Time was that Britain’s social sporting summer was dominated by horsepower of a certain kind – Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National, Royal Ascot and Badminton, to name but four – plus of course the Henley Regatta, Cowes Week and Wimbledon. Motor racing, though, has gradually emerged from its glorious, oil-stained past to become an accepted part of the aforementioned agenda.
At its core the sport remains unchanged, something in which about 30,000 UK competition licence holders indulge during the course of a season: for most there’s no fanfare, no spotlight, it’s simply an unbridled love of pursuing fractions of a second – and finding them more quickly than anyone else.
Some events, though, are almost as much about the ambience as the action. Goodwood’s Festival of Speed has a certain sense of occasion, ditto its Revival Meeting – and the same could be said equally about the British Grand Prix (fears about its future have finally been assuaged by an extension of its place on the Formula 1 calendar until 2024), the American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch (a fusion of racing, music and hot dog-eating competitions) and the forthcoming Silverstone Classic (July 26-28).