Central London today had a special preview of some of motorsport’s most beautiful and powerful sports cars. Eight drivers who will compete in next week’s Six Hours of Silverstone posed for pictures and signed autographs in front of London’s iconic Marble Arch monument.
Additionally, the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall was the site of a press conference attended by national and international media including Thomson Reuters, Sky Sports and BT Sport.
Five race cars – three LMP1 sports prototypes from Toyota, Audi and Nissan and two GTEs from Ferrari and Aston Martin – provided the public with a great opportunity to see up close some of the 31 cars that compete in the ACO-promoted World Endurance Championship and the world’s greatest sporting event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Britain’s 2014 World Endurance Champion Anthony Davidson was amongst the nine British or Commonwealth drivers who were at Marble Arch and who posed with the 110-year-old Tourist Trophy.
Davidson, along with Switzerland’s Sébastien Buemi and France’s Nicolas Lapierre, won the trophy at Silverstone 12 months ago on his way to the 2014 World Championship title with Toyota.
“2014 was a great year for everyone at Toyota Racing, beginning with the amazing feeling of lifting the Tourist Trophy at Silverstone,” Davidson said.
“Now we are back to defend those Championship titles, starting once again at Silverstone next week, and the competition looks to be very close so it’s certainly going to be exciting to see who has the upper hand.
“I’ll be starting my home race with the number one on the car which is a great feeling; we will be fighting to keep that for next year.
“That, and winning Le Mans, are the big targets for this season. I am looking forward to getting on track in front of my home crowd at Silverstone in just over a week’s time. It’s going to be a great year.”
“The 2015 World Endurance Championship has all the hallmarks of a great season with more manufacturers and teams choosing to compete on the world stage at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and some of the other iconic circuits around the world, including Silverstone,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.
“We look forward to seeing who will win the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy on the 12th April at the end of the opening race of the 2015 season.”
“The UK has a long tradition in motorsport and Silverstone is an excellent place to start what promises to be our most exciting and intense season yet,” said FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu.
“The WEC is proud to continue this story and, with 17 British drivers on the grid, there is plenty for local fans to cheer for on track as well as many different types of entertainment for the whole family, open paddocks and the chance to meet and see our stars – the cars and their drivers.
“We would like to thank the fans here in London for their warm welcome, and the Royal Automobile Club for entrusting the WEC with the stewardship of the Tourist Trophy. We look forward to seeing a big crowd at Silverstone for what promises to be an exciting weekend.”
“We are extremely pleased to welcome the World Endurance Championship to London for the third installment of the Tourist Trophy at the 6 Hours of Silverstone,” said Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee.
“The WEC embodies everything the Tourist Trophy has stood for over the last 110 years since that 6 hour race on the Isle of Man in 1905. In 2013 Audi won with Britain’s Allan McNish, who went on to win the world title. Last year Anthony Davidson won with Toyota on his way to the world title.
“Perhaps there is a pattern emerging and it would be nice to think that the awarding of the Tourist Trophy is a good indicator as to who will be world champions at the end of 2015. However, what can be guaranteed is that the race for victory will be very exciting on the 12th April at Silverstone.”