The Historic Sports Car Club will provide the grids for six of the races at this weekend’s Silverstone Classic (July 26-28) as the Club’s Historic Formula 2, Classic Formula 3 and Thundersports series feature at the biggest historic racing festival of the season.
As well as running the racing element of this fabulous event, the HSCC will deliver around 150 race cars across three bumper grids, including a capacity 54-car field (plus reserves) for rounds seven and eight of 12 in the HSCC-run Formula 2 FIA International Series.
Historic Formula 2 is the big success story in historic racing this season and a record field of 54 cars will line-up on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. These are the 2-litre cars from a golden era of Formula 2 racing, running up to the end of 1978. The 1600cc Formula Atlantic cars have their own classes.
The five classes in the championship are named in honour of key drivers from the period, starting with the Jim Clark Trophy for non-wing cars from 1967 onwards. The 1600cc Formula 2 cars from up to 1972 race for the Jochen Rindt Trophy, while the later 2-litre cars from 1972 to 1978 contest the Bruno Giacomelli Trophy. Among the Formula Atlantic cars, the pre ’76 cars race for the Vern Schuppan Trophy and the later cars from up to 1978 compete for the Gilles Villeneuve Trophy.
The entry list is packed with rapid drivers across the classes and the fastest cars in the Giacomelli division are topped by Martin O’Connell (Chevron B40), Magny Cours winner David Tomlin (Rondel M1) and Miles Griffiths (Ralt RT1). Joining them in the battle for overall glory will be Martin Stretton (March 782), Wolfgang Kaufmann (March 782), Andrew Smith (March 742), Mark Charteris (March 742) and Matthew Watts (March 772).
In the Jochen Rindt division for the earlier 1600cc F2 cars, Frenchman Robert Simac has an incredible record in his ex-Jean-Pierre Jaussaud March 712. Simac is now chasing his seventh straight Historic F2 title and leads the points’ table heading to Silverstone. His class rivals include Luciano Arnold (Brabham BT36), Nick Pancisi (March 712) and the Tecno of Julian Stokes.
Mark Goodyear has had a great start to the season and currently tops the Vern Schuppan Trophy for the earlier Formula Atlantics in his Lotus 59, while the later Atlantic cars are headed by the Chevron B34 of Australian racer Martin Bullock.
Classic Formula 3
A superb 45-car field of Formula 3 cars from the 1970s and early 1980s will assemble as cars from the HSCC’s Classic Formula 3 Championship are joined by similar cars from the French series.
The HSCC Classic Formula 3 Championship is open to F3 cars built and raced from 1971 to 1983 and features many cars racing in original period liveries. These are the cars of drivers like Derek Warwick, Nigel Mansell, Martin Brundle, Nelson Piquet and Elio de Angelis. The 2019 season marks the 25th anniversary of the first HSCC race series for 2-litre Formula 3 cars.
Notable front-runners should include Richard Trott and Simon Jackson in Chevron B43s and Gaius Ghinn and David Thorburn (Ralt RT3s), while a gaggle of quick cross-channel visitors will add to the action at the head of the race.
A superb 44-car field will be the best yet since the HSCC revived the famous Thundersports tag for the 2019 season. On Saturday there will be a 25-minute sprint race and on Sunday a 40-minute endurance race will include a mandatory pit-stop and optional driver change.
The HSCC-organised series of races is for some of the most spectacular sports and GT cars active in historic racing. Cars of the type used in the World Endurance Championship, FIA GT Championship and FIA 2 Litre Sports Car Championship will race, along with Can-Am sports-racing cars from the heyday of the category in the 1970s. Just as in period, Sports 2000s are encouraged with a dedicated class covering all Ford Pinto-engined cars from up until 1990.
The Thundersports season started at Silverstone in May when the Chevron B26 of John Burton and the thundering 8-litre Can-Am McLaren M8F of Dean Forward were to the fore. That contest will now be continued as a wonderfully diverse grid includes the unique Lola T310 Can-Am car of Georg Hallau, three Lola T70 Mk3Bs, the vast March 717 Can-Am car of Michiel Campagne, 2-litre Chevrons, Lolas and Marches and a tremendous field of Sports 2000s.