Silverstone frees up potential GP date


As one door closes another door opens, as Silverstone does all it can to ensure it hosts at least one round of the Formula One World Championship this year.

"It is with a heavy heart that the organisers of the Silverstone Classic announce that this summer's flagship three-day festival - originally scheduled for the weekend of 31 July to the 2 August - has sadly been cancelled," said the Northamptonshire circuit in a statement today.

"As the world's biggest classic motor racing festival, the event always attracts unrivalled grids, many thousands of classic car owners and more than 100,000 visitors, many of whom camp out at Silverstone," it continued. "The nature and scale of the event make running it in a safe, socially-distanced manner a huge challenge in the current situation; and the event's much-loved family festival ethos also means that running the event behind closed doors isn't a feasible option.

The pioneering Classic had plans to celebrate its milestone 30th birthday with a special ‘greatest hits' race card but organisers have indicated that they will carry forward these celebrations to the 2021 event.

"Following the latest Government advice, coupled with other scheduling changes at Silverstone, we have reached the inevitable conclusion that we will need to cancel this year's event," said Nick Wigley, CEO of Classic organiser Goose Live Events. "Given the current circumstances and the unclear outlook on timescales, staging a postponed event - which was our original back-up plan - isn't something we can plan for with any degree of certainty if we are to deliver the style of Classic that we all know and love.

"I can't tell you how sad this news makes me feel. For the last 12 years it has been my life's focus to build the Classic into the most amazing family friendly classic racing festival, the biggest and many people think the best in the world, but our priority at all times is the safety and wellbeing of those attending our events - as well as our own team - and we know that Classic fans will understand why this step has been necessary.

"As an independent events company passionate about what we do, we are so proud to have developed the Silverstone Classic into an internationally renowned historic motorsport festival enjoyed across generations of car enthusiasts, families, racing drivers and petrolheads.

"In times of difficulty, communities tend to come together and we're incredibly grateful for everyone's continued support. It means a lot. The passion of those coming through our gates is what makes the event the success that it has become and we are now already looking forward to celebrating our delayed 30th anniversary with everyone next year instead."

News of the cancellation comes a day after circuit boss, Stuart Pringle announced that plans to switch the British Grand Prix - which will be held without spectators - to an August date were being considered and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is seeking to have F1 exempted from the forthcoming mandatory quarantining of travellers arriving in the UK.

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Published: 26/05/2020
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