The final Goodwood Race Meeting of 1958, which had deteriorated from a National Open Meeting into the 32nd Members’ Meeting and was consequently poorly supported by spectators, in spite of perfect weather, was absolutely full of heart-stopping incidents. Never before, in the history of Goodwood, has the chicane been demolished so frequently by so few !
The only racing cars to appear at Goodwood since Easter were the dozen 500-c.c. cars which contested the first 10-lap scratch race. Bridgers Cooper-Noiton led all the way, unchallenged by 500-cc. Champion Taylor (Beart-Cooper 12), who did not pass Don Parker into second place until the sixth lap. On this lap the earlier wildness of Desoutter in his yellow Cooper-J.A.P. culminated in a spin at Woodeote during which he was chimed by Mutton’s Viper-Norton. Desoutter’s steering was damaged but for a while Mutton continued the race. The 500-cc. racing cars were slower than the 1,100-cc. sports cars.
The following 10-lap scratch race saw Keith Greene lead all the way in his series 3 Lotus Eleven, except when, during the opening laps. Piper in the ex-Frost series 2 Lotus Eleven managed bravely to snatch the lead going into Woodcote. This did not last and Greene won fairly comfortably from Piper, with Campbell-Jones’ Lotus Eleven third, this driver making fastest lap, at 87.45 m.p.h. Threlfall had moments of pressing-on, overtaking Fitzalan Howard in Hine’s Lotus Eleven into Woodcote on lap five, in the Tojeiro-Climax. The fun-and-games commenced in earnest in this race. van Vlymen’s Lotus Eleven smiting the chicane on lap two, causing a following car, Saunders’ ex-works Mk. II Elva-Clitnax, to spin behind the chicane. Then, on lap eight, Threlfall removed a record quantity of hurdle coming out of the chicane.
The first 5-lap handicap for closed cars promised amusement. which those onlookers near the finish certainly enjoyed. The handicapping was very queer, because Goffe’s tuned 1.5-litre Riley with anti-roll bar, etc., left with Cooper’s normal 1.5-litre Riley, and while the latter was last, Golfe was out ahead of the field, with Barthel’s 300SL Mercedes-Benz, the ex-Atkins lightweight car, closing on him. Then, as he braked for the chicane on the run-in the near-side front wheel detached itself and sailed ahead of the Riley, which shot through the trellis section of the chicane in a spectacular -shower of broken wood. Goffe kept his head and held the Riley straight, crossing the line first. Barthel, after wondering if the wheel from the Riley would hit him, opened up the 300SL, and thundered in pursuit of the B.M.C. three-wheeler. Goffe was subsequently disqualified for not going round the chicane, which seems a harsh judgment under the circumstances. The question arises as to why a modern saloon should not last five laps of Goodwood before breaking up so dangerously. Of B.M.C. hubs it might be said that ” It was the best butter. But some crumbs must get in as well.” And no doubt Goffe was, justifiably, madder than the Mad Hatter !
Another ridiculous piece of handicapping was seen in this race, when Lawry’s Lotus Elite, originally on scratch with the 300SL, a DB2/4 Aston Martin and a Jaguar XKI20, was put back before the start to ” owes one minute.” How a 1.2-litre coupe was expected to make up 12 seconds a lap on a 300SL only the B.A.R.C. handicapper could answer. Lawry drove fast, but finished last but three. We shall be very surprised if anyone bothers to enter an Elite for a Goodwood handicap again. When all the last-lap excitement died down third place was found to have gone to Uren’s 3.4 Jaguar.
The 10-lap marque scratch race which followed was, as usual, a du I affair. Shale drove splendidly, leading all the way in his AustinHealey 100-Six, followed at a discreet distance by North and Durrell in identical-looking white Triumphs. North’s actually a TR2. Hurrell’s a TR3. Shale, with this win, clinched his lead in the Dixon Memorial Trophy Contest. Again there was an onslaught on the Chicane, Gouk’s MG.-A swerving across the course after contacting the hurdles, only just regaining control before meeting the fence on the left of the road.
Another 5-lap closed-car handicap promised fun, and produced a breath-taking moment for Everley and the spectators when his toned Hillman Minx shot through the hurdles on leaving the chicane on the second lap and teetered on two wheels, on the point of overturning before falling back on to all four wheels. Throughout, Everley never appeared to lift off for one monernt ! He was placed fourth. from scratch. The winner was Oshourne, who started first, 65 seconds before the scratch cars. His Morris Minor is not really a closed car, being a tourer with hood erect. It was on Michelin ” X ” tyres and the engine has Impken Eng. inlet manifolding, a single large Solex carburetter feeding through long two-branch downdraught piping, hot-spotted from a central tube which picks up heat from the four-branch exhaust system. The compression-ratio is 9 to I. Gaston’a remarkable Austin A35, in Duncton stage 2 tune, with anti-roll bar, was second, catching Clark’s ” enlarged ” Volkswagen on the last lap—this VW has Porsche cylinder barrels. increasing its swept volume to 1,585 c.c. Another car in this race with the Implen inlet system from a single Solex carburetter was Moore’s Standard Ten, racing on Dunlop tubeless tyres, while the Ecurie Pur Sang Standard Ten preferred twin Solex carburetters and Goodyear tyres on the front, Michain on the back wheels. What fun these saloon-car races are—and not so slow, either, Gaston’s Austin A35 making fastest lap at nearly 70 m.p.h.
Hayles’ MG.-A came through to win the next 5-lap handicap, leading almost by the length of Lavant straight a lap from the finish, Goddard-Watts’ 492-c.c. Berkeley being second, Green’s A.C.-Bristol third. The ladies’ section was won by Margaret Ashby’s 328-c.c. Berkeley, which was called upon to run only four laps. which it did at 56.73 m.p.h.
Two more 5-lap handicap races ended the day’s racing. It was nice to see S. G. Young, who has tried so hard for-a long time, win the first of these in the Maserati-engined Weldangrind, comfortably and neatly from Addicott’s Lotus-Ford and Palmer’s Lotus-Ford. Again there was much excitement, Woolfe (Lotus Mk. VI) spinning at the chicane, Pereeval (Lotus Mk. VI) leaving the road, and Piper spinning his Lotus-Climax at Lavant Corner, which excluded hint from a hastily-snatched third place, although he made fastest lap, at 86.06 m.p.h. Mackenzie came through in his M.G.-A to win the last race from the ” limit ” Berkeley driven by Graham and Burrell’s Triumph TR3. Once more the chicane suffered, when an M.G hit the hurdles.
So ended Goodwood, 1958. Let us hope for more racing-car meetings in 1959. A democratic aspect of the Sussex circitit on September 27th was the sight of Lord Strathcarron circulating in an Austin-Healey Sprite.—W. B.