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2017 Silverstone Classic

2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

The calendar has clicked around to end of July, it must be time for the Silverstone Classic. This meeting is turning into one of my favourite events of the year & The 2017 Silverstone Classic weekend didn’t dissapoint.

This year I was fully imbedded into the Forza Historic Racing Team, who were running the cars of Masters Historic Formula 1 drivers, Nick Padmore, Max Smith-Hilliard & Phil Hall

Friday, Day 1… Qualifying

I was on the road to Silverstone Circuit for gates open at 7:30am. In the garages the mechanics from Forza Historic Racing preparing Nick’s Williams FW07C, Max’s Fittipaldi F5A & Phil’s Theodore TR1 Formula 1 cars for the Qualifying Session later that afternoon. It was still amazing to watch all the technicians at work & their attention to detail….there really is no I in Team

 

the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival

There’s no I in Team during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Pit Crew prepare the Williams FW07C during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Not only were the team running 3 Historic Formula 1 cars, they also had 2 cars competing in the Master Historic Sports Car race. Nick & Max would share the drive in the Chevron B19, while Phil & Rob Garofall competed in Phil’s Lola T212

Max Smith-Hilliard in the Chevron B19 & Phil Hall in the Lola T212 prepare to leave the garage during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

I was also covering the Le Mans Group C cars for LMP Racer Magazine. The sound of these cars is simply stunning & to see the cornering speeds of these cars is awe inspiring.

Jaguar XJR12 during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Saturday, Day 2… Race Day 1

I was really looking forward to today’s 12 hours of racing. A huge array of cars from Pre 1961 sports cars to Nick in the Historic F1 race. A celebrity race in the little Austin A30 & A35s promised to be great fun. Finishing with the dramatic fire spitting LeMans style Group C cars race in the evening sunset…or so we thought!! Before the racing started I found myself in the paddock area in front of the International Pits. On display were a collection of simply stunning Supercars.

Pangani Zonds S, during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Bugatti Veron during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Porsche 918 Sypder during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Ferrari F40 engine cover during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

With working for the Forza Historic Racing Team I wasn’t able to room as freely this year. It didn’t matter though as I was shooting at ‘The Loop’ for the Masters Historic F1 race. I was treated to Nick making an incredible pass to take the lead before going on to win the race. This is an iconic corner on the Silverstone circuit during the Classic with the funfair in the background. A shot below with probably the most famous ‘backside’ in Historic motor racing!

Ferrari 250GT rounds Aintree in front of the big wheel during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

The crowds flock to this world leading Motorsport event. Plenty of track action to keep them entertained & in the paddock celebrities stopped for photographs with the fans.

World Champion boxer Carl Froch during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Take That’s Howard Donald stops for a selfie with a fan during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 racing finished, I made my way to To Brooklands & Luffield for the fantastic Group C cars….. & then the skies opened!! No stunning sunsets this year, but we did have incredible headlights backlighting the spray off the tarmac. For a photographer light & any kind of light for that matter is what produces stunning images & makes photography exciting.

Mercedes C11 in the Group C race during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Plumes of spray make driving hard during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Spray in headlights during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Sunday, Day 3… Race Day 2

Today I planned to try to get a few more people around the garages with the team. I may have said this before, but with wildlife photography if you chase the deer around the park for your images…you’ll get fit but not much else. Better to find a nice spot, sit quietly, drift into the shadows let the animals get used to you & relax, you will get wonderful photos. I apply this thinking to a lot of my photography, to just quietly watch & let the moments of magic unfold in front of me.

 

Pit Crew preparing Historic F1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Ant Anstead with Philip Glenister during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

A young fan living the dream in Nick Padmore’s Williams FW07C during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

One of the great things about Silverstone Classic is the demonstration drives that they arrange. These range from Car Owners Clubs like the World Record number of McLaren supercars ever held on a track at one time. To my absolute highlight of this year, the iconic Nigel Mansell’s RED5 Williams FW14B….& what a sound it made as it treated us to 3 laps of the circuit again.

Williams FW14B Formula 1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Williams FW14B Formula 1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Williams FW14B Formula 1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Nigel Mansell’s Williams FW14B the iconic Red 5 comes back into the Pit Lane during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

The Formula 1 race went well for the Forza Historic Racing Team with their drivers making the podium. Sadly in the Sports Car race it wasn’t so good. During Nick’s opening stint he was forced off the track by another car resulting in heavy damage to the Chevron. The car was too badly damaged to continue & so Max missed out on his drive. This left Phil & Rob to uphold the honours which they did resulting in another podium finish.

Rob Garofall brings the Lola T212 in to swap drivers with Phill Hall during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Phil Hall head out after driver change during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

All that remained for me to cover was the Group C race. Right on time the rain arrived with even more velocity than last night. The cars had left on slicks but after several offs, one particularly heavily into the Pit Wall. The cars headed in to the Pit Lane to take on Wets.

Wheel Gun man races to tighten wheel nuts during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

The Pit Crews get soaked changing to Wets during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Wing vents help clear water spray during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Its hard driving a Group C car anyway. To do it through 2 lots of spray must be terrifying racing during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

I hope you enjoyed a little taste of the 2017 Silverstone Classic. Please find a larger collection of photos from the event in Galleries or

 

 

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