In the end, it surpassed the wildest expectations. Fifty years to the day after its first meeting, motor racing returned to Goodwood with an event none of the 80,000 spectators would argue was not the greatest historic race meeting of all time.
The restoration of the buildings, the period livery of staff and traditional BARC and drivers’ cricket match are images of an event which recaptured the Goodwood atmosphere utterly. And while racing returned to the track so Spitfires were back in the skies, one passing the pits below the grandstands while others fought with a lone Messerschmitt.
The greatest moment came at the start of the one hour TT race. Those who saw Stirling Moss, Damon Hill, Sir Jack Brabham, Martin Brundle, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Derek Bell, Richard Attwood, Bob Bondurant„ Danny Sullivan, David Piper, John Fitzpatrick, Frank Gardner, and Mike Salmon all on and over the limit lap after lap, witnessed possibly the greatest motor-racing spectacle ever staged. It was an hour no-one there will ever forget.
The Woodcote Cup
The first race at any venue, even second time around, is always a privilege to win, but Ludovic Lindsay’s triumph in the Woodcote Cup in ERA R5B was particularly apposite. “Remus was here with John Bolster at the very first meeting in 1948, but it ran its bearings in practice, so there was just a touch of unfinished business,” beamed Ludo.
Poleman Willie Green failed to start, for Carlos Monteverde’s Alfa Romeo 158, atypically, blew its water out. Authentic in their recalcitrance, however, were the BRM V16s, Peter Gethin’s failing on the line and Rick Hall’s spluttering to a stop only a little further on. But Ludovic Lindsay, perched high in the gallant old ERA, had to graft to keep the slewing Cooper-Bristols of Roddy McPherson and Gregor Fisken at bay.
The Earl of March Trophy
An extraordinary 1950s Sportscar clash had the crowd standing from the moment Frank Sytner and James Shead pincered Robert Brooks as they blasted away. A wheel spinner on Sytner’s Lister-Jaguar snagged a clip on the rear body of Brooks’s Lotus 15, and air pressure pulled it up at a drunken angle, but oblivious to this impromptu brake, and a brief flash of black and orange flags, Brooks continued at a charge.
On the demise of Shead’s 15 and Stuart Graham’s Lister-Chevrolet, he closed on John Pearson’s Cooper Monaco. A couple of nudges later, Brooks boxed Harper against Bob Tabor’s Lotus 11 and was away. When Sytner’s motor dipped onto five cylinders, he took the flag to a roar from the stand. “They would have had to lie in the track to stop me,” said Brooks, jubilant. “You drove a brilliant, fantastic, magnificent race – bastard,” retorted Sytner.
The RAC Tourist Trophy
With Formula One World Champions Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, John Surtees and Damon Hill in the starting line-up for the central RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration, and seven-times TT winner Stirling Moss taking second stint in his 1961 race-winning Ferrari 250 SWB, the spectating throng marvelled at another hour of unalloyed magic.
David Piper’s Ferrari 275LM traded the lead with Nigel Corner’s lightweight E-type before plunging into the Madgwick gravel on oil, which had already caught out Phil Hill. Surtees took up the chase in Nick Mason’s GTO, with Bob Bondurant (Shelby Daytona Cobra), Tony Dron in Innes Ireland’s 62-winning GTO and David Clark in Simon Draper’s Aston Martin Project 214 on his heels.
Gary Pearson, taking over the charging Aston Project 212 from Mike Salmon, reached second before retiring while Frank Sytner, in the ex-Coombs E-type started by Gregor Fisken, made it a Jaguar one-two. In the meantime Rick Hall, driving with Surtees, had his mirrors full of Danny Sullivan’s GTO. When Hall’s fuel pressure plummeted, veteran Jochen Neerpasch (in for Bondurant), Simon Draper (who relieved Clark) and Stefan Johansson in Springer’s silver GTO scrapped mightily for third place, as Martin Brundle closed them clown in the ex-Protheroe E-type CUT7, started by Brabham. Johansson snatched the place on the final lap.
The Lavant Cup
The spectacle of Stirling Moss, whose brilliant TT victory here guided Aston Martin to the 1958 World Sportscar Championship, dicing with Martin Brundle who claimed the drivers’ title with Jaguar 30 years later, was the highlight of the Lavant Cup. Moss’ DBR1, and Brundle’s Equipe National Belge D-type were embroiled in a fierce battle with Willie Green’s pontoon Ferrari Testa Rossa, the maestro carving his way to the front of the trio with precision and aggression which earned Brundle’s greatest admiration and enthusiastic programme waving from the spectator banks.
Up front, Peter Hardman’s full-blooded powerslides in the 246S Dino Ferrari proved just too much for Tony Smith’s Maserati Birdcage, the nose of which was savaged “by marauding fieldmice” in practice. Brian Redman completed the top three, a fine effort in Peter Livanos’ Aston DBR2.
The Richmond Trophy
Rod Jolley three-wheeled his ex-jack Brabham Cooper T45/51 to victory in the Richmond Trophy event for 2.5-litre F1 cars, and Sir Jack Brabham’s presence aboard John Coombs’s T53 made the Veuve Cliquot taste especially sweet. He did not have things all his own way, for once past John Beasley’s 151, Derek Bell chiselled back the deficit in Steve O’Rourke’s version. Despite Bell’s efforts – cheered all the way – his 2-litre Maserati engine was no match for the Climax on the long Lavant Straight
John Harper’s BRM P25, Ludovic Lindsay’s Cameron Millar Maserati 250F and Tony Merrick’s wailing Ferrari Dino 246 were the quickest of the front-engined machines, but many eyes were focused clearly on slim green Vanwall of John Surtees, which spent most of its time right in the thick of things until its slowed.
The Glover Trophy
The name of the Glover Trophy, last run in 1963, when lnnes Ireland had a field day, was revived for the subsequent 1.5-litre F1 and Tasman race which American Duncan Dayton (last year’s Monaco Formula Junior winner) was running away with when his Brabham Climax BT11 boiled.
A great tussle for the lead ensued between Paul Alexander’s ex-Parnell team Lotus-BRM 24 (dressed in a Lola shell) and Dayton’s Lola-Climax with lndycar champion Danny Sullivan behind the wheel. “l’ve not raced without slicks or wings for 25 years,” said Sullivan, who overhauled his misfire-hobbled rival. “It felt like it had a puncture the whole way round.”
Robs Lamplough triggered a five-car excursion at St Mary’s on the first lap, and collected Alan Baillie’s Lotus 24 as he spun, but they recovered, Baillie grabbing third from Lamplough with a banzai final lap. “I was entered for the last meeting in 1966, with a Mallock, but its owner crashed it the previous week,” said Baillie. “It’s a great track, well worth waiting 32-years for.”
The Freddie March Memorial Trophy
Two fraught Le Mans starts were called for in the Goodwood 9 Hours retro after Robert Leyba’s Aston Martin DB2 shot its axle at the start. Gary Pearson raced the 1953 Le Mans-winning Jaguar C-type to victory, pursued at a distance by top qualifier Andrew Gamer’s 1955 Cooper-Jaguar (essentially D-type running gear in a proprietary chassis) which refused to fire and would have been last away were it not for editor Frankel’s still more recalcitrant Frazer-Nash Sebring.
The St. Mary’s Trophy
Just like the old days, a screaming Mini Cooper S beat the Lotus Cortinas in the tin-tops thrash, the crowd rising to Richard Dodkins as he hurled it sideways rather than braked to scrub off speed through the corners. The Cortinas of Les Goble and Terry Nicholls (who raced a similar car in ’66) shook off Tony Williams in the best of the Jaguars. Rob Wilson, making the debut of Lord March’s specially bought and vast Ford Galaxie, and Julian Balme’s Falcon (winner of the prize for the car best presented in the spirit of the period) rumbled and lurched round together in a mixed field enriched by former champions Jeff Uren, Sir John Whitmore and John Rhodes.
The Chichester Cup
From Alexis to Volpini, a veritable alphabet of the 100-plus Formula Junior marques was showcased in its 40th year. With newer and quicker cars not invited, the Lotus 20s of Jean-Michel Farine and Fred Boothby made hay after Joos Tolenaar’s sleek Lola wilted. Tony Steele’s superbly driven front-engined Lola clung onto third place to the finish.
The Earl of March Trophy
An unbelievable din and the aroma of dope fuel heralded the departure of 500cc F3 cars. As ever, double-knocker Norton power told, Julian Majzub’s Cooper winning, leaving Nick Leston (son of ’50s ace Les) to snaffle second from Rod Delves’s Kieft.
The Handicap Races
Following tradition, the meeting closed with two handicaps, named for timekeeper and founder BRDC president ‘Ebby’ Ebblewhite and Scott Gaze, Whose brother Tony inspired the Duke of Richmond to open Goodwood for racing. The rnotorsport world owes a special debt of gratitude to Tony Gaze, back to drive an HWM in the Dream Grid pageant.