Tim Harvey to race RS500 for first time in more than 20 years
Touring car legends renew old rivalries
Touring car star Tim Harvey is relishing a very special reunion at this month’s Silverstone Classic (26-28 July). The man who won MSA British Touring Car Championship in 1992 and now commentates on the BTCC for ITV4, is preparing to race his old Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 for the first time in more than 20 years.
“It’s my actual Labatt’s sponsored car from the 1989 and 1990 seasons, so to be reunited is just fantastic,” said Tim. “That brilliant RS500 is probably my favourite touring car of all time and I certainly never thought I’d be racing it again.”
Harvey, 51, was given a brief chance to reignite his passion for the iconic winged wondercar during the Silverstone Classic Media Day in May and last week spent a further day testing the 560bhp machine at Silverstone.
“It’s absolutely as it was after my final race,” he reported. “It must be the most original Cosworth Sierra still out there right down to the switches and stickers. I’m now really looking forward to Silverstone Classic. It’s going to be very special.”
The famous blue RS500 will be competing in the two popular Super Touring Car Trophy races at the Silverstone Classic with Harvey competing in the first showdown on Saturday and the car’s owner Paul Smith returning to the hot seat for Sunday’s encounter. The races feature an amazing line-up of legendary touring cars from 1970 to 2000 covering the heydays of World, European and British Touring Car Championships covering Group 2, Group A and Super Touring generations… and Harvey isn’t the only tin-top legend competing.
The success of last year’s inaugural Touring Car Trophy races at the Classic has tempted several stars from the past to join the fun. Patrick Watts – a one-time team-mate of Harvey – has recently acquired the Peugeot 406 he originally raced in 1997 and will be one of the many favourites for outright success.
“Basically it’s a bit of sentimentality,” explained Watts who found his old Peugeot ‘resting’ in an Australian’s private collection. “The nineties were an iconic era, probably never to be repeated. The cars were great bits of kit and the racing was so competitive. I’m now really excited to be getting back into the car and putting on a show.”
Several other past and present touring car stars are also on the Silverstone Classic entry list. Three time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx will contest the Sir John Whitmore Trophy for Under 2-Litre Touring Cars in a BMW 1800 from the Sixties while Steve Soper makes a welcome return to action behind the wheel of a Ford GT40 in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars showdown.
Those not wanting to miss Harvey and Watts renew old rivalries at the action-packed Silverstone Classic must buy tickets in advance. In keeping with the popular event’s widely acclaimed ‘access all areas’ policy, tickets include free entrance to all the special classic car displays, both National and Wing racing paddocks and pit complexes, trackside grandstands, live music concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings plus a host of other entertainment for all ages and interests. Adult admittance is from just £35 (plus fees) and considerable savings are on offer for those festival goers spending the full weekend at Silverstone. Full details can be found on the official silverstoneclassic.com website.