The Classic is renowned for hailing both motoring and motor sport milestones and in 2020 it will have its very own 30th pearl anniversary birthday to celebrate. Founded back in 1990, the original Historic Festival is widely hailed as playing a significant part in the rise of dedicated retro racing extravaganzas both in the UK and right around the globe.
The inaugural event attracted an audience of around 20,000, a handful of car club displays and a modest 426 racing entries. Last edition of what has become the world’s biggest feast of classic motor racing played host to a record 109,000 visitors, with 140 car clubs registered to display over 10,000 classics, and 21 epic races attracting close to 1,000 entries.
The rich roster of iconic winning cars emphasised the extraordinary breadth of wonderful motor sport history now included on the unrivalled Classic bill. Races were won by Cooper, McLaren, Ligier and Lotus F1 cars; top sportscar honours went to drivers racing AC Cobras, a pre-war Bentley and a Jaguar D-type while Minis, a Mustang and a Ford Sierra RS500 were among the tin-top victors.
There were new records on track, too, with never-seen-before numbers of Formula 2 single seaters as well as first generation Mini Coopers, the latter honouring six decades of Sir Alec Issigonis’ little treasure. Other special 2019 celebrations marked Bentley’s centenary, the 70th anniversary of Abarth and the 50th birthday of the Ford Capri, the ‘car you always promised yourself’.
Sir Jackie Stewart also returned to Silverstone half a century since taking his first British Grand Prix win and the first of his three Formula One world titles. To mark the occasion the Flying Scot was back behind the wheel of his championship winning Matra MS80-02.
“I know we say this every year, but the Classic just keeps getting better as we work hard to ensure that each year is the best yet,” enthused Nick Wigley, event CEO. “Now, with our own special landmark ahead in 2020, we will be keeping our pedal firmly to the metal and building ever further on what’s been achieved to date.