I don’t usually take the carpet-bomb approach to capturing the perfect moment, but when it comes to the randomness of flaming exhausts, it can sometimes be the best option to just hold down that shutter button and hope something cool comes out. Fortunately, these Bavarian bruisers were happy to give me repeat performances during the Deutsche Rennsport-Meisterschaft at the Nürburgring last weekend, and it seemed a shame to throw the ‘pre and post-ignition’ frames away….Full AvD Oldtimer GP post coming soon!

I don’t usually take the carpet-bomb approach to capturing the perfect moment, but when it comes to the randomness of flaming exhausts, it can sometimes be the best option to just hold down that shutter button and hope something cool comes out. Fortunately, these Bavarian bruisers were happy to give me repeat performances during the Deutsche Rennsport-Meisterschaft at the Nürburgring last weekend, and it seemed a shame to throw the ‘pre and post-ignition’ frames away….Full AvD Oldtimer GP post coming soon!

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The Lotus 101 wasn’t the most successful F1 car (ok, it was pretty rubbish), but it’s a striking design from a period when F1 cars were in the ‘advanced yet pure’ sweet-spot between the clunky awkwardness of the 70’s and the contrived, aero-feature-afflicted look that we have today.

This one didn’t race at the Silverstone Classic, but it still attracted a lot of attention just parked in the conveniently shiny new pit box.

This isn’t the first Lola T70 I’ve done an 'Auto Focus' on, but it is the first Mk3B. There were quite a few of these beasts on track, but this one was the best to photograph thanks to the lush green bodywork and gold wheels. As if that wasn’t enough, check out the quilting in the interior! Class.

Next up from the Silverstone Classic is this gorgeous early 911. I’m not sure where the ‘tricolour’ bonnet scheme came from, but I’ve seen a similar approach - in orange, blue and yellow - on another neunelf at Le Mans Classic.

Silverstone Classic had an overwhelming number of incredible cars, but the one that really blew me away was the Jaguar XJR-14, in the Group C race. The XJR-14 took advantage of a shake up in the rules of Group C for the 1991 season, sacrificing drag for downforce (since fuel limits were lifted) and winning the championship in the process. This shift in aero requirements explains why it looks a lot sexier than the other endurance cars.

I was up in Northants last weekend shooting the Silverstone Classic for Classic Driver. I’d been looking forward to it for a long time, as I’ve only been to the circuit once before in 2005 when I was working as a driver for a car magazine. So it was another new and inspiring experience for me. After walking the whole of the 3.6 mile course, first on the inside of the track and then the outside - I can confirm it’s not the most photogenic track in the world (and that there is no shade), but then it does make for some exciting racing and the standard of machinery competing was so high it really didn’t matter. Also, the new pit complex (named ‘the wing’) adds some character and the clean, glossy floors in the garages offers up some great photographic opportunities.

(cont. below in pt. II…)

(…cont. from above)

My excitement spiked when I received the entry list a couple of weeks before the event - not only would the Group C racers be there, but they’d be battling into the dusk for an authentic endurance experience! (another post on this to follow). The other unexpected treat was the ’90s GT Legends’ class, starring seven(!) McLaren F1 GTRs, two Porsche GT1s, a pair of XJ220s (one of which was badly damaged after catching fire, as seen above), a couple of Viper GTS-Rs and a flame-spitting F40 LM, amongst other significant race-cars. This class was officially not billed as a race, but a 'high speed demo run in which overtaking is allowed'…….you can imagine how that was interpreted by the drivers!

I found out after I got home that the weekend ended on a sad note, as Austin Healey specialist Denis Welch was killed when his Lotus 18 rolled during one of the final races on Sunday.

A little taste of what’s to come in my coverage of the Silverstone Classic last weekend….

A little taste of what’s to come in my coverage of the Silverstone Classic last weekend….

For the second time in as many months, I found myself at Brands Hatch in the midst of a high profile historic race meeting. This wasn’t a petrol-fume induced flashback to the Masters Historic Festival though - it was ‘the other’ classic festival on the calendar of the English circuit, the HSCC Superprix. 

There was an impressive entry list, but what set it apart from other classic events I’ve been to this year were the touring cars (from the 90’s BTCC series - more coming later) and a 36 strong field of F5000, Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic cars. The noise that the 5-litre F5000 V8′s make is quite a change from the wailing banshee of highly tuned top-formula engines, but no less ear-splitting. And the colour schemes were are just as loud, my personal favourite being the Chevron B28 of Simon Taylor in a very 70’s turquoise and yellow ‘Thursdays’ livery.

The ‘Martini Trophy’ for 2-litre sports prototypes and the ’70s Road Sports Championship’ carried on with the 70’s theme, with a couple of standout cars that I’ll do a little ‘Auto Focus’ on in due course. Plus there were all the usual suspects of historic racing to enjoy - E-Types, Cortinas, Elans and Mustangs - completing the range of machinery on track.

The Grasser Racing Team's Lamborghinis were the ones to watch at the Blancpain Sprint Series race at Brands Hatch a couple of months back. Not only did the no. 28 car of Hari Proczyk and Jeroen Bleekemolen win both the qualifying and main race, they were also the slickest looking cars on the grid. I guess having such a low, sleek proportion to start with means that the aero components don’t dominate over the aesthetics of the car as much as it does for some of the less exotic rivals. And the tasteful black, white & gold livery keeps the menacing sculpting on the front and rear ends in check - for a real tough guy in a dinner jacket look.