Postcards from Goodwood

F1 came to Goodwood - a rare Forti

Last weekend the Spring sun shone on Sussex as the historic racing community gathered at the Goodwood racing circuit near Chichester for the 79th Members’ Meeting. This meeting was added to the Goodwood portfolio a few years ago, and unlike the Revival Meeting, the cars that are allowed to compete can be newer than 1967 vintage.

This year the Duke of Richmond had invited V12 and V10 F1 cars to demonstrate their wonderful sounds, as well as a number of iconic Porsche 956 / 962 sports cars, as raced in the Group C years at Le Mans and other classic tracks in Europe and beyond, as well as the IMSA series in the USA. The highlight of Saturday was a twilight demonstration of these Porsches, preceded by a grid walk.

Beyond these spectacular demonstrations, there were full grids of saloon cars (Pre 60s, and 70s/80s) sports cars of different ages and capacities, including a grid full of Ford GT40s taking on Lola T70s and other “big Banger” sports cars, pre-war Fraser Nashes, 1 litre F3 screamers from the 60s/70s and more.

One of the thrills of the Member’s Meeting is the open access to the paddock, where literally millions of Pounds worth of historic racers are lined up for close inspection. Ferraris and Maseratis lined up with Jaguar D types, and Aston Martins. F1 cars from McLaren, Jordan, Ferrari, Benetton, Minardi and more, Saloons from the 50s Jaguars, Standard Vanguards, Peugeots, even a Cadillac; more modern saloons including heavy metal Boss Mustangs and Camaros, mixed with Capris, BMWs Escorts and Minis, and older Fraser Nashes, Alfas, and a host of Bugattis. There were many other interesting cars – too many to mention!

The racing was close and spectacular. The track faithfully follows the line of the original, which closed to racing after the 1966 season. It is a very fast track, and with almost no gravel traps, so mistakes can be punished! Whilst never holding the Grand Prix, Goodwood did host a number of non championship F1 races, including the race in 1962 where sadly Stirling Moss had his career ending accident. The competitors were a mixture of professionals and owner drivers, some of the races were two driver affairs. Most were very closely fought.

Goodwood arguably put on the world’s best historic motorsport, and with just three meetings a year (two on the circuit and the Festival of Speed hill climb), the recipe is quality over quantity.

See slideshows below for a flavour of the Members Meeting.........