A trio of gold medal-winning Olympic rowers are the latest additions to the ‘star-studded’ grid set to contest the world’s biggest celebrity motor race at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (28-30 July).
Brothers Greg and Jonny Searle won gold medals competing together in the Coxed Pair at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, while Mark Hunter’s golden moment came 16 years later in the Lightweight Double Sculls in Beijing. Now all three are hoping to make a splash at the home of the British Grand Prix.
Having passed their MSA Competition Licence ‘ARDS’ tests last weekend at Silverstone, the trio are all set to join an illustrious 50-car grid all racing Austin A30 and A35 saloons – harking back to the late fifties.
“I’m thrilled to have passed the test and now all I want to do is drive as much as I can, and as fast as I can,” enthused Greg Searle. “I was very nervous when I first got in the car but, once the adrenalin and buzz of competition kicked-in, the excitement took over.”
“It was awesome, I loved it,” agreed Hunter. “I’m now really looking forward to putting the learning to the test in July. The concentration side of things is similar to rowing but the adrenalin side is worlds apart – driving wins hands down!”
The three rowers will join a glittering line-up which already includes two more of Britain’s gold medallists – Jason Kenny CBE and Amy Williams MBE – as well as former England test cricket captain Mike Gatting OBE, Dragon’s Den TV star Theo Paphitis and a host of other famous faces from sport, film and television.
Once the final list of celebrities is confirmed, they will be split into ten teams representing their professions – for example TV, sport and music. Each team then will be mentored by a renowned racing driver. The rowers will form a team of their own to take on the competition.
The race programme will be split into two parts. Owners of the charismatic, race-prepared A35s will qualify on Friday and race on Sunday with the celebrities, together with their team captains, in action on Saturday.
The cars are well-known in classic racing circles and were introduced a few years ago by the Historic Racing Drivers Club (HRDC) as a cost-effective route into historic racing. More than 50 have now been built, guaranteeing this enormous grid – not to mention some unmissable enjoyment for contestants and crowds come July.
“I can’t believe the world has ever seen five Olympic gold medalists from different disciplines all competing together, so this is going to be something really unique and special,” said Nick Wigley, CEO of Silverstone Classic organiser Goose Live Events.
Content Marketing Executive at Motors.co.uk