79th Goodwood Members' Meeting: The screaming sound of music

With Formula 1 cars from the V10 glory years and 1980s Group C Porsches, the 2022 Goodwood Members’ Meeting promises to be an event your ears will never forget. Rob Widdows reveals the programme highlights

Start of the 2004 Monaco Grand prix

The Monaco Grand Prix grid in 2004 was solid 3-litre V10s throughout – and there will be a cacophony of such engines at Goodwood

Grand Prix Photo

You may feel the need to bring some earplugs to the 79th Members’ Meeting in April. The Goodwood season bursts into life with a grid of shrieking V10-engined grand prix cars and a fabulous group of Porsche 956s and 962s alongside the racing programme for historic cars and motorcycles.

At last year’s Members’ Meeting, as many fans will remember, Bruno Senna did some neat, and very fast, demo laps in his uncle Ayrton’s McLaren-Honda MP4/4 from 1988, laps that brought a capacity crowd to its feet. It was the sight, and sound, of the McLaren at full song around the circuit’s sweeping curves that inspired the Goodwood team to create a bigger, and even noisier, spectacle this year in celebration of the V10 era in grand prix racing.

The reaction from the crowd, and on social media, to those laps from Bruno was so incredible we decided to try and get up to 30 cars this year,” says Goodwood’s senior content planner Craig Venn, “and the noise of those V10s will certainly open our new season in spectacular style. We will have cars from Williams and Ferraris from private owners still to be confirmed, Mika Häkkinen’s McLaren and an MP4/7, the Adrian Newey-designed Leyton House CG901, Jordan 194, Arrows A11, Minardi M194 and M189, and lots more still to be confirmed.

“There’s a growing community of racers restoring these cars, really enthusiastic people who are keen to get them going and run them in front of the fans. This has made it easier for us to gather the best possible collection of cars to remind us of a truly sensational period in Formula 1 history from 1989 to 2005.

Ayrton Senna McLaren driven by nephew Bruno at Goodwood

Bruno Senna in Uncle Ayrton’s 1988 McLaren was a crowd- pleasing moment last year


Mika Hakkinen in McLaren F1 car

Häkkinen-era McLaren

Getty Images

“It’s early days to nominate drivers but, as ever, we will try to reunite drivers with the cars they raced. Damon Hill, 1996 world champion with Williams, will be with us and hopefully other big names as well as racers from the up-and-coming younger generation keen to have their first experience of a V10.

“We will try to reunite drivers with the cars they raced”

”The Duke of Richmond – whose grandfather created the circuit in 1948 and as president of the British Automobile Racing Club, began the tradition of Members’ Meetings – says the get-togethers remain an important part of Goodwood’s history.

“These events are very special for me,” says the Duke, “not only because of upholding the tradition, but also because the new series of Members’ Meetings have allowed us to run more modern cars. My grandfather closed the circuit in 1966, just as the new 3-litre Formula 1 cars were introduced, and apart from reviving the track in 1998 I’d always wanted to see a modern grand prix car on full song around Goodwood. It’s quite an emotional experience, seeing and hearing a modern F1 car here. My grandfather loved his racing and I think he would have enjoyed seeing Senna in the McLaren last year.

“There has been a huge response from our GRRC [Goodwood Road Racing Club] members which has encouraged us to bring some exciting machinery to these events and I’m really looking forward to seeing the V10-engined cars and the Group C Porsches. They look so good on a classic circuit that is just as it was when all the great grand prix drivers raced here in the 1950s and ’60s.

Jordan 194 F1 car

1994 Jordan-Hart 194

Getty Images

1994 Minardi F1 car

A Minardi from the same year

Getty Images

Regular Goodwood racer Karun Chandhok has driven Williams cars from 1990, ’92 and ’95, powered by both Renault and BMW V10s. “These cars are simply awesome,” he says, “and I think 2004 was the peak of Formula 1 performance when all the manufacturers were spending a lot of money on hugely powerful V10s, the tyres were really sticky, and the cars were light at 605kg – that’s around 25% lighter than the cars we have today.

“On track will be the 956B which won Le Mans in 1984 and ’85”

“The Renault V10 was the one to beat from 1991 to ’97. It was a user-friendly engine, very driveable, at least 750bhp and no holes in the torque curve. I drove Juan Pablo Montoya’s Williams-BMW at the Festival of Speed a few years ago and on one run we saw 159mph past Goodwood House. Formula 1 has always needed some shock and awe and the V10 era is surely the best example of that. I was struck by the power, that explosion of noise. They were a little bit scary at first, but you soon get used to it. To drive them is an attack on your senses, an incredible experience both for the drivers and the fans. On the Goodwood circuit the cars will be up to speed, and that should be exciting. You’ll hear them from miles away.”

Rothmans Porsche 962

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Group C racing. Goodwood will be a La Sarthe love-in


The Members’ Meeting will also mark 40 years of Group C racing with a superb line-up of period Porsches that dominated long-distance racing including all three 956s that finished 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1982. Also on track will be the 956B chassis 117 which won Le Mans in 1984 and ’85 as well as the 962s that began to replace the 956 at the end of 1984. Among the visiting drivers will be Derek Bell, Tom Kristensen and Richard Attwood, who all famously won driving Porsches at La Sarthe.

A highlight of the race programme will be the Varzi Trophy for Franco-Italian grand prix cars and voiturettes that raced up to 1939, which remarkably will feature the Bugatti Type 51 in which Achille Varzi won the Monaco Grand Prix in 1933. The Gerry Marshall Trophy, for production cars, is always a crowd favourite with owners and celebrity drivers sharing the cars. This will be run in two parts, a feature race on Saturday and a sprint on Sunday.

Achille Varzi in Bugatti T51

The winning car from the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix, this actual Bugatti T51 driven by Achille Varzi, will be racing in the Varzi Trophy

Getty Images

The Graham Hill Trophy, a two-driver race, with plenty of AC Cobras, E-type Jaguars and Lotus Elans will be a taster for a special tribute to Graham Hill at the Revival later this year when Goodwood celebrates the 60th anniversary of his first F1 world championship in 1962 when Hill was a regular race winner at the circuit. The new Robert Brooks Trophy for late 1950s sports cars will be staged in memory of the long-time supporter of Goodwood through his Brooks and Bonhams auction houses and his key role in sourcing cars for the first Festival of Speed in 1993.

Another new contest this year is the AFP Fane Trophy in memory of racer and First World War fighter pilot Alfred Fane who competed in the 1920s and ’30s. This will feature a grid of chain-driven Frazer Nashes and those who recall Eddie Williams sliding his Nash around in the Brooklands Trophy at the Revival last year will enjoy this one. Meanwhile Goodwood has put the popular SF Edge Trophy race for aero-engined Edwardian cars on hold for this season.

Bruce McLaren leads Graham Hill at Goodwood in 1963

Bruce McLaren leads Graham Hill, Goodwood, ’63


Mini racing at Goodwood Members Meeting

mbrellas required at the Members’ Meeting last year: this is a 1980 Mini 1275 GT entered by Harvey Death


For motorcycle fans the Members’ Meeting will have bike racing on both days for the first time. The Hailwood Trophy, incorporating the Sheene Memorial Trophy, will be a multi-class two-part race for two-stroke grand prix bikes from the early 1980s and Formula 750 machines from the 1970s.

Goodwood Members’ Meeting, April 9 and 10, is for members and fellows of the GRRC. Tickets: goodwood.com or the ticket office, 01243 755055.