Blistering comebacks, calamitous errors and wheel-to-wheel racing at the 73rd Members' Meeting


The second Goodwood Members' Meeting in two years – and the third since 1966 – kicked off with a bang this weekend as everything from pre-1935 racers and 1970s touring cars took to the famous circuit to battle for overall victory. 

An AC Cobra Le Mans Coupé lived up to its pre-show billing by storming to victory in Saturday's Graham Hill Trophy, beating competition from the likes of Jaguar, Bizzarrini, Chevrolet and Aston Martin. The car was piloted by owner Shaun Lynn, who teamed-up with house captain and former Le Mans-winner Emanuele Pirro to storm to victory in the twilight of the first day. Pirro, who expressed early reservations that the car might not suit his refined driving style, need not have worried. "I drive with passion," he said following their win.

The outright lap record was dramatically broken in the Bruce McLaren Trophy. After the sensational pace of practice, the prospect in perfect conditions for the fastest race group featuring Can-Am and Group 7 prototypes looked good, and Goodwood débutée Nick Padmore with his newly acquired Lola T70 didn’t disappoint. “Big power, and no grip. This is the way forward,” enthused Padmore after setting a sensational race best of 1min 18.217secs. 

It was Jon Minshaw in another T70 that first broke the lap record, but his race ended after crunching into the wall at St Mary’s. With all the drama ahead, Chris Goodwin claimed second with his McLaren M1B with Alex Buncombe’s T70 third. “It’s a scary car and I’ve not had a lot of seat time. That felt like a 25-minute wrestling match,” said a relieved Buncombe.

Meanwhile, Sunday's excitement was provided by the 1970s touring cars of the Gerry Marshall Trophy. Nick Swift's 1979 Mini 1275GT battled valiantly to the front of the pack, cocking a rear wheel to more powerful opposition in the form of Ford Capris, Triumph Dolomite Sprints and Rover 3500 SD1s, helped by current Touring Car driver Andy Jordan, but it was the big banger Camaros that really captured the imagination. 

The Faberge-liveried 1974 Z28 of Nigel Garrett and Stuart Graham was the early star, dominating the pack by more than 10 seconds before missing the pit window due to a safety car incident. That cleared the way for the Bastos Camaro of David Clark – ably assisted by Matt Neal – to smoke to victory ahead of the Ward/Harris Rover SD1. 

Another highlight for many was the John Aldington Trophy, a 20-minute race for Porsche 901 and 911s built before 1967. Hot shoe Andrew Jordan in car #64 proved to be the eventual winner, but all eyes were fixed on the '65 911 of Mark Bates, who spent the majority of the race looking at apexes through his side windows while duelling with Phil Hindley. 

The drama continued in the Hawthorn Trophy with Simon Diffey’s Maserati 250F chasing Barrie Baxter’s newly-acquired BRM P25 for the early laps until a big spin at St Mary’s. As the pack roared past, Diffey managed to roll the Maserati’s rear wheel from the cockpit for a jump start before charging back to an impressive third behind Baxter and Marc Valvekens’ Aston Martin DBR4.

In the late afternoon sunlight, the Jaguar-powered Listers set the pace in the Salvadori Cup with Sam Hancock leading from pole to chequer, but the Le Mans ace had to work very hard for victory with Shaun Lynn chasing him all the way. “It all turned into a nightmare as the track became very slippery. I nearly went off three times but at St Mary’s we hit the wall broadside. It knocked the steering out, so I was fighting the car and Lynn all the way to the finish.” 




Well Bless! Another precious journalistic coup attending a meeting most of cannot afford or access
The wrong crowd and some crowding?

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