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Bentleys Galore For 75th Anniversary Of Drivers Club At Silverstone

Author: Karen Coe Published: 2nd June 2011 19:48

Bentley Drivers Club 75th Anniversary at SilverstoneBentley Drivers Club 75th Anniversary at Silverstone

The Bentley Drivers Club celebrates its 75th anniversary in style with an action-packed two-day race meeting at Silverstone on August 13th and 14th. The Club’s 62nd consecutive annual Silverstone meeting will feature a superb line-up to delight fans of all ages and types of Bentley – plus many other marques besides. And this year sees a new spectacle in honour of the Club founder, Keston Pelmore – a race with a twist!

As well as truly exhilarating racing, the weekend will feature demonstration laps by four very special cars. Bentley Motors’ Continental Supersports world ice record-breaking ‘Ice’ car will make its first public appearance, and the Le Mans-winning EXP Speed 8 and two magnificent aero-engined speed record-breaking cars – John Cobb’s legendary 1933 Napier- Railton and Graham Moss’s 2003 Thunderbolt - will also be put through their considerable paces to thrill the crowds.

Racing on the track – and between the pit crews

Packed grids should ensure plenty of entertainment, and the mix of shapes, sizes and ages of Bentleys will echo the early days of motor racing. The Bentley Scratch and Handicap races will see Bentleys spanning nearly 90 years out together, with contemporary machines squaring up against their vintage counterparts. Many of the cars would make fantastic museum pieces, but, true to the spirit of the marque, they will take to the track.

One of the highlights is sure to be Sunday’s Keston Pelmore Memorial Race, named after the young enthusiast who founded the Club in 1936, when he left notes on the windscreens of all the Bentleys at a Brooklands meeting, inviting their owners to the inaugural Club meeting at his Chelsea flat.  The Club will pay tribute to its founder in a fashion he would almost certainly have approved of – with a 20-minute race that includes a wheel-changing pit stop. Whilst Formula One-style 10-second changes are unlikely, there is still guaranteed to be plenty of competition in the pits to manage the quickest wheel-change.

The Bentley Drivers Club annual Silverstone meeting is known for its friendliness and inclusivity, so other much-loved marques are invited to add to the fun and spectacle. The Morgan Challenge will see a range of Morgans battling it out, while the MGCC Thoroughbred Sportscar Championship will bring a grid of British sportscars of the 50s, 60s and 70s, including Aston Martin, MG, Lotus, TVR, Jaguar, Triumph TR - and more Morgans. And Equipe GTS will stage three exciting heats featuring historic production sports-cars including MGA, MGB, Triumph TR3 and 4, ‘Special-bodied’ Sprites and Midgets, Sabre 6, TVR Grantura, AC Ace and Alfa Romeo.

Demonstration lap delight

Silverstone won’t be quiet when the racing cars are resting. On the Saturday, spectators will enjoy the first public appearance of the latest record-breaking Bentley - the Continental Supersports Convertible ‘Ice’ Car, in which, earlier this year, four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen broke the world ice speed record, achieving 205.48 mph on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland.

As well as bringing the ‘Ice car’ to the party, Bentley Motors will also demonstrate the stunning 2003 Le Mans-winning Bentley EXP Speed 8, to further entertain the crowd with its display of potent power.

Moreover, two magnificent aero-engined speed record-holding cars spanning seven decades will also be out. In the hands of John Cobb, the 1933 Napier-Railton broke 47 world speed records at Brooklands, Montlhéry and Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and Brooklands Museum is bringing this legendary machine to Silverstone to showcase it on track. And Graham Moss will drive the 27-litre Bentley Meteor Thunderbolt, the car he designed and constructed and which holds many UK over 8-litre speed records, including 10 taken at Millbrook in 2003.

In addition to all the on-track action there will be plenty to do and see off-track.  Concours winning cars will have their own display and the Club is hoping for a good gathering of R Type Continentals to mark the model’s 50th anniversary.

Advanced tickets are available from the Silverstone website, priced at £10 for the Saturday or Sunday or £15 for the weekend. Children aged 15 and under go for free.


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