The 74th Goodwood Member’s Meeting opens the West Sussex circuit’s 2016 season this coming weekend with what is arguably the strongest entry for any of their spring meetings to data since the renaissance of the famous circuit. Twelve races and three varied sets of high-speed demonstrations across the two day’s promise plenty to see and enjoy – the eight Porsche 917Ks and six Ferrari 512s in the Group 5 demo alone would be worth travelling a long way for and they form just a part of a busy weekend.
Gates open on Saturday at 07.30 with the first track action set for 9am with a 30-minute session for the two-driver Gerry Marshall trophy, which features Group 1 touring cars up to 1983, so an exciting variety of tourers ranging from the mighty V8 Camaros to the ever-present and rapid Minis. The first of the two races is on Saturday afternoon at 3pm and that sets the grid for Sunday afternoon’s two driver 45-minute race.
Some impressive entries include a few notable big names, Gordon Shedden and Chris Ward sharing a Rover SDi, as does the pairing of Tiff Needell and Peter Mallett. A bevy of Ford Capri Mk3s feature strong driver line ups such as Rob Huff/Richard Meins, Mike Jordan/Mike Whitacker and Jochen Mass – a ‘house captain’ for the event – and Stuart Caie. Two former BTCC champions are taking very different approaches to the event, Matt Neal sharing the Bastos liveried Chevy Camaro of David Clark, while Andy Jordan teams up with Nick Swift in what should be a very quick 1275 GT Mini.
With Saturday mainly practice sessions and the ever-popular demonstration runs, the only other race is set for early evening and should be an unmissable feature of the weekend.
The 60-minute Alan Mann Trophy race which is set for 5.50 on Saturday, the second of the two races on the opening day. Almost 30 Ford GT40s form the impressive grid, and the sight of these iconic 1960s racers in the gathering twilight should be a special one. Huff and Meins are out again in a GT40 in a strong field, with other driver pairings to watch including David Cuff and Steve Soper, Tim Harvey and Roger Wills, Kenny Brack and Christian Clasel and Chris Ward and John Young.
Sunday’s action starts with the 20-minute Brooks Trophy for 2.5 litre Formula Ones cars from 1954 to 1960, and this has to be one for the historic purist with cars from one of the most attractive eras of Grand Prix racing. With an entry including five Maserati 250Fs, Ferrari 246 Dinos, a Lancia D50 and a host of the British Coopers that ultimately turned Formula One on its head, make sure you are in early enough on Sunday to catch it!
Next up is the Derek Bell Cup for one-litre Formula Three machinery from 1964 to the end of that decade. A vital stepping stone to Formula One in their day, these great looking cars tend to race in packs, and with some of the leading historic exponents of F3 racing on-board should provide close and exciting action all the way to the flag.
In sharp contract is the SF Edge Trophy, named after the pioneering Edwardian racer and motorist. With an entry ranging from the 1903 Mercedes of Gareth Graham to the positively ‘modern’ looking early 1920s Bentleys, Delages and Alfa, the classic oversteering ‘elbows-out’ style needed to get these cars round makes them as much of a crowd pleaser as the newer and quicker machinery on show.
At 11.45 the Graham Hill Trophy had a mouth-watering entry of GT cars from the first half of the 1960s, ranging from a clutch of Jaguar E-Types including rapid examples form Chris Scragg, Gary Pearson and Jon Minshaw to Aston Martins, including Wolfgang Friedrichs’ DP214, and a bellowing selection of Cobras and Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes. The 20-minute race has a handsome entry including Goodwood regular David Brabham in a Ginetta G10.
Last race on Sunday before the 1pm spectator Grid Walk is the Hailwood Trophy for two-stroke Grand Prix motorcycles from 1960 to 1972.
After the second leg of the Gerry Marshall Trophy kicks off the afternoon’s race action, any thought of a post-lunch snooze should be blasted away by the Can-Am and Group & sportscars out for the Bruce McLaren Trophy. Last year a mighty lap from Nick Padmore saw him set a new outright Goodwood lap record in a Lola T70 Spyder on his way to the race win, and with the entry dominated by big capacity sportscars from Lola and McLaren, the pace should be fierce….and loud.
The Parnell Cup, named after British Grand Prix pioneer Reg Parnell, first Briton to stand on a GP podium in the modern era, is for GP, Formula 2 and Voiturrette cars up to 1953, covering that period when the top cars were in storage for much of World War 2 only to re-emerge as racing resumed in a battered Europe and provide the basis for a new and blossoming race scene. Four 1930s ERAs are entered, along with a brace of Maserati 4CLs and a Ferrari 125/166 – the car that started the Ferrari legend.
Sir John Whitmore has race 11 named after him, and aptly is it for 2 litre, or less, 1960s saloons, the period when he made his name. This race should be a real treat with no less than 10 Lotus Cortinas entered, the cars quicker and more powerful than in period as modern preparation techniques and skills are brought to bear. Mark Sumpter will be out again in the Cortina he had built up from a car that had been in his family for years last season and took to a podium finish at the Silverstone Classic, while Henry Mann will be out in one in his family colours and Steve Soper should also be pushing hard.
The Cortinas may not have it their own way, especially if it is wet on Sunday with a strong entry from the Mini Cooper runners headed by Nick Swift, with Rob Huff and Nick Padmore also expected to be bang on the front-wheel drive pace. A sprinkling of BMWs and Alfas add variety.
Closing the race action at 5.40pm on Sunday will be the Peter Collins Trophy for sports cars from 1948 to 1955. Some great machinery should be on show, keep an eye out for Jochen Mass in a Mercedes-Benz 300SL, with Jaguar C Types and DB3 Aston Martins in both race and Coupe form to the fore.
A feature of Goodwood is the strong selection of demonstration runs, many of which are easily nudging race speed, which enables cars that are not ‘in-period’ but still nonetheless historic to entertain. It is fair to say that maybe other than the odd test session no Super Touring car ever competed at Goodwood, but these cars from the heyday of the BTCC in the late 1990s are hugely popular and feature some of the original drivers, with John Cleland and Patrick Watts having bought back their old mounts go racing with plus Emanuele Pirro and James Thompson joined by the great Andy Rouse out in a Mondeo.
Worth the trip to Goodwood alone is the Ground-Effect Grand Prix car demo, with the 30+ entry having to be split into two sessions on each day. Many of these cars are still raced today in the FIA Masters F1 series and are well-sorted and quick. And with well-known historic racers such as Greg Thornton, Loic Deman, and Michael Lyons out, the later unusually in a March, this should provide a great reminder of a classic Formula One era.
And them we have the Group 5 Sports-Prototype demo. Porsche 917Ks. Ferrari 512s and 512Ms. Lola T70s. Oh, and a stray McLaren M6GT. Unmissable.
The 74th Goodwood Road and Racing Club Member’s Meeting has the line-up to be the best of the bunch to date – and that is really saying something! Away from the track there are the usual high-quality festivities including the amazing fun fair with its live acts and a firework display at 9.30pm Saturday evening.
Saturday March 19th:
07.30 – Circuit gates open
09.00 – Gerry Marshall Trophy (30 minutes, two-driver session)
09.40 – Alan Mann Trophy(15 mins)
10.20 – Brooks Trophy (15 mins, two-driver session)
10.45 – Derek Bell Cup (15 mins)
11.15 – Public grid walk
11.35 – High Speed Demo: Super Tourers (10 mins)
11.55 – SF Edge Trophy (15 mins)
12.30 – Graham Hill Trophy (15 mins)
13.00 – IWC Track Moment: Silver Arrows driven by Mika Hakkinen and Jochen Mass
13.15 – Hailwood Trophy(15 mins)
13.45 – Bruce McLaren Trophy (15 mins)
14.15 – High Speed Demo: Group 5 cars (10 mins)
14.40 – Public grid walk
15.00 – RACE 1: Gerry Marshall Trophy Part 1 (15 mins)
15.30 – Parnell Cup, Official Timed Practice (15 mins)
15.55 – High Speed Demo: Ground-Effect F1 Cars Part 1 (10 mins)
16.10 – High Speed Demo: Ground-Effect F1 Cars Part 2 (10 mins)
16.35 – Whitmore Cup, Official Timed Practice (15 mins)
17.00 – Peter Collins Trophy, Official Timed Practice (15 mins)
17.30 – RACE 2: Alan Mann Trophy (60 mins)
18.30 – Evening Festivities begin
21.30 – Fireworks
Sunday March 20th:
07.30 – Gates Open
09.00 – RACE 3: Brooks Trophy (20 mins)
09.40 – RACE 4: Derek Bell Cup (20 mins)
10.20 – RACE 5: SF Edge Trophy (15 mins)
10.55 – SPECTATOR GRID WALK
11.15 – High Speed Demo: Group 5 (10 mins)
11.45 – RACE 6: Graham Hill Trophy (20 mins)
12.25 – RACE 7: Hailwood Trophy (20 mins)
13.00 – SPECTATOR GRID WALK
13.25 – High Speed Demo: Ground Effect F1 Pt 1 (10 mins)
13.40 – High Speed Demo: Ground Effect F1 Pt 2 (10 mins)
14.15 – RACE 8: Gerry Marshall Trophy Part 2 (45 mins, two drivers)
15.20 – RACE 9: Bruce McLaren Trophy (20 mins)
15.55 – High Speed Demo: Super Tourers (10 mins)
16.20 – RACE 10: Parnell Cup (20 mins)
17.00 – RACE 11: Whitmore Cup (20 mins)
17.40 – RACE 12: Peter Collins (20 mins)
18.30 – Prize Giving in Great Hall