Kristensen shines in Goodwood twilight epic

| 13 Sep 2016

Tom Kristensen mesmerised the crowds with an outstanding drive to win the inaugural Kinrara Trophy on the Friday evening of the 19th Goodwood Revival last weekend. The nine times Le Mans winner, having not driven the car until that morning, put Joe Macari’s glorious Ferrari 250GT SWB/C on pole for the one-hour, two-driver race. Adrian Wilmott (Aston DB4 GT) and Rob Hall (Jaguar E-type) were quickest away, battling in the early stages, with Hall going in front on lap four. Wilmott wasn’t done, though, taking a tilt at the lead into Woodcote but outbraked himself and spun off backwards into the tyres. James Cottingham’s E-type was promoted to second, shortly before another couple of optimistic moves that brought out the safety car. Macari, eighth by then, pitted as soon as they were released, while Cottingham tagged to Andrew Smith and Simon Hadfield took over Wolfgang Friedrichs’ DB4 GT. 

Kristensen was instantly on a charge, effortlessly drifting the Ferrari in pursuit of the leaders. He was second with 11 minutes to go and not even the hard-charging Hadfield (later penalised 20 seconds) was despatched at Lavant with four minutes remaining. 

Calum Lockie, last year’s runner-up in the Goodwood Trophy, again took pole in Sean Danaher’s Maserati 6CM, with Saturday’s forecast rain arriving on the formation lap. Lockie made the best start, but was soon under pressure from Mark Gillies (ERA R3A) who went past but made an uncharacteristic error and spun, leaving Michael Gans to give chase in R1B, but he spun undercutting a back-marker into the Chicane. Gans was one of three drivers to fall foul of a fresh ruling giving a 20-second penalty for such manouevres. Lockie won comfortably from Matt Grist’s Alfa Tipo B with Tom Dark’s Bugatti Type 73C third. 

Come the next race – the Madgwick Cup – the rain had turned torrential. Polesitter Chris Goodwin led with his Lotus 23B, from the similar car of Andy Newall, but Joe Twyman seemed oblivious to the conditions. He surged past to take the lead after a couple of laps and soon established a clear gap, while Andrew Hibberd, Newall and Goodwin battled for second. Newall was back on Twyman’s tail going into the last lap, though, looking good for a challenge, but they tangled with another Lotus into the Chicane. Twyman took the chequer, but was penalised 20 secs, demoting him to fifth while Newall became the winner.

There wasn’t the expected carnage in the first part of the all-Austin A30/35 St Mary’s Trophy – given the stellar cast – but a nail-biting tussle for the lead between current and former BTCC winners Gordon Shedden and Andrew Jordan. Poleman Shedden couldn’t quite get on terms with Jordan, the pair running side-by-side time after time into Woodcote, but Jordan made it stick until the end with tintop veteran Steve Soper third. 

Paul Dorlin won Sunday’s heat two (for the owners) after a tussle with Bugatti hotshoe Charles Knill-Jones. Jordan senior Mike was half a second behind in third so the father-and-son duo won by a second on aggregate. “It’s too nerve-wracking watching from the pitlane,” said Andrew. “Now I know how he feels. To win here is special: we’re both over the moon.” They also landed the Will Hoy Trophy for the best performance in a closed car.

Poleman Mike Whitaker had a bit of excitement before the Whitsun Trophy had even started, with an excursion onto the infield on the fornation lap – fortunately without damaging his recently acquired Lola T70 Spyder. Tiff Needell made a flyer from seventh on the grid, leading into Madgwick before a nudge from one of the T70s, while Rob Huff took advantage of another excellent start to go in front with his Lotus-Oldsmobile 19. Whitaker was soon back in contention, though, as he gradually got the hang of the Chevy-powered beast to take back the lead. Huff wasn’t done, either, and nipped past when Whitaker put two wheels on the grass. Needell, meanwhile, put in the drive of the race to take third in a savage Lotus 30. “That was the wildest race of my life!” he enthused. “I didn’t find any grip anywhere.”

Huff praised the Tolman Motorsport team for their fine job of building the Lotus and Christopher Tolman for generously letting him drive it. “It’s 200bhp down on the Lolas, but has no downforce so it’s quite scary. I don’t think I ever used full throttle.” He deservedly landed the Rolex Driver of the Meeting award for an epic drive in atrocious conditions.

Not even a determined Rob Hall in an Aston DB3S could faze 20-year-old Richard Woolmer aboard his fearsome HWM-Cadillac, which was mostly sideways in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy. The youngster looked shell-shocked after the event, though: “It was like an ice-rink out there, but the car was amazing!”

The Lavant Cup (for BMW and Bristol-engined machinery) also featured a gripping battle. Patrick Blakeney-Edwards said he had a “lucky lap” to go quickest in Martin Hunt’s Frazer Nash Targa Florio, but felt odd with the owner alongside in his Le Mans Rep. Hunt led for much of the race but Malcolm Harrison went past after “a small kiss between the two cars”. 

Sunday morning kicked off with a thrilling Chichester Cup for front-engined Formula Juniors. Poleman Stuart Roach looked set for victory, only for his Alexis Mk2 to pack up with less than a minute of the 20 remaining. A surprised Andrew Hibberd took the chequer in his Lola Mk2, from Joe Colasacco’s Stanguellini and Chris Drake’s Terrier Mk4.

Julian Bronson had a lucky escape after clouting the back of Tony Wood’s TecMec Maserati in the Richmond Trophy. The impact detached the nosecone of his Scarab, which hit his head before being swiftly retrieved by a marshal. Bristolian Bronson was soon back on terms with the leader, though, who looked to be on course for the laurels until a late spin. “It was very greasy around the back,” Bronson explained. “I couldn’t brake in time and was sorry to hit Tony. It feels good to finally win this race, though. Fourth time lucky!”

The RAC TT celebration lived up to its action-packed reputation. Chris Ward made a demon start in last year’s winning E-type – all four wheels on the grass at one point! – and pitted early, handing over a clear lead to Shedden. The current BTCC holder set off well, but all of Ward’s hard work came to nought after a shunt involving Bill Bridges (Cobra) and the ’64 Ferrari 250GTO of Jo Bamford, both of which ended up in the Lavant gravel. Shedden did his best to build back the lead, but ran wide into Woodcote, allowing Guido van de Garde to go through in the Cobra started by fellow Dutchman David Hart. Shedden did his damnedest to get back on level turns, but eventually went through after the two cars came together on the exit of Lavant and van de Garde spun on the grass. 

Nick Fennell (Lotus 25) finally achieved his goal of winning the Glover Trophy at the fifth attempt, although he was made to work hard for it by Martin Stretton’s 24. ‘Dangermouse’ was quickest away from the centre of the front row, challenged in the early stages by the 24 of Miles Griffiths, who soon came under pressure from polesitter Fennell. Stretton looked to have it in the bag until a transmission problem allowed Fennell to take the lead into the last lap and hold on until the chequer.

Ward starred once again as the shadows lengthened during Sunday’s final race, with a masterful flag-to-flag victory in JD Classics’ Lister Costin for the Sussex Trophy. Gary Pearson gave chase in his Lister Knobbly – also Jaguar-powered – but couldn’t get on terms with the winner. The race sadly ended behind the safety car after a series of hefty shunts although luckily without any serious injuries.

Photos Jeff Bloxham/LAT and Goodwood