Goodwood’s 74th Members Meeting, held last month, was the third time they have held their spring race meeting in modern times, having resurrected it with the 72nd in 2014 after many decades since the 71st Members Meeting was held.
I should not have been there. I was sick as a dog and shouldn’t have ventured to the end of the driveway, let alone to Glasgow Airport for a flight to the South coast, but such is the lure of Goodwood race meetings for me, that I ignored the inner voice of reason and made my way to Chichester.
Imagine my thought process…
“oh I feel terrible”
“this may be a mistake”
“let’s walk up on this bank and see what’s going on”
“jings it’s cold”
“Holy Cow the track’s full of GT40s- THIS IS SUPERB!!!!!!”
2016 is an important year for the GT40 as it marks 50 years since the Le Mans 1-2-3 finish. Seeing such a variety of the machines line up for a race was quite a priviledge.
The Goodwood team always picks a few themes to celebrate and this year, focus was also given to the magnificent World Sportscar Championship machines of 1970 and 1971. Watching Derek Bell climb back into a Porsche 917 and head off round the track was quite the tonic for poorly bones.
There’s something very special about the way those 917s and Ferrari 512s look, dragging you right back to one of the most nostalgic and romantic periods of motor racing.
Unlike September’s Goodwood Revival, which is strictly limited to the types of cars that would have raced during the period that the circuit was originally open, the Members Meeting is a little more relaxed and includes cars from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
The more relaxed range of eligible eras gives a fantastic variety of sights in the paddock.
Not all classes of car present actually race on the track, sometimes due to the sheer speed of the track and the limits of not having modern safety fencing. This year there were high-speed demonstrations, as opposed to races, for ground-effect F1 cars, the Group 5 WSC cars and Super Touring Cars such as those raced by John Clelland and co in the BTCC.
Some demonstrations are simply because the cars are too darn special to be risked in a race. Here are Mika Hakkinen and Jochen Mass parading the open-wheeled and streamliner versions of the epic Mercedes W196.
One of the highlights of any Goodwood racing meeting is always the cars that the fans bring along. While not the sheer ocean of precious 50’s and 60’s exotics that the Revival can deliver, the broader range of applicable dates makes for some really interesting sights in the parking areas.
This beautiful 911 2.7 MFI Carrera is the subject of a huge rebuild thread on the DDK forum. Worth a look if you like that sort of thing.
Wonderful sights everywhere you look but……this event is firmly about the racing.
It’s great to have the season kicked off with some of the closest and most competitive racing you’ll see. As is by now a bit of a tradition, the chicane needed it’s customary repairs this year.
For me though, once again, the highlight was the Gerry Marshall Trophy for Group 1 Saloons from 1970-1982. Hearing those Rover SD1s and the Camaros roar around at full chat is always a treat for the senses.
There were some nice touches from Goodwood all around the place too. I’m not sure exactly how the Koenigsegg fitted the bill, but I’m glad it was there!
Looking forward to next year already.