Silverstone Festival to Honour Ayrton Senna

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Organisers of the 23-25 August Silverstone Festival will honour one of motor sport’s most iconic drivers: Ayrton Senna.  The timing of the celebration is both significant and poignant.  It is 40 years since the young Brazilian burst onto the F1 scene with the Toleman team in 1984 and 30 years since the tragic accident that took his life at Imola in 1994.  With the full support of both the Senna family and Senna Brands, the Festival is assembling what it hopes will be the biggest and best collection of cars raced by the triple World Champion ever to be brought together in one place.  This incredible display will feature many of Senna’s revered racers from Formula 1 as well as from his earlier formative years in a fitting celebration of his legacy.

Having come to Europe at the age of 21 to start his single-seater career competing in British Formula Ford 1600 with Van Diemen, Senna first raced at Silverstone in June 1981.  Wasting no time, he took pole position and was then embroiled in a thrilling, slip-streaming duel for the lead on the full Grand Prix circuit, only missing out on a famous debut win when his arch-rival (Rick Morris) bounced over the old Woodcote chicane on the final lap to steal victory.

Undeterred, the young Senna bounced back to win all three FF2000 races staged at Silverstone in 1982 and then the following season took an incredible six victories en route to being crowned as British F3 Champion. 

Back then he was competing as Ayrton Senna de Silva – a combination of both his mother’s and father’s names – and many of the headline writers at the time, renamed the circuit as ‘Silvastone’.

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