Silverstone Classic Pays Tribute to 50 years of the Ferrari Daytona
The spirit of America’s most famous sports car race will infiltrate the home of British Motor Sport on July 21, when the Silverstone Classic pays tribute to the Daytona 24 Hours.
Silverstone is now firmly established as host of the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival and this year’s Classic features “Daytona at Dusk”, 3 evening races that show off many cars that have competed at Daytona since it added a 24-hour event to its annual roster in Y 1966.
It has since become 1 of the world’s 3 most significant such races, alongside Le Mans and the Sebring 12 Hours.
Daytona’s motor sporting pedigree stretches back much further.
In March 1927, Henry Segrave became the 1st man to set a world land speed record at more than 200mph, recording 203.79mph on Daytona Beach, and by 1935 Sir Malcolm Campbell had raised the bar to 276.82mph.
It was in 1948 that Daytona Beach hosted its 1st conventional race, forerunner to what became America’s NASCAR series.
When the event outgrew its origins, a 2.5 mile, purpose-built banked oval, the Daytona International Speedway was constructed a few miles inland.
Today this is home to both the annual 24-hour enduro and the Daytona 500, still the biggest event on the NASCAR schedule, and there are different circuit configurations to accommodate both. The sports car course includes parts of the banked circuit linked by an intricate infield section.
“Daytona has been deified by motorsport followers in Britain since the days of Segrave and Campbell,” says Nick Wigley, the Silverstone Classic organizer, “so we’re delighted to be celebrating its incredible heritage. The 24 Hours is an epic challenge that is now revered alongside Le Mans as one of the greatest endurance tests in global sports car racing.”
Many of motor racing’s biggest names have conquered Daytona, including Pedro Rodríguez, Jo Siffert, Brian Redman, Vic Elford, Hurley Haywood, A J Foyt, Derek Bell and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Concluding a full day of historical competition, Silverstone’s 3 Daytona-themed races:
- The International Trophy for Classic GT Cars (pre ’66)
- The Yokohama Trophy for FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship
- Masters Endurance Legends series, will feature coveted classics such as AC Cobras, Lola T70s, Ford GT40s, Porsche 911s and Dodge Vipers, as well as many sports-prototypes.
The Daytona theme isn’t limited to activities on the circuit. It’s a tradition for the Silverstone Classic to celebrate Key automotive milestones, and this year that includes the 50th Anni of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”.
This distinctive front-engined V12 GT is said to have been given its illustrious nickname in honor of the marque’s top-three clean sweep at Daytona in Y 1967, when the factory-entered 330 P4s of Chris Amon/Lorenzo Bandini and Mike Parkes/Lodovico Scarfiotti led home the 412P of Pedro Rodríguez/Jean Guichet.
Appropriately, the 365 GTB/4 went on to perform well on the track after which it was named, finishing a class-winning 2nd overall at the 24 Hours in both 1973 (François Migault/Milt Minter) and 1979 (John Morton/Tony Adamowicz).
Silverstone has 2 paddocks, at opposite ends of the circuit, and both will be in use.
There is no extra admission charge and members of the public are welcome to enter and pore over the 1,000-plus entries.
And once the sound of internal combustion fades, visitors can remain on site to watch Saturday evening’s concert. It is headlined by UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey, who originally formed in 1979 and thus predate many of the competing cars.
Full details at silverstoneclassic.com;
If your there have a terrific time.
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