Goodwood gets tough on driving standards

Drivers at one of Britain’s premier historic racing events have been handed a ban for dangerous driving. According to a leaked letter ahead of the Goodwood Members’ Meeting in April, four drivers were told they may not compete  after being involved in incidents at previous meetings. 

The letter, authored by the Duke of Richmond and sent to competitors, will be seen as the latest in a series of crackdowns on unsafe driving amid fears that a major accident could kill off the events entirely.

According to the letter, which has been seen by Motor Sport, organisers have studied footage of the 2018 Revival where there were several on-track incidents and taken advice from driving standards advisors about who was to blame. It states: “We were all deeply concerned by some of the driving that went on at the Revival last year and saddened that this theme dominated too many of the conversations that went on for many weeks after.

“It’s showing that we will not tolerate unsafe driving at Goodwood”

“With regret, given the serious nature of some of the incidents, we feel we have no alternative than to take the unprecedented step of making public the punishments we imposed following the 2018 Revival. This is not about shaming those involved, but rather showing that we will simply not tolerate unsafe driving at Goodwood.”

Four drivers – Pete Chambers, Chris Jolly, Bernhard van Oranje and Adrian Willmott – have been excluded from Goodwood events for “at least 13 months”, while another dozen have received reprimands or else been warned about their future conduct.

“I can appreciate why they’ve done it,” said Ben Mitchell, winner of the Derek Bell Trophy F3 race at the Members’ Meeting. “It’s a quick track, without a great deal of run-off, and there was lots of contact at the Revival last season. From what I’ve seen this weekend the message seems to have got through, because there have been far fewer incidents.”

Leading Mini driver Bill Sollis added:  “I think it needed saying, because one or two people can sometimes be a bit desperate to win.”

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