Ford-Engined Cars Win 7 Out of 8 Races
Goodwood was nearly washed away on March 14th but racing took place just the same; the concrete of the Brooklands’ Paddock resisted water better than Goodwood gravel! Under the circumstances you might expect drivers who spun harmlessly onto the grass verges to be excused. Not a bit of it—they were penalised 60 seconds. This rule, originated by the B.A.R.C. and now enforced by the R.A.C., is ridiculous. People go to Goodwood to watch motor racing, not ludo. Surely if the Duke’s grass gets damaged a little grass-seed could be subscribed for. Actually, it’s a safety-rule, but a very illogical one, surely? The commentators didn’t like it, the drivers don’t like it, nor do lap-scoring spectators. To dock a driver of his race when he has resumed after a spin involving no other cars, is decidedly unfair and puts the sport on a level with nursery cricket, played with a wool ball. . . .
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Four cars were penalised for spinning in the 10-lap F.3 and F.L. Scratch Race, which nearly cost Beckett a well-deserved second place—you try controlling a Lister-Jaguar in the conditions prevailing! The race was won by Bradley, driving Axon’s ex-Gerard F.3 Cooper-Ford. He drove splendidly in the torrential rain, lapping at 74.35 m.p.h., picking his way through the puddles and drawing away from Beckett, who drove through them. Moore’s Brabham-Ford would have been third but was penalised for spinning. Anyway, Bradley lapped them all except the big Lister. Horsley’s ex-works Holbay Ausper was so slow it was flagged off—you cannot win at Goodwood; if you go too quickly and spin they penalise you, if you go too slowly they flag you off! If we are not careful the drivers will not be allowed to cross their arms on the wheel and will be required to give hand signals at all the corners. . . .
After the Antone speakers had played the Eton Boating Song, the saloons had their 7-lap Spring Grove Scratch Race—enormously enjoyed by the hardy crowds that packed the stands. Pittard came through most convincingly in his 1962 1,650 c.c. Ford Anglia, lapping at 78.09 m.p.h., to win from Nicholson’s Ford Lotus-Cortina and C. McLaren’s 3.8 Jaguar. The up-to-1,200 c.c. category went up to Nicholls’ 1,132 c.c. Mini-Cooper, which held off Digby in Cave’s noisy A40 and Scott-Fincher’s 1,100 Cooper-S. A Vauxhall VX 4/90 was quite outclassed. Unfortunately both the Simca 1000 and Wardle’s Renault R8 with twin Webers, special exhaust system, lowered suspension and Konis, non-started in all their races. Alas, Doc Merfield’s Cortina with 4.7-litre V8 engine(!) was absent.
Lapping at 77.98 m.p.h. Sharp’s M.G.-B won the 5-lap Marque Scratch Race, but only by .6 of a sec. from Kendall in the ex-Dence Morgan Plus Four. A discreet distance behind came McHardy’s T.V.R. and Crabtree’s M.G.-B, a dull procession. Sports cars used to be fresh-air devices but every car in this race had an enclosed cockpit!
Perhaps the best rain-drive of the afternoon was Gethin’s, in winning the 10-lap Sports Car Scratch Race in his Cosworth Lotus-Ford. The Lister-Jaguar was second, but 42..6 sec. behind. Hine (Cosworth Lotus 23) would have been third but for a spin penalty—he made fastest lap, at 82.13 m.p.h. Fox (Lola-Climax) spun twice but quickly continued, thus proving the efficiency of his inner ear construction. Paterson’s Lola-Climax was given third place, 8 sec. ahead of Williams’ new twin-cam Lotus-Ford. Miss Natalie Goodwin in a Lotus 7 did not by any means disgrace her sex by going motor-racing; she drove very well. Brockhoven, from South Africa, had a 4.6-litre Corvette engine in his Lolette.
The 10-lap UT Scratch Race produced a good scrap between Miles’ Turner-Ford Delta and McLaren’s “baby E-type” Marcos but the Turner was ahead all the way, aided by its 1,650 c.c. engine. Scrimgeour’s Turner-Ford was third; Mockford’s Diva fourth—a race of kit-type GTs. Lacey spun his Merlyn Ford but as it normally looks as if it is going backwards, this almost escaped notice!
This wettest of Goodwoods concluded with three 5-lap handicaps, for saloon, GT and sports cars, new saloon-car star driver Pittard being raced to the line by Nicholson’s Lotus-Cortina. After which the spectators left Goodwood to the seagulls, and the snow. Ford-engined cars won seven of the eight races, with engines of 977, 1,098, 1,498 and 1,650 c.c.; B.M.C. only one. The commentators never once mentioned the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest but I can tell them that by my reckoning the leader to date is B. Pittard (Ford Anglia), 8 points, followed by D. A. Beckett (Lister-Jaguar) and J. Nicholson (Ford Lotus-Cortina), with 6 points each, and C. McLaren (3.8 Jaguar and Marcos GT) with 5 each. Next round: April 25th.—W. B.