a camera, was a fantastic experience, and one I shall not forget, the mix of sunset colours, glowing brake discs and the spit of exhaust flames was a heady mix.

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Another particular highlight was to see the ex Mika Hakkinen McLaren on track, being driven incredibly well, allowing the crowd to experience the game-changing sound of the Mercedes V10 engine at full chat, reverberating around the stands.

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On track racing was incredibly good, despite the huge amounts of money invested in preserving the staggering range of classic sports cars, the drivers were, to a man, driving hell for leather around the demanding Northamptonshire circuit. Notable races were the Supertourers, where Colin Noble Jr was put under immense pressure in his Vauxhall Vectra from a superbly driven Honda Accord, but managed to hold out for the race win on both occasions.

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The duel between the Matra V12 and the McLaren M8F in the Can-Am Inter Series Cup was legendary. The scream of the Matra V12 was pitted against the raw power of the 8.8litre Mclaren. I can’t find the words to describe the cacophony that these two created, but if you ever get the chance to witness these cars jousting it out on track. Take it without a second thought.

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The event attracted a good size crowd, and was incredibly well run and organised. It was a pleasure to be able to attend on behalf of Autosportpics.

Matty White

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Silverstone Classic 2016