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Fireworks at Goodwood Members’ Meeting

Saturday night’s spectacular firework display over the fleet of sensationally muscular and wacky Shadow sports racers was just one focal point of the 81st GRRC Members’ Meeting on April 13-14.

Julian Majzub’s fantastic weekend began when he qualified his sleek Sunbeam Indianapolis on pole for the SF Edge Trophy races ahead of Mark Walker’s spartan 1905 Darracq 200hp land speed record car

The 10th edition of the venue’s modern era found more significant anniversaries to celebrate.  Sixty years of the Ford Mustang and 1000cc Formula 3, 75 of the World Sidecar Championship, 85 of the Monaco Grand Prix and the 90th birthday of Ettore Bugatti’s immortal Type 35 series of cars coloured the event.  

Bugattis filled 17 of the 23 grid spots for the Grover Williams Trophy race

While the MM show is more ‘Revival Light’ (Lite to our American friends) than it ever was – with super-star racers strutting their stuff and demonstrating their often sublime abilities – rather than a basic training ground for wannabes as the original British Automobile Racing Club promotions were intended – the atmosphere is more chilled, with a slightly less packed paddock for members and guests to enjoy.

Five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell led ‘his’ 1000cc Formula 3 field to the grid Photo PA

Especially when the sun shines, as it did throughout, after the wettest winter on record.  Our host the Duke of Richmond & Gordon and his team must have counted their blessings.  Even the car parks in the surrounding Goodwood estate fields, waterlogged for weeks, continued to recover well over the course of the weekend, easing entry and egress for competitors, support crews, trade village and catering stallholders and the race-hungry sell-out audience.

The Graham Hill Trophy Pre-‘66 GT grid lines up in the collection area. The race was won by Miles Griffiths in Kyle Tilley’s white TVR Griffith Photo Era Media/Era Motorsport

Spanning cars from nine decades, the MM race action – named for past greats – is peerless, not hindered by the flowing 2.4-mile circuit’s bottleneck of a chicane which tends to compress packs when busy with traffic.  Runaway wins are the exception, and onlookers greet successful competitors in the time-honoured style, with generous applause and the waving of programmes, as if standing on the banks back in the 1950s or ‘60s. The surroundings are grander, and the considerably smoother track’s margins are festooned with daffodils, but the affection for winners, gallant losers and retirees down on their luck is as it ever was.  

Photos this page Era Media/Era Motorsport

To read Marcus Pye’s report, and an account of the demos and off-track activities, see out May 2024 issue.  Also available in digital format.

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