BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Chris Evans, former F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter, two-time Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Jason Plato, Top Gear driving legend The Stig and 12 stunning supercars sped into Thruxton last month (Thursday, 26 June) for a series of high-octane ‘hot laps’.
The stop-off featured as part of the annual ‘Chris Evans Magnificent Seven and Famous Five Drive and Dine’ extravaganza, which this year has raised almost £1 million for the BBC Children In Need Appeal.
The Magnificent Seven is composed of seven of the most beautiful Ferraris ever built – including the TR61, 250 SWB California Spyder, 275 GTS Spyder, 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta and F40. The Famous Five, meanwhile, all found fame in the movies – an Aston Martin DB5 Convertible, Morris Mini Cooper S, Jaguar E-Type, Aston Martin DB5 Coupé and Ferrari 275 GTB/4.
Together, the superstar supercars constitute the Dirty Dozen, which arrived at Thruxton driven by 12 lucky bidders during their five-day ‘Drive and Dine’ experience.
Once at the high-speed Hampshire speed bowl, they moved over to the passenger seat as the pros took over in six different but no less spectacularly iconic automobiles – a Ferrari Enzo, Ferrari 458 Italia, Ferrari 250 GT Tour De France, Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and La Ferrari, the latest in a long line of ground-breaking Italian engineering masterpieces.
Scheckter, Plato and The Stig took it in turns to wow with their finesse behind the wheel and fearless approach to what is the fastest circuit in the country – leaving their passengers feeling exhilarated, awe-struck and palpably impressed by the sheer commitment required to master Thruxton’s phenomenal flat-out nature.
“The original idea for the journey down from London was to find a stopover for the drivers and what better place,” remarked Evans, who also took to the track himself.
“Bill [Coombs – Thruxton Group Managing Director] and his staff have been absolutely amazing, with everybody being most helpful – we love Bill and Bill loves us! Thruxton is just a great place!”
“What a fantastic day!” echoed a thrilled Coombs. “We’re delighted that Thruxton is now a regular stop on Chris Evans’ annual ‘Drive and Dine’ tour. Although we’re obviously used to seeing some incredible supercars here with our fleet of track day experience exotica, to witness such rare and classic Ferraris and Aston Martins on the circuit is very special.”
“The sun shone brightly and Jody and Jason’s enthusiasm also shone through as they made sure every single passenger left with a big smile on their face. We’re pretty sure The Stig had a great time, too, although he never has been one for excessive displays of emotion.”
“To have raised such a huge sum of money for BBC Children In Need by bringing people so much enjoyment is a magnificent achievement, and we look forward to welcoming Chris and his Dirty Dozen back to Thruxton again next year.”
The ‘Drive and Dine’ tour culminated on Sunday 29 June in a blast up the famous Goodwood Hillclimb at the popular Festival of Speed – at which the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) plays a key operational role.
For those not lucky enough to have joined Chris Evans on his Dirty Dozen adventure, there are still plenty of opportunities to put pedal to the metal around Thruxton in cars ranging from the mind-blowing – not to mention extremely rare – Lamborghini Aventador Roadster to the sensational Lamborghini Gallardo, a trio of fabulous Ferraris and the quintessentially British Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
For more information, visit www.thruxtonracing.co.uk/experiences