GOODWOOD REVIVAL Glorious Goodwood at 75

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Goodwood’s 75th anniversary and the 25th Revival Meeting since 1998 – pandemic-torn 2020’s was cancelled – cued massive celebrations on September 8-10, with Spitfires reminding onlookers of the fabled motor circuit’s wartime past.  The 11th Duke of Richmond & Gordon, whose boyhood dream to reopen the track with the social graces with which his pre-war racer grandfather imbued it and escalated the estate’s stature, opened the Pre-‘66 themed event in the family Bristol with 200 motorcyclists giving chase.  The earliest machine, a 1900 Royal Enfield, predated even 1907-born Brooklands from which the former RAF Westhampnett was handed the BARC’s sporting baton on September 18, 1948.

Marcus Pye Reports….

Three quarters of a century on, in searing heat, several ERAs that raced on that momentous day were back under starters’ orders, facing a Maserati 4CLT/48, sister to Reg Parnell’s Formula 1 race winner.  Competitors in Friday evening’s Freddie March Memorial Trophy field, remembering the Nine Hour sportscar races that ran to midnight in 1952, ‘53 and ‘55, were led to the grid by a stunning evocation of the SS100-underpinned Pycroft Jaguar, winner of Goodwood’s first ever race.

Photos Eric Sawyer

The World Championship Tourist Trophy events of the sports racing and subsequent GT eras in Stirling Moss’ playground spanned years in which Carroll Shelby won for Aston Martin and brought his Shelby American Cobra Daytona Coupes to West Sussex.  With the United States’ stars and stripes, and Shelby’s native Texan flags fluttering over the pits, a remarkable cavalcade of cars, from the MG TC in which he made his race debut at home in 1952, recognised his contribution.

The Ford Thunderbird of Romain Dumas and Fred Shepherd topped both ‘star’ and ‘owner’ St Mary’s trophy legs to win on aggregate

Seventy five Lotus – from a recreation of the Mk1 trials car to a twin-chassis Type 88B – the lack of 23Bs the only obvious oversight – recognised the 75th anniversary of Colin Chapman’s marque that won far and away more races than most others combined across Goodwood’s 1948-1966 contemporary heyday, now outlasted by its modern one.  And Jackie Stewart, whose stellar 1964 F3 season started here with a test in Ken Tyrrell’s Cooper, drove Tyrrell-Ford 006/2 on Saturday, 50 years to the day after fourth place at Monza clinched his third F1 World Championship.

Australian James Davison’s speed in American Brad Hoyt’s tubeframe McLaren M1B was rewarded in the Whitsun Trophy ‘Can-Am’ confrontation

Stewart, in F1 with BRM within a year having breezed the British F3 title race, equalled Team Lotus’ Jim Clark’s best lap in the Sunday Mirror International Trophy race on April 19, 1965.  The Scots, born three years apart, thus jointly hold Goodwood’s period outright record in perpetuity at 1m20.4s (107.46mph). Forty-eight years later, Lotus 25 and BRM P261 were among myriad stars over three glorious days of action, drama and entertainment.

Sight of sights was the BRM V16 continuation car, in its shrieking supercharged splendour under Rob Hall’s command, being chased by the lofty ERAs

The 1500cc F1 icons went head-to-head again in the Glover Trophy race, although they didn’t fight as rain blunted eight-time victor Andy Middlehurst’s hopes in the Climax V8-powered Lotus.  As he fell to fourth behind 19-year-old Samuel Harrison – debuting the ex-Denny Hulme 1000cc F2 Brabham-SCA BT10 – Andy Willis, in the BRM V8, and Ben Mitchell in veteran Alan Ballie’s four-cylinder LDS-Climax, duelled for victory.

The Chichester Cup for Formula Junior provided one of the finest lead scraps of recent years as Revival debutant Horatio Fitz-Simon, 23, had to fight for every inch in his ex-Tommy Reid Lotus 22

Hall & Hall technician Willis had an adventurous ride, skating off at Madgwick and at full pelt beside the Lavant Straight, and grazing the chicane, but remained undaunted.  Mitchell, mighty through Fordwater and twitching into St Marys on opposite-lock, almost landed an unlikely victory, but was passed in heavy traffic at Lavant, where Mark Shaw’s ex-Clark Lotus 21 had head-butted the inside wall, exercising marshals and yellow flags.

Over the circuit’s public address the Duke of Richmond and Gordon told of his time at the circuit as a very young child, of being introduced to many famous drivers of the ‘50s and ‘60s and of his determination to revive the circuit, via the Festival of Speed, which was finally achieved in 1998 – 50 years to the day from when it first opened and now 25 years ago itself! During its ‘inactive’ years the circuit remained, he said, the “spiritual home of British motor racing” despite never having hosted the British GP.

Mitchell threw caution to the wind to catch the BRM, but its dayglo orange nosecone reached the chequered flag half a second ahead.  Willis was named Rolex Driver of the Meeting, collecting a coveted souvenir watch for his efforts.  Swiss Philip Buhofer’s twin BRM was sixth incidentally, passed on the last lap by Richard Wilson who screamed through the pack in Bruce McLaren’s 1962 Monaco GP-winning Cooper-Climax T60.  Lotus drivers Alex Morton (21) and Nick Taylor (18) were next in, second and third of the four-potters.

Sir Jackie Stewart drove the family Tyrrell 006 in celebration of 50 years since he won his third and final World Championship after having been given a ‘guard of honour’ by four other drivers who also competed at Goodwood in period, Richard Attwood, Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell and Jackie Oliver.

Sight of sights was the BRM V16 continuation car, in its shrieking supercharged splendour under Rob Hall’s command, being chased by the lofty ERAs of Mark Gillies (R3A) and David Morris (R11B) in Saturday’s Goodwood Trophy opener.  Gillies wriggled past, only to be gobbled up on the Lavant Straight, but Hall retired when the BRM’s 500bhp 11,000rpm engine began to run lean.

This year’s winner of the hotly-contested Best Dressed Competition enjoys the attention

RAC TT Celebration

Pacy Priaulx Propels Paul to TT Glory 

After two days of searing heat, rain altered the balance of performance as a treacherously slippery circuit made Sunday’s Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration for Pre-‘66 GT cars more like motorised ice skating, disadvantaging the AC Cobras.

With traction at a premium, Romain Dumas and Olly Bryant struggled to keep their leaf-sprung Cobras on the track after a stoppage triggered by the vastly experienced Alex Buncombe (Cobra) and Andy Jordan (in Adrian Willmott’s Bizzarrini 5300GT) crashing heavily within seconds at Madgwick, without injury.

As the independently-sprung Jaguar E-types came into their own, a virtuoso performance by triple World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx saw the Guernseyman take over William Paul’s newly-acquired roadster, pass the gruntier V8s and Nic Minassian in CUT 7 – the ex-Dick Protheroe E-type FHC started superbly by Richard Kent – and claim a wonderful 9.9 second victory.  

For Marcus Pye’s full report of all the racing subscribe now and get our October 2023 issue in hard copy or digital….

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