[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ilverstone Classic is renowned for celebrating important anniversaries and 2016 is no different. To mark the 50th year since the 1966 World Cup Final between England and Germany, which took place just 70 miles down the road, six stars were drafted in to recreate the home nation’s famous victory, in support of Prostate Cancer UK – official charity partner of the event.
England, in the red of 1966, were represented by International footballers John Barnes (c) and Steve Hodge as well as John Stiles (son of World Cup hero Nobby). The Germans – in white – lined up with ex-Formula 1 stars Damon Hill (c), Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson.
However this was no ordinary match. Thanks to the support of SsangYong – official courtesy & event team car partner of the Classic – each competitor piloted a Tivoli car, trying to score goals with an oversized inflatable football.
Trying to control this bunch was English Premiership referee Lee Probert, and he was a busy man during the 30-minute contest, handing out both yellow and red cards.
Despite warning both teams of the rules and regulations before ‘kick-off’, there were last ditch ‘tackles’, goal-line clearances and some inevitable impact for the vehicles to ably cope with, plus some pre-event shenanigans involving Herbert cranking up the hot air and heated seat in Stiles’ Tivoli!
There was plenty of end-to-end action and while some thought ‘it was all over’, the match went to the wire with the last ‘kick’ in an exciting finale. To find out who took the glory you’ll have
to tune in to Sky Sports F1 during Saturday’s German Grand Prix qualifying or, for those at the event, a film of the match will be played on the big screens around 3pm on Saturday afternoon – exactly 50 years on from the World Cup kick-off at Wembley on Saturday 30 July, 1966.
Damon Hill (captain Germany): “Normally I’d say it’s a proud day, but I’m captaining Germany so I’m on the opposing side. Johnny Herbert was a wildcard, he’s like a little dog: he gets excited, his tail is wagging away, he sees the ball and that’s it, he’s off and has to get it. He’ll learn, he’s young! I hope everyone has a safe weekend and it’s a successful event.”
John Barnes (captain England): “They started well and closed us down. Once John Stiles took his handbrake off, we came into it! We soon realised it was no-holds-barred and that this was a contact sport after Herbert hit us two or three times in the first minute – we could be a little more aggressive we did ok!”
The Silverstone Classic, which in 2015 celebrated its 25th anniversary, is firmly established as the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival. The epic event attracts more than 1,100 race entries and drew a record crowd of more than 100,000 in 2015.
The spectacular classic car celebration is staged at the famous Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, birthplace of the FIA Formula One World Championship and home to the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. The three-day festival features the very best of historic racing covering more than eight decades of motor sport, as well as live music from iconic rock bands (topped by The Boomtown Rats, Reef and The Stranglers in 2016) and a wealth of family entertainment.
This includes a free funfair, retail outlets, a host of interactive activities, a two-day classic car auction, air displays plus huge showcases of classic cars often celebrating important milestones in automotive history. In 2015, a record number of 120 car clubs displayed more than 10,000 classic cars.