JUL 29th 2014

Mustangs on show, on track and even in the air – a 50th celebration to remember

The Silverstone Classic is entitled Rocking and Racing, so to have racers from Motown was entirely appropriate. Celebrations for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary saw the biggest ever gathering of the pony car, including cars from movies such as Bullitt, Gone in 60 Seconds and American Gangster, as well as the new 2015 model. Many took to the track for a parade on Sunday. And while the cars were on track, two Mustang P51 planes were in the sky.

But it wasn’t all show ‘n’ shine. The Mustang Trophy had a 58-car grid on both the Saturday and Sunday. Detroit muscle, in various forms, was up against a selection of Dagenham’s finest, albeit via Lotus in Hethel, Norfolk.

The first lap on Saturday saw the lighter Ford Falcons of Leo Voyazides and Mike Gardiner lead away, with Henry Mann’s gold and red Mustang having an ‘interesting moment’ the stage was set for an epic race. With the lead swapping as the two Falcons thundered down the straights and leant round the bends, it was Leo Voyazides who crossed the line first, less than a second ahead of Mike Gardiner, with a grateful Tom Roche maintaining Mustang honours to take third.

For the repeat race on Sunday, there was a great deal of pride at stake.

It may have provided the last race of the weekend, but what a cracker. Up front serious cubic inches of V8 power in the shape of Leo Vovazides’s Ford Falcon battling again with Mike Gardiner’s Ford Falcon Sprint. A repeat of the result from Saturday afternoon. Behind these two a whole coral of Mustangs, including a few Shelby 350s, diced with Lotus Cortinas with the occasional Mini snapping at their heels. And in some cases showing that, despite the popular saying, nimbleness can be a substitute for cubic inches.

It very much looked as though the honours would go to Gardiner as he held the lead for most of the early laps. However, A monetary spell of over exuberance at Copse lead to a brief excursion by Gardiner, allowing Vovazides to take the lead. Although placed eighth, Stephen Avery gave demonstrations of drift control around Luffield each time in his Shelby Mustang GT350 to the delight of the remaining crowd.

Photography: Chris McEvoy and Silverstone Classic

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