Events of the Month
Now 16 seasons old, the Goodwood Revival has become a celebration of the distinctive and the distinguished. Core themes in 2013 included the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s first Formula 1 title, featuring a parade of cars the Scot raced or drove on the road, and a tribute to the Ford GT40, which began to take shape 50 years ago. It was GT40’s turn to be granted a one-make race – now a Revival habit – and the Whitsun Trophy featured 27 of them. Within the replicated Earls Court Motor Show, Aston Martin’s centenary was acknowledged one more time. Goodwood will host two race meetings in 2014, the next Revival being preceded by the 72nd Members Meeting on March 29-30. This is exclusively for members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club and continues a tradition of events the circuit hosted for members of the BARC during the 1950s and ’60s. Goodwood is often blessed with September sun, but the elements were less favourable this time. Against this occasionally drizzly and briefly torrential backdrop, however, the racing was uniformly entertaining. It usually is.
Sixteen sounds sweet... finally
When Andy Middlehurst drove Lotus 43 chassis1 during the Jim Clark tribute parade at Goodwood on Friday, it marked the first time that the Scot’s 1966 US GP-winning car had run in its original BRM H16-engined configuration since Graham Hill raced it in the South African GP on January 2, 1967. Both works 43s were subsequently converted to F5000 specification – and the career of chassis 1 appeared to end when Jock Russell crashed it at Brands Hatch in May 1969. “I bought the tub and a few bits from Jock about nine years ago,” says Middlehurst. “It had been stored in the back of an old furniture lorry…” Restoring the chassis was one thing, the BRM H16 engine and gearbox quite another.
“We found an H16 casing on a BRM show car in Australia,” adds Andy, “and managed to locate quite a few original H16 internals by trawling around. Others had to be made, though. There were times when I thought the car might never be finished, but here it is…”
It will be used only for demonstration purposes, though. “I’d like to race it,” Middlehurst says, “but I know there just aren’t enough spares because I’ve already bought as many as I could find. There’s a story attached to almost every component…”
Italian beauty's first finish
Over the eager bark of Climax and BRM V8, Larry Auriana’s sensational Ferrari 1512 was piercingly easy to pick out. In only its second race since rebuilding, the 1500cc flat-12 showed more of its potential than at Monaco last year when it made the grid only hours after completion but lasted only a few laps.
This time the slim red torpedo with knotted exhausts no thicker than garden hose finished the Glover Trophy 12th in the hands of Joe Colesacco, who says it is now producing some 210bhp from its complex 24-plug motor. Built in 1964, this is the car John Surtees drove in the ’65 season (he recognises the dents he made to widen it for comfort), though he often preferred the torquier V8. Neither was a match for the British cars so with the new 3-litre rules upon them Ferrari sidelined the project, which made it harder for engine specialist OR AL engineering in Modena during the two-year restoration.
While the original bodywork is safely stored at the impressive Italian-themed Auriana collection in the US A, Colasacco says the restored car uses as much original metal as safety allows, down to dismantling and reassembling the frame. Having claimed its first finish, after an earlier Goodwood shakedown, Colasacco reckons there’s much more to come.
Variety adds spice in sensational St Mary's saloon battles
Our photograph shows To m Kristensen (Ford Galaxie) leading the way en route to winning the first of the weekend’s two St Mary’s Trophy races, although two second places were enough for Frank Stippler and Alex Furiani (Alfa Romeo GTA ) to take aggregate victory. Consider this, though. In Saturday’s opening race, 30 cars of wonderfully diverse dimensions were also driven by such as Steve Soper, Rauno Aaltonen, Alec Poole, Johnny Cecotto (the original version), John Cleland, Oliver Gavin (who qualified his Mini on pole in greasy conditions), Jackie Oliver, Nicolas Minassian, Derek Daly, Stuart Graham, Mark Blundell, Rupert Keegan, Darren Turner, Rob Huff, Romain Dumas, Jochen Mass, Stéphane Peterhansel, Anthony Reid and Derek Bell.
On the same day 120 miles away, drivers were practising for a British Touring Car Championship round at Rockingham. The BTCC is often portrayed as the UK’s premier racing series, but Goodwood rather put things in context.
Venezuelan refugee has Ace venturi
Going faster than you’d expect in the Fordwater Trophy was one AC Ace. Was this due to a trick Bristol engine? No, just slick bodywork, making it look in profile more like a C-type Jaguar and from head-on like a Monza Ferrari. Delivered to Venezuela in 1956 for racer Oscar Lupi, it was then modified aerodynamically, its low intake and cowled lamps making a big difference to top speed compared to the standard Ace’s large maw, and when there weren’t Ferraris in the mix Lupi achieved many successes.
Venezuela was a major market for AC at the time, says Tim Isles who bought the machine as a wreck and had to reshape the damaged nose from photos on top of the usual restoration tasks. A foot longer than standard, the drag-cheating design originally included a full undertray, hence the side vents to filter off internal pressure, though the tray is not currently fitted. Fatter rear arches might remind you of the Cobra that grew from the Ace, but this retains the tall Bristol six-cylinder engine, producing a restrained 140bhp. Driven by Nigel Winchester, the car headed the other two Aces in the race.
Pioneer spirit takes flight
In among flights by the Junkers Ju52 trimotor, the type which performed sterling transport duties for the Wehrmacht, and the screaming English Electric Canberra, Britain’s first jet bomber, three static AVRO aircraft recalled pioneer flying. Commemorating the first flight by a British aircraft, by Alliott Verdon Roe, they included replicas of his biplane which made short hops in 1908, and the triplane which a year later confirmed Roe as Britain’s first aviator.
Powered by a 1909-vintage JAP twin the triplane replica is having trouble leaving the ground, but it’s hoped a new prop design will see it soon repeat AVR’s flights. Outside stood a replica 504K, the plane which taught so many early pilots their craft, this one built by Pur Sang, the Argentinian firm better known for its ‘tool room copy’ Bugattis and Alfa Romeos. “We’re the only team who brought their aircraft in crates and had to assemble them here,’ laughed Eric Verdon-Roe, grandson of AVR and brother of racer Bobby.
Included in the display were the original flying overalls of Alliott’s brother Humphrey, brought along by his daughter in wonderfully period Dickens & Jones boxes, and his RA F hat dating from 1918, the very first months of the service. Roe’s three-wheeled Sinclair C5 precursor, the 1920s Harper Runabout, also figured along with his elegant prototype X-frame bicycle. AVR became a major name in British aviation, but according to Eric VR he made far more money from one tiny ingenious metal adjuster than he ever did from aviation.
Newly identified flying object - Alfa's unique spider
With Touring reviving the Disco Volante name on a concept car, it was good to see one of the original Flying Saucers in action in Sussex. Alfa Romeo devotees Chris Mann and Henry Wessells faced an uphill struggle restoring the sports-racer crashed by Sanesi in 1954 and abandoned by the works after that single outing, as much of it was unique. Thought to have been totally destroyed, the car’s identity surfaced as the pair searched for parts for their contemporary Alfa 3000CM , meaning they now had two cars to restore which took many years. But with no extant photos of the 3000PR there was only a drawing to go by for the spider body.
Feeding the straight-six engine are half a dozen unique carburettors, which like many other parts had to be specially cast. With its five-speed magnesium box, Watts/de Dion axle and A-frame location it set the pattern for Alfas for years to come. It was, reckons Mann, Alfa’s D-type. “I’ve had a D and barring the Jaguar’s disc brakes I think this is more advanced. It has fabulous road-holding.”
Torrential TT brings Aston applause
The worst of the weather conjured some of the finest racing – particularly during the RAC TT Celebration on Sunday afternoon. The event began at a cracking pace, with seven cars running in the lead train.
Prominent among them was Jean Alesi, who stormed away from the line in Anthony Bamford’s Ferrari 250 GTO and received a 10sec penalty for his vim. Alesi denied he’d jumped the start and the decision looked a trifle harsh, although he does have previous form. Once, when guesting for Alfa Romeo in a round of the French Touring Car Championship at Pau, he qualified in midfield but led into the first corner at a track where passing is famously impossible. He received a penalty for that, too…
Back at Goodwood, meanwhile, Anthony Reid (Lister Coupé) appeared to have the TT in the bag after a fine opening stint by co-driver Chris Harris. But then the rain came and Simon Hadfield was suddenly fastest man on the track – and by some margin – in Wolfgang Friedrichs’ Aston Martin DP212. Hadfield took the lead on the 33rd of 35 laps and went on to win comfortably after Reid spun at Woodcote.
The Lister driver recovered to finish second ahead of Graham/Oliver Bryant (AC Cobra).