If your plans for the Bank Holiday weekend are presently limited to cleaning the decking or painting the fence, the inaugural Speedmachine festival might offer more excitement.
Designed to coincide with the British round of the 2018 World Rallycross Championship, Speedmachine will bring together motorsport, music, food, and more in a weekend-long event.
Why should I care about Rallycross?
Rallycross is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport at present, attracting big-name drivers and major manufacturers. This weekend’s event at Silverstone is the first time the FIA World Rallycross Championship has come to the ‘home of British motorsport’. It also marks the inaugural race in the newly formed Americas Rallycross Championship.
Much of the appeal for rallycross comes from the fact it is centred on maximising spectator excitement. Pitting groups of cars with over 500hp and 4WD against each other, on mixed surface circuits, guarantees close racing and spectacular driving. Contact between cars is frequent, and you can expect more overtakes than an entire season of Formula One.
Will I know any of the drivers?
If you follow the World Rally Championship you’ll probably have heard of a certain Sebastien Loeb. Having won nine WRC titles, he’s now terrorising rallycross circuits with his factory-prepared Peugeot 208 supercar. Petter Solberg – the 2003 WRC winner – is another big name driver, whilst Andrew Jordan will be name familiar to fans of the British Touring Car Championship.
The inclusion of the Americas Rallycross Championship adds a Stateside flavour. Volkswagen Andretti Racing drivers Tanner Foust, who presented the USA version of Top Gear, and Scott Speed who raced for Toro Rosso in Formula One, will both be present.
Is there anything other than World Rallycross to see?
Indeed there is. Speedmachine will feature displays throughout the weekend of awe-inspiring Group B rally cars, like the Audi Quattro and Ford RS200. There will also be tyre-shredding demonstrations from the Monster Energy drift show, plus retro American muscle cars and modern supercars.
Prodrive, builder of legendary race and rally cars, will be bringing along more than ten cars. We recently had the chance to check out this amazing collection, including WRC cars used by Colin McRae and Richard Burns.
Can I get involved in the action?
Yes, actually you can. Although not in a 560hp rallycross machine, but behind the wheel of the latest Renault Megane R.S. Bring your driving licence, and you’ll have the opportunity to drive the new 280hp hot hatch on the legendary Silverstone F1 circuit.
Volkswagen will also be offering passenger rides in the 310hp Golf R, Jaguar will let you experience drifting action in an F-Type, and there’s also karting and radio-controlled buggies to take control of.
What about the music?
The organisers of Speedmachine have attracted several big names for their main stage. Dizzee Rascal, Basement Jaxx, Razorlight, Lethal Bizzle, and Killa Kela will all be offering up live sets throughout the weekend.
Do I need a picnic?
Leave your tartan blanket in the car, as the festival is said to have attracted the ‘finest street food’ from around the world. The Speedmachine website lists 25 different vendors, with offerings ranging from burgers and hotdogs, through to luxury flapjacks and waffles.
When, where, and how much?
Gates open on Friday, and the action continues all the way through until Sunday night. All parts of the festival are taking place within the confines of the Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire.
Tickets will be available on the gate, should you make a last-minute decision to attend. Prices range from £35 on Friday, to £70 on Saturday and Sunday. A weekend pass can be had for £125, and camping is also available should not feel like driving home afterwards.
Even if you can’t make the trip to Silverstone this weekend, highlights of the action from the World Rallycross Championship will be aired by Channel 4.