Few things shout about the arrival of spring quite like the return of blooming daffodils and Goodwood’s Members’ Meeting, and the recent 79th edition set the bar high for all future events by cramming in a huge variety of historic and high-decibel goodness.
While it may be of a lower-key than headline acts like the Revival or Festival of Speed, for those privileged few able to attain a ticket for the Members’ Meeting it is arguably a more special event due to its smaller and more intimate nature. It’s the event that everybody wants to go to, but unlike the others, not everybody can.However, Goodwood opened the meeting up in other ways, with live streaming showing the action around the world, and it wasn’t to be missed.
As ever some of the best moments were the demonstration runs. This year, the 40th anniversary of the Group C sport cars era saw the largest gathering of Group C Porsche 956 and 962s since the 1980s arrive at Goodwood, all of which took part in high-speed demo laps as the sun set. Never has Goodwood Motor Circuit looked more like a scene from La Sarthe all those years ago.
And then the V10 era of Formula 1 was celebrated with a grid of cars from 1985-2005 warming the eardrums of those in attendance. Among the machinery was an ex-Ayrton Senna McLaren MP4/5B (driven by his nephew Bruno). In-between all that a race meeting broke out, too, with races for the ever-popular grids like the Gerry Marshall Trophy touring car event and Graham Hill Trophy for classic sports cars.
For us one of the highlights was the Varzi Trophy for 1930s sports cars. Among the exotica in action was Rod Spollon’s Bugatti Type 51, chassis 51153 (the ex-Lord Raglan car), which fittingly was the same car that Achille Varzi himself drove to victory in the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix.
Elsewhere the event also saw the launch of Gordon Murray’s T.33 supercar. Not a bad way to start the racing season.