A lazy Sunday. It could be a sleep in, breakfast in bed or a Sunday roast. Our lazy Sunday was at Goodwood.
Compared to the phenomenal Festival of Speed and the crazy time warp of the Revival, the Members Meeting is a more intimate and relaxed affair.
Capturing the essence of racing in the 1950’s and 1960’s, with less crowds and a calmer atmosphere, its the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday.
However being a more restraint show doesn’t mean it was in any way lacking quality. It was not without show stoppers.
As you will see when you scroll down, the 73rd Members’ Meeting boasted the spectacle of F1 cars from the 1970s,
the biggest collection of McLaren F1 GTRs ever assembled,
and a group of wild 250mph Group C Le Mans cars all taking to the track.
The Group 1 ‘tin-tops’ from the 1970s and early 1980s also delighted.
Walking around the pits was a car fan’s dreams coming true.
Seeing just one McLaren F1 GTR is a good day.
Viewing this many in a line up, is simply mind blowing.
We were overwhelmed when we saw the line up of Group C legends. The sound of the them roaring around on their high speed demonstration laps was the sound of pure joy.
The breath-taking sight of these endurance cars will be a lasting memory. With 15 cars on the grid, the track was roaring with turbo spools and flaming exhausts. Everything from the beautiful Silk Cut Jaguars to the spaceship-like Peugeot.
Each group C racer seemed to have their own unique sound. From the high-pitched scream of the V10 Peugeot 905 Evo that swept up the top 3 places at Le Mans in 1993 to the V8 scream of the Spice-Cosworth SE90C.
It was brilliant to see the Aston Martin AMR1, a joint venture announced in August 1987 between Aston Martin and Ecurie Ecosse to enter Group C regulations. The advanced carbon-fibre/Kevlar monocoque tub was clothed in bodywork reminiscent of the ‘coke bottle’. At its heart was a four valve per cylinder V8 based on the Virage unit; 6.0 litres to begin with 600bhp growing to 6.3 litres.
AMR1/01, was the prototype which first raced at the 1989 480km at Dijon where it finished a creditable 17th. Its second and final outing as a works car was at Le Mans the same year when an 11th place was achieved.
The Ultimate Group C Machine was the Mercedes-Benz C11.
This sinister looking machine was the C11 driven by Michael Schumacher during the 1990 season. The C11 was powered by a 5-lt V8 with twin turbos and generating a stealthy 950 HP. The engine was coupled with a sequential 5-speed gearbox.
With the XJR-12 Jaguar roared for a seventh and final time at LeMans in 1990. Most of its competitors at LeMans ran turbocharged engines, but the TWR kept on using the proven naturally aspirated V12 engine.
Car number 35 competed in the 1991 LeMans and finished second, 2 laps behind the winner.
The Lancia LC2 was prepared in 1982 to participate in the 1983 Group C World Endurance Championship. With a Ferrari-originated turbo-charged 2.5 litre it produced up to 680hp.
Between 1982 and 1985, five LC2’s were built. The LC2 had proven to be extremely fast with several poles but reliability was always a concern. At Le Mans 24 Hours it finished 8th overall in 1984 with Wollek-Nannini and 7th overall in 1985 with Pescarolo-Baldi-Cesario. In 1983, the Lancia LC2 won the 1000 km of Imola and finished second at 1000 km of Mugello and Kyalami. In 1984, the Lancia LC2 won the 1000 km of Kyalami and in 1985 the 1000 km of Spa.
One of the main drawcards at the 73rd Members Meeting was the Aldington Trophy race. Consisting of a full grid, 23 to be precise, of early Porsches. Witnessing this many of one of the worlds greatest sports cars power-sliding around the tight Sussex twisties was an unforgettable sight.
Specifically for pre-1967 Porsche 911s and 901s, this race proved to be one of the most entertaining fixtures of the meeting. BTTC drive Andrew Jordan won comfortably. The sight of Mark Bates and Phil Hindley going all out for second got the crowd excited. Seeing the Porsche’s delicate balance and handling on show was a great feeling.
Goodwood Guru Chris Harris was also on hand in this race.
Some 30 1970s high-airbox F1 cars took to the track for demonstration laps. From Tyrrells and Ferraris, to JPS-liveried Lotuses and a wailing Matra, all roared around the track, the spirit of 1970’s F1 reverberating around the circuit. Jean-Pierre Jarier looked right at home within a few laps of being reunited with his 1975 Shadow DN5, and Freddie Hunt drove his famous dad’s Hesketh 308.
The vintage racers are always a great sight. Many people underestimate their ability.
The elegant, pre-war racers of the Earl Howe Trophy were holding nothing back in their battle for victory. Amongst the sideways action there was plenty of time off the track for many of the entrants.
The Bugatti Type 35 of Duncan Pittaway fought its way into the lead from fourth and briefly held the lead before being passed. At the chequered flag it was the Maserati 8CM of Sean Danaher that crossed the line first, less than a second ahead of the supercharged Frazer Nash of Eddie Gibbs.
One of the most memorable battles was in the exciting Gerry Marshall Trophy, for the wonderfully evocative 1970-1982 touring cars in their retro shapes, sizes and liveries.
Crowd-favourite Nick Swift in his Mini and David Clark in the Bastos-liveried Chevrolet Camaro fought closely throughout the race. Ultimately the machine from the US had the power to win, but the pint-sized mini definitely generated joy from the crowd.
The finish line saw the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 leading the Rover SD1.
The Rover driven by Chris Ward and Chris Harris was the fastest mover in the field. After qualifying in 23rd it stormed to the front, finishing up in an impressive second place.
McLaren built just 28 examples of its brilliant F1 GTR. Twenty Eight. That’s a very limited run, and 16 of them where on display and driving around the West Sussex circuit.
Its no secret that Gordon Murray, creator of the McLaren F1, originally saw his creation as the ultimate road car, with no intention to take the car racing. Although the car used many racing technologies and designs, it was felt that the car should be a road car first, without any intent built into the creation of the car to modify it into a racing car.
That was all about to change.
The McLaren F1 GTR was first produced in 1995 for grand touring style racing, such as the BPR Global GT Series, FIA GT Championship, JGTC, and British GT Championship.
However its most remembered for its overall victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans where it beat out faster purpose-built prototypes. McLaren F1 GTRs raced internationally until 2005 when the final race chassis was retired.
The “Long Tail” version of the F1 GTR was developed in 1997. To comply with new regulations, McLaren was forced to give the F1 extensive modification in order to be able to compete against cars which had been meant as race cars first, and not road cars like the F1. The modifications to the bodywork and changes in ground clearance were in order to gain as much aerodynamic downforce as possible. At Le Mans 1997, the car reached 317 kilometres per hour on the Mulsanne.
In memory of the legendary World Champion the front-engined, single-seater cars fought it out for the Hawthorne Trophy. While Barrie Baxter and his BRM took the fight to the leader it would be the legendary Maserati 250F that came out on top.
Concluding the day’s amazing racing in the dying light was the beautiful sportscars of the Salvadori cup, and it was a race for the Lister and Jaguar fans to savour.
The race of 1955-’60 sports prototype cars was very close but the first qualifier Lister-Jaguar of Sam Hancock was the eventual victor.
But he didn’t have it his own way after a battle with Shaun Lynn in another Lister that ended with Hancock crossing the line just 0.589-seconds ahead.
While the motorsport action and calibre of cars at the Members Meeting was world class. We really enjoyed the event’s relaxed and uncrowded feel.
We could not think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday.
Thanks so much for reading our coverage of the 73rd Goodwood Members Meeting. We hope you have enjoyed it.
There’s more motoring action coming soon. Watch this space.