The life and times of the unforgettable and treasured Murray Walker OBE will be honoured at The Classic at Silverstone this summer (July 30-August 1).
The passion-fuelled broadcasting legend passed away in March at the ripe old age of 97 and, in a special tribute, the prestigious event’s two headline races for evocative Formula One cars from yesteryear will be dedicated to his memory.
Staged on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the pair of races for the Murray Walker Memorial Trophy for Masters Historic Formula One will be fitting celebrations for the much-loved ‘Voice of Motorsport’ at the circuit which meant so much to him throughout his remarkable career.
A youthful Walker was present when Silverstone hosted its very first Grand Prix in 1948 and was most recently at the Home of British Motorsport when filming a feature to mark the 70th anniversary of that race with fellow presenters Karun Chandhok, Mark Webber and Susie Wolff at The Classic’s dedicated Preview Day in May 2018.
On that day, a still sprightly Murray was presented with a richly-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award by The Classic’s own Event Director Nick Wigley, joined in the Silverstone Wing pitlane by Tiff Needell of BBC Top Gear TV fame.
Speaking on receipt of the accolade, the ever-enthusiastic Walker was quick to emphasise his very special relationship with the hallowed venue as well as his love for the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival.
“Silverstone has always meant a heck of a lot to me,” he enthused. “I was here in 1948 and have covered just about everything on wheels since then.
“I’ve seen the circuit grow from a World War 2 bomber base into the fantastic complex that it is today and it’s great to see quite literally hundreds of the amazing cars I’ve seen racing here still competing at The Classic. It’s a unique event and there’s nothing else quite like it in the world.”
Indeed, so many of the wonderful cars that Walker raved about are still reliving those glory days on the unrivalled race card at The Classic.
While Murray was also renowned for his high-octane commentaries on the antics of tin-top touring cars, it is for Formula One that he will be most remembered. And, aptly, the Murray Walker Memorial Trophy for Masters Historic Formula One will feature a mouth-watering array of 3-litre F1 cars from between 1966 and 1985.
For many this was Grand Prix racing’s greatest era taking fans back to times in which DFV power and a creative designer could win Grand Prix races and, of course, many of Murray’s greatest moments behind the microphone.
“Everyone in motor sport loved Murray Walker and we really wanted both to celebrate his remarkable career and to thank him for all the fantastic entertainment he provided,” said Wigley. “It’s fair to say that many of those coming to The Classic owe their love of historic racing to the infectious enthusiasm spread by Murray back in the day.
“The Murray Walker Memorial Trophy for Masters Historic Formula One will give us all the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to a truly unique and forever cherished personality.”
The races for the Murray Walker Memorial Trophy are just two of the highlights on an incredible ‘Greatest Hits’ race-card assembled to mark The Classic’s own 30th birthday postponed for last summer.
As well as featuring all the crowd-pleasing showdowns for Grand Prix, GT, Touring, Pre-War, Single-Seater and more modern Prototype racers, the full three-day programme also stars spectacular 60th anniversary races for two of the UK’s prized icons: the E-type Jaguar and Mini Cooper S.
All tickets for The Classic must be purchased in advance and a wide selection is available including hospitality and camping options. Adult general admission starts from £47 with the price of a three-day weekend ticket just £125. Display packages for car club members are also available until the end of May.
Free admission is offered to accompanied children aged 10 and under, while day tickets for those aged between 11 and 15 are priced from just £6.
As ever, subject to guidelines, all tickets will give access to both racing paddocks, open trackside grandstand seating, live music concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings and much of the fabulous family entertainment on offer including funfair rides, driving experiences and stunt shows.
Ticket-buyers can also book with confidence with tickets carrying a COVID booking guarantee which means that if a change in current Government guidelines prevents spectators attending, all ticket-buyers will have the option to either transfer their ticket to the following year or receive a full refund.