Silverstone Classic 2018
The Silverstone Classic is Europe's largest historic racing festival and saw races for singles-seaters including FIA Historic F1, Sports cars with the Masters Endurance Legends make their debut at the Classic and a number of Touring Car races. Competing in the event would be three Lincolnshire drivers, Cameron Jackson, Benn Tilly and Steve Soper while renowned historic racing experts Hall & Hall would be running a number of cars for customers.
The event was the culmination of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Formula Junior with two races each day all with capacity grids. This discipline of racing is close and popular with competitors and spectators, conceived as a starter formula where aspiring drivers could develop their skills.
Taking time out from his Classic Formula Ford campaign was Bourne driver Benn Tilley, he would be driving a Lola Mk5 for the weekend. Lincoln driver Cameron Jackson is a regular in the Formula Junior Championship driving his own Brabham BT2, both were expected to be amongst the leaders. Qualifying took place on Friday morning and saw Tilley end the session in 13th, things didn't go to plan for Jackson as technical issues saw him fail to post a time and would see him start from 54th on the capacity grid.
The Denny Hulme Trophy race on Saturday saw both drivers make good starts with Tilly moving up to 8th while Jackson on a storming first lap passed 27 cars to move to 27th place. As Tilly get involved in a close battle for top-ten places Jackson moved up the order taking another 13 cars on the second lap and moving into the top ten on lap six. Both drivers were now involved in the same battle positions were changing not just lap-to-lap but corner-to-corner. At the flag it was 5th place for Tilley and 7th for Jackson with less than a second between them as Jackson set the fastest lap.
The Jochen Rindt Trophy race on Sunday saw much the same sunny conditions, unfortunately for Jackson start positions would be the same rather than from race one results. In a repeat of race one Tilley moved up to 8th with Jackson repeating his feet of day one and making 27 places. As Tilley again got involved in the close top-ten battle Jackson made another ten places on lap two to 17th. Onto lap four and with Tilley in 7th Jackson was now into 10th and chasing down the leading group. On lap seven Jackson was in amongst the battle and he didn't waste any time as Tilley held 7th Jackson moved through to 4th. With two to go Jackson was into second but the leader, Sam Wilson, was now too far ahead.
Try as he might Jackson ran out of time finishing second having overtaken 52 cars during the race, behind it was another 5th place for Tilley who had impressed the Formula Junior regulars. For his double charge through the field Jackson was awarded overall driver of the meeting from all the classes racing.
Fast and Furious
Touring car legend Steve Soper (Lincoln) competed in two races over the weekend, both at the wheel of his Ford Lotus Cortina. The first of these was the Gallet Trophy for Pre-66 Under Two-litre Touring Cars, a category where the Lotus Cortina has dominated in recent seasons. Qualifying saw Soper end the session in third behind the Alfa Romeo of Andrew Banks and the pole position Cortina of former World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff.
From the start and Soper was into second as leader Huff opened a gap early on. Lap four saw Soper drop to fourth as first Banks then Andrew Haddon, in another Cortina, passed but Soper stayed with them. On the sixth lap Soper's Cortina slowed and dropped down the order until he made for the pits to retire. In the Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars Soper would not only be against the Cortina's, Alfas and Minis again but now also some big American cars.
Qualifying in wet conditions saw Soper finish in fifth overall, second fastest Cortina as the Ford Falcon of Rob Huff and Paul Buckley took pole. The race on Sunday was held in much better sunny conditions. From the start Soper was involved in a close battle for the top placings, initially moving up to fourth but dropping back to sixth ahead of the mandatory pit-stop. With Soper driving the race alone he still had to stop and was held in the pits for a time so no advantage was gained over those changing drivers.
As the field made their stops Soper at one point was up to third place but eventually finished in seventh place, second in class and top Cortina behind three Mustangs and three Falcons, also setting fastest class lap. The race was won by Mike Gardiner and Andy Wolfe in their Ford Falcon Sprint. There were also some of Soper's original cars being raced by their owners. The TWR Rover Vitesse driven by Soper in the BTCC and BMW M3 from the DTM were in the Touring Car Challenge race while his Mobil BMW M3 from the BTCC was in the Jet Super Touring Car Challenge race. In addition to this the Bastos BMW M3 that Soper drove to victory in the Spa 24 Hour race was on display in the paddock.
The Silverstone Classic will be back for 2019, further details available by visiting silverstoneclassic.com