Pre-war Brooklands used to have the motto ‘the right crowd and no crowding.’ And, after a great Sunday at the Silverstone Classic, I reckon it should be brought back as an apt description for this rejuvenated celebration of the car.
New promoter Motion Works, which also organises the London-Brighton Veteran car run in November, has breathed life back into an event that lost its pizzazz a few years back when Goodwood burst onto the mid-summer calendar.
As friend Andrew Frankel lined up an Alfa GTA for the Jack Sears Trophy Race, I sauntered over for a casual chat while my five-year old lad slipped into the driver’s seat for his best moment of the day — sitting in a real racing car!
Cleverly, the organisers had banished motor homes and transporters to the infield leaving the pits clear for race machinery and enthusiasts.
I reckon the new Silverstone is unfairly maligned, too. Maybe the pit garages are a bit of a squeeze for today’s bloated F1 operations and the stands might not match government-funded circuits in less democratic countries than our own.
But it’s a huge improvement on what it was and is still a friendly and evocative place on a sunny day when the main backing track is the crackle and pop of a DFV on the over-run.
Something else to remind us that motorsport is special: while I was queuing up to buy a ticket, a gent with a spare thrust it into my hand. “No point me taking it inside, you use it,” he said. Whoever you are sir, I salute you.
Remember, the right crowd and no crowding – Silverstone Classic 2009 weekend July 24.