Unleashing the beast at Goodwood: Members' Meeting success in Lola T70

A break in the VSCC calendar gave Justin Maeers a chance to try something different, with a Lola T70 at the 79th Goodwood Members’ Meeting

Lola T70 in VSCC race

Maeers in action with his fearsome Lola T70 during the Surtees Trophy race at the 79th Members’ Meeting

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You catch me spanner in hand busily preparing five cars to head to the Vintage Sports-Car Club’s annual visit to Cadwell Park this Easter weekend, which sadly falls beyond the print deadlines of this fair magazine, so more on that next month…

But what the break in VSCC competition has done is give me time for a run out elsewhere, and where better to truly kick-start the season than taking part in the 79th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood?

I love Goodwood, and always feel incredibly lucky to be one of the privileged few able to take part, and I think that the Members’ Meeting is perhaps my favourite event. I find the Festival of Speed a bit crowded and, while I do love the pomp and circumstance of the Revival, the atmosphere of the smaller, more intimate Members’ Meeting is just a lovely thing.

The T70 demands your utmost respect whenever you race it

This year I ran my Lola T70 in the Surtees Trophy, which was an eye-opener in itself. Of all the cars
I own, the T70 is the only one that is a rather beastly, scary machine. It’s very light, has a load of power from the Chevrolet V8 engine, skinny tyres and brakes that can fade quite quickly if overworked, so you have to treat it with the utmost respect whenever you race it. And Goodwood’s nature as such an old-school circuit presents its own challenges. On the one hand it’s wonderfully authentic, like stepping back in time, but on the other if you go off in a big fast sports car then you’re likely to have a bad time… runoff-laden Silverstone it is not.

The Duke is always very clear in his driver briefings about the need to respect the track, and fortunately the vast majority of competitors did. Our race was even streamed on ITV, which gave us great coverage. I qualified 13th and finished eighth, so it was a successful event in that regard.

It was also interesting to see the Frazer Nash race and, as something of an FN aficionado myself, check out the more highly modified racing examples taking part in the AFP Fane Trophy. Of them all, getting to see the 1935 Monoposto that Fane himself once raced out on track was a highlight, and it was pedalled to victory by Patrick Blakeney-Edwards. He is off to Monaco with it next. So, a wonderful event all in all.

Now, back to the spanners. These gearboxes won’t rebuild themselves in time for Cadwell…

After Cadwell, we head for the famous banked circuit of Monthléry, just south of Paris with our GNs in early May… the Vintage Monthléry Revival is another not to be missed event! Wall-to-wall racing, something we have missed over the last two years.

Next month: Cadwell capers and French fancies