Motorcycle race heroes Ron Haslam, Leon Haslam and Jeremy McWilliams officially opened the new 3.66-mile Silverstone GP circuit on Thursday.
The motorcycle greats were also joined by HRH Prince Andrew, Jackie Stewart, Damon Hill, Red Bull F1 driver Mark Webber and Silverstone MD Richard Phillips on the new Village Corner to officially inaugurate the new part of the circuit.
HRH The Duke of York was invited by 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill to take a passenger ride in a two-seater F1 car, flanked by WSB championship leader Leon Haslam on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 road bike and 1984 Silverstone 500GP podium-placed Ron Haslam riding one of his race school’s Honda FireBlades.
Hill was seen drifting the F1 car sideways closely followed by Ron and Leon hoiking a two-bike wheelie in unison and David Coulthard leaving his mark on the track putting his F1 car into a manic tyre-squealing doughnut.
Leon was given special dispensation by the WSB organisers to complete three-laps of the track on a road bike so as not to gain any advantage over his competitors.
Other famous faces from the world of motorcycling in attendance included BSB race director Stuart Higgs, Honda’s UK motorcycling boss Steve Martindale, WSB owner Paolo Flammini and Donington Park circuit owner Kevin Wheatcroft.
Sadly our plans to ride around the new circuit with Ron after the ceremony were scrapped because of poor weather.
Silverstone will host a round of the British Superbike championship, the British round of World Superbikes and the British MotoGP this year. Silverstone is also now home to the Ron Haslam race school with dozens of dates running this year.
For details and how to book tickets for the race go to: www.silverstone.co.uk
For more information on the Ron Haslam race school at Donington Park go to: www.haslamraceschool.com