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GOODWOOD MEMBERS MEETING

 

  It’s been a while since I was able to get from my side of the world to the wonders of a Goodwood race meeting although I love the Revival it was almost the huge crowds as much as my finances or the ruined knee that kept me away. So when the good Lord announced a members only meeting I was instantly salivating – Pavlov pooch style. Not only was there the prospect of an uncrowded Revival type meeting but also the chance to see some of the first F1 cars I ever saw in action, those insane Group B rally cars and some of the sexiest Le Mans sports cars ever built. Hook, Line and sinker………..

Glorious Porsche 917 LH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  There was some disquiet over the Northern winter as huge storms lashed the South of England leaving huge swathes of it flooded and I wondered if the meeting, set down for the early part of spring, would be either very, very wet or even take place at all. I know I shouldn’t have worried as Lord March again laid on some stunning early spring weather along with the usual incredible racing spectacular. His concept seems to be, be exceptionally professional but not to take anything too seriously. Goodwood race meetings are about not only providing brilliant racing but having as much fun as possible, sometimes in the silliest way possible. Even having the local hunt anf their hounds open the track on Saturday morning. The dogs enjoyed it as much as the crowd.

 

 

 

  All members were allocated to “houses” so they could join the drivers in some form of competition throughout the weekend so if you were not racing you could earn points by showing your skill on the skid-pan towing boats or caravans (almost serious), Martini mixing (Silly and I pity the judge) or welly whanging (VERY silly – England’s version of thong throwing) or any number of weird and wonderful events.

 

 The hunt opened the track on Saturday

 

  After the racing on the Saturday evening a short carnival was put on in the infield with everything from rides and dancing to oompah bands playing AC/DC (again VERY silly but bloody good fun) and ending with a spectacular fireworks display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The non-racing motoring highlights were the demonstrations of those brutal 1980s turbocharged F1 monsters and the Low-drag Le Mans Sportscars. Some of the advertised starters were a no-show but that didn’t detract from the display. Niki Lauda’s 1984 championship winning McLaren MP4/2, several of Senna’s Lotus’s and Tolemans, some very rare Arrows A9s and the very pretty Alfa Romeo 183T decked out in the Benetton livery that it ran in during pre-season testing in 1984.

 

 The ex-Niki Lauda McLaren MP4/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  And the Le Mans sportscars. Well who could ever go past a Martini liveried Porsche 917 without drooling. Or a martini Liveried Lancia LC2 for that matter. Or hear the wail of a Matra V12 without getting an erection? Oh God…………Let alone a Rothmans Porsche 956 or a Rondeau or an Aston Martin or a Ferrari 512 or………..you get the idea.

 

 

 

  Also we were treated to a Rally sprint for those loonie Group B cars that made heroes of such legends as Ari Vatanen, Marku Alen, Walter Rohrl and Henri Toivonen etc. The Audi Quattro Sports Evo 2, Lancia 037s and Delta S4s, a Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, a Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2, a pair of Ford RS200s and a brace of MG Metro GR4s. Single lap sprints were just not enough. More please next time.

 

 Walter Rohrl's Audi Quattro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  And of course there was the racing. Ahhhh the racing. Saturdays delights were rounded out by the first of the Gerry Marshall Trophy races for 1970’s to early 80’s touring cars which featured a stunning drive from the back of the field to second place by ex-F1 star Emanuele Pirro in a Ford Capri and then a Formula Junior race dominated by the squabbling U2s of Will Mitcham and ray Mallock. Finally there was the Stirling Moss Trophy for late 50’s-early 60’s sportscars that ran into the evening darkness which saw Wolfgang Friedrichs/Simon Hadfield’s Aston Martin DB4 GT edge out the unique Lotus 11 GT “Breadvan” of Joe Twyman and Oliver Bryant by just over half a second after an hour of intensely close racing.

 

 

 

  Sundays fare began with the Tony Gaze Trophy for 1950’s production sports and GT cars which was taken out by Andy Shepherd in an AC Ace after a late “off” by Max Girado in his Ferrari 250 GT and contained not only numerous Astons and Jags but the unique Bentley R-Type “Gooda” Special. Next up was the Sears Trophy which saw the continuation of the period battle between the older, larger and more powerful cars such as the Mark 2 Jaguars and the more nimble Ford Cortinas and Minis. No real surprise, with the élan that they were driven, that it was a Mini in the hands of Nick Swift who took the flag from the Cortina of Neil Brown. The Clark-Stewart Cup was an interesting time capsule where the race, as often in period, was a mix of F1,2 and 3 machinery and it was not a pukka F1 car that won, it was the Cooper T71/73 with it’s 4 cylinder Ford engine that claimed victory for Sam Wilson, almost 20 seconds to the good from the Lotus 24 BRM of Paul Drayson.

Andrew Beaumont in a Lotus 24

 

 

  For many the highlight was the Grover-Williams Trophy which saw the largest gathering of pre-war Bugattis since God alone knows when with 25 of the beautiful little beasties taking the start. but the race descended into a very easy win for Charles Knill-Jones in a T35B once the much bigger T59/50 of Gunther Krumpl pulled out with low fuel pressure. It was hard to know if it was the thundering sound of the winning Kurtis 500S of Geraint Owen or the lovely Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (lent out by the Mercedes Museum) driven with his usual panache by Jochen Mass was the best bit of the Peter Collins Trophy but I’ll go with the Merc – just.

 

 The thundering Chevy Camaro almost won

 

  The second Gerry Marshall Trophy race should have been an easy win to the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 of Stuart Graham and Nigel Garrett however a stuff-up over the timing of the mandatory pitstop which meant a drive through penalty and saw the Rover 3500 SDI of Chris Ward and Andrew Smith again hold out the Ford Capri of Emanuele Pirro and John Young by just over a second.

 

 Who could resist a Ford GT40 squabble?

 

 

 

My personal favourite was the Surtees Trophy for the “big banger” sports prototypes of the mid sixties with a brace of Ford GT40s battling it out with the Lola T70s and early McLarens. Eventually the McLaren M1B Chevy of Chris Goodwin took the honours from Jon Minshaw’s Lola T70 Spyder in what can only be described as the best aural experience short of a Formula 5000 race. The Brabham Trophy may have been won by Gary Pearson’s BRM P25 after Roger Wills Cooper T51 broke it’s transmission on the final lap but it was the sublime Maserati 250Fs duelling away that was a sight to behold. There were no fewer than six of the type in the race although unfortunately the V12 version did not take the start. And finally the Salvadori Cup saw the usual titanic tussle between the Listers, Lotus’s, D Type Jags, Ferrari Testarossas and Maserati Birdcages before finally Andrew Smith in a Lister Knobbly Chevrolet took the weekends last victory.

 

 Or that of Maserati 250Fs?

 

  Another triumph for the organisers from the GRRC which I am sure will build as big a reputation in time as the Revival meeting and the Festival of Speed and give Lord March and his gang the three most prestigious historic race meetings in the world each year. Once the word gets out just how good a weekend this was I can’t see this years slow ticket sales being repeated. It’s possibly a pity as that means the crowds will get bigger and the ease of movement and access created by the smaller crowd was one of the reasons I will be more likely to go all the way back to another Members Meeting than the Revival in the future.

 

 

 

  Goodwood on a sunny day – just bliss.

 

 Bentley Type-R Gooda Special

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The start of the Grover-Williams Trophy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferrari 246S Dino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spectacular dusk racing with the Lotus 11 Breadvan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jochen Mass in the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam Snape

 

 

 

10/04/2014