Silverstone festival honours ayrton senna with greatest-ever display of his race cars

Honouring the great Ayrton Senna, next month’s Silverstone Festival (23-25 August) will showcase the greatest collection of the legendary Brazilian’s cars ever assembled, enhanced by some wonderful items of memorabilia.

The three-time world champion scored more race wins at Silverstone than at any other circuit in the world and – with the full support of both the Senna family and Senna Brand – the very special display will feature racing machinery from throughout his record-breaking career. Demonstrating the magnitude of this very special celebration, exhibits are coming from all over Europe and will include illustrious examples spanning his whole career from karting to Formula 1 via Formula Ford and Formula 3.

Like so many other rising stars, as a teenager Senna cut his teenage teeth racing go-karts and a trio of those from the late seventies will represent his formative years.

Buoyed by his karting successes, at the age of 21 Ayrton moved to England and switched to single-seaters. He wasted no time establishing himself as the man to beat winning two prestigious Formula Ford 1600 titles in 1981 and grabbing pole position on his maiden visit to Silverstone.

The following year he graduated to Formula Ford 2000 and dominated both British and European Championships, amassing 22 wins from 28 races… three of those stirring wins coming at the home of the British Grand Prix. Both iconic yellow-liveried Van Diemen Formula Ford 1600 and 2000 racers will be on show at the Festival.

The following season, Senna was equally dominant in the British F3 Championship winning no fewer than six encounters at Silverstone – the all-conquering Ralt RT3 is another of the exhibits.

For the following 10 years of his life, the South American legend left an indelible mark on Formula 1. He made his debut for Toleman exactly 40 years ago in 1984 and proceeded to win no fewer than 41 Grands Prix first with Lotus and thereafter with McLaren, before the tragic accident which ended his life 30 years ago at Imola in 1994.

Honouring that incredible decade in F1, the Silverstone showcase will include the very Toleman TG184 which Senna raced in his first Grand Prix alongside subsequent Tolemans, Williams, Lotus and, of course, a number of race-winning McLarens.

Adding extra interest, the one-off display at the Festival will also include two of the rally cars Ayrton famously tested in the Welsh forests for an editorial magazine feature – a Metro 6R4 and Cosworth Sierra – as well as a Honda NSX. Senna assisted Honda with the development of its first true mid-engined supercar and the example on display is one he drove extensively.

In total, more the 20 cars driven by the great Ayrton Senna will be united at Silverstone. They will be presented for all visitors to savour in a prominent display located in the venue’s International Paddock.

Selected cars will feature in not-to-be-missed track displays on both Saturday and Sunday. The Honda will also lead a special track parade of NSXs being organised to honour Senna at lunchtime on Friday.

Paying further tribute to Senna’s outstanding achievements, the Silverstone Museum will be exhibiting a number of never-seen-before items of significant memorabilia. These include his Macau Grand Prix winning trophy from 1983, which has taken pole position on F3 team boss Dick Bennetts’ desk ever since, as well as trophies from Ayrton’s maiden Grand Prix win with Lotus in 1985. Senna’s race winning gloves and the steering wheel from his victorious JPS Lotus 97T will also be part of the eye-catching collection, together with several of the Brazilian’s patriotically coloured yellow helmets.

Access to the award-winning Silverstone Museum is included in the price of Silverstone Festival admission.

“We are proud to be bringing together such a comprehensive display of cars raced by the great Ayrton Senna, encouraging motorsport fans to come together and celebrate one of the greatest talents our sport has seen,” said Nick Wigley, Event Director. “Silverstone was a very special track for Senna where he enjoyed so many of his wins and we are honoured to be paying tribute to a true legend in a year of such significance.”

Providing excellent value for money, as well entrance to the Silverstone Museum all tickets also give access to both racing paddocks, open trackside grandstands plus an incredible programme of demos, displays, live music and interactive entertainment over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Off-track highlights include a Fan Zone featuring F1 team show cars, high energy stunt shows in the Shift & Drift Zone, a Foodie Fest with chef demos and Tasting Tent masterclasses, and live music on all three evenings. Sophie Ellis-Bextor tops the bill on Friday evening, followed by Brit Award-winning Busted on Saturday and celebrated singer, songwriter and television personality, Olly Murs on Sunday.

A wide range of tickets – including camping, hospitality options – are available. Full details of all tickets can be found here.