The home of the British Grand Prix has unveiled its latest addition with the opening of a striking new streamlined complex to be known as the Silverstone Wing at the Silverstone Motor Circuit in Towcester.
Silverstone’s new state-of-the-art pit, paddock and conference complex was formally opened by His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, in a ceremony at the circuit. The Duke, who is also president-in-chief of circuit owner the British Racing Drivers’ Club, was joined by more than 800 guests, including the great and good of British motorsport, local dignitaries, motorsport governing bodies, BRDC members and media.
The launch of the Silverstone Wing heralds an exciting new era for British motor sport Silverstone Circuits Limited, and its owner the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC).
The new building, which represents the second stage of a multi-million pound investment in the self-styled ‘Home of British Motor Racing’, includes 41 garages, a race control building, podium and media centre, as well as hospitality and VIP spectator zones.
The project was overseen by contractor Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd; Mechanical and Electrical Contractors were NG Bailey and Company Ltd. With three large halls, a conference facility, business centre and a 100-seat auditorium, the Silverstone Wing has also been designed to accommodate conferences, product launches and experiential events, and will be the largest covered exhibition space between London and Birmingham. For Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, the launch represented an important stepping stone in the redevelopment of the venue. “Building on last year’s successful Grand Prix track upgrade. The new wing is another great milestone in Silverstone’s history and we must recognise and thank the BRDC for having the insight and vision to invest in to the future of the venue as we continue to expand and diversify the business,” he said.
“This building will not only be a wonderful base for our major race meetings, but has the flexibility to accommodate conferences, exhibitions, launches, banqueting functions and experiential events. “Silverstone is now one of the best motorsport facilities in the world, and British motorsport has an iconic home that we can all be proud of.” The building, which is 390m long and 30m high, is situated at what used to be the back of the circuit, between Club Corner and Abbey, so that the latter, a fast right-hander, now becomes the first turn, followed by Farm Curve, a sweeping left-hander.
Having secured a 17-year deal to host the British GP, the British Racing Drivers’ Club commissioned the construction, and the modular design makes it the perfect venue for any type of event from lectures and presentations, to exhibitions, weddings, banquets and conferences.
The official opening ceremony took guests on an evocative journey through the history of Silverstone, including appearances by many of the biggest names in the history of British motorsport.
Five of Britain’s six living F1 world champions – John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jenson Button – were in attendance, along with fellow grand prix luminaries Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Frank Williams, Christian Horner, Ross Brawn, David Coulthard and Murray Walker. The worlds of MotoGP and World Superbikes, both of which race at the circuit, were also represented at the launch, with a host of Britain’s best riders – including Cal Crutchlow, Jonathan Rea and James Toseland – showing their support for the stunning new facility.
BRDC president Damon Hill said: “This year’s grand prix and all the major international events will take place using the new facility.
“Silverstone has got a right to a permanent place on the calendar and so we hope this is a long-term thing that will make the circuit smart.”
The show element of the opening ceremony culminated with a focus on the present and future of Silverstone, which was represented by three current greats of world motor sport.
Britain’s most recent Formula One World Champion, Jenson Button, was joined on stage by nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, before 2010 Formula 1 British Grand Prix winner Mark Webber brought things to a close by driving his Red Bull Racing Formula One car into The Wing before stopping in the middle of the room.
All of the drivers and riders paid tribute to the impressive new facility, which will host its first major motor sport event, the FIA GT1 World Championship, on 03-05 June.
J&T McCafferty Ltd Building & Civil Engineering Contractors
J&T McCafferty specialise in all types of building and civil engineering groundwork projects, from deep drainage, installation of large under tanks/interceptors to car park, reco panel retaining walls, tensar retaining walls, block paving, finished concrete, and kerbing – basically anything to do with the ground and below.
The new building at Silverstone working on behalf of Buckingham Group contracting was a special job for J & T McCafferty as well as Buckingham’s, due to the prestige of the contract. J & T McCafferty also assisted Buckingham’s in the track alteration works, once again a very interesting but testing contact. J & T McCafferty enjoyed working on the project and would like to thank all who helped.