Fast and glorious
“This is about the passion,” said Patrick Tambay wearing a broad smile. The French ace was one of the galaxy of stars competing in the fifth Goodwood Revival meeting, and his drive to victory along compatriot Henri Pescarolo in the TT Celebration race was one of many highlights of a memorable event.
The TT was a thriller, with the AC Cobra of Tambay/Pescarolo taking on the Jaguar E-types of last year’s winners Emanuele Pirro/Gregor Fisken and Frank Sytner/Rob Wilson. For 20 laps, the three cars raced wheel to wheel in a fast and furious contest, with Tambay doing most of the leading.
With Sytner sidelined by a stuck throttle, Pirro took the fight to the French, but in the closing stages the pace of Pescarolo was just too much for Fisken, who was only 2sec adrift at the flag. “It was a good fight,” said Pirro. “Lots of opposite lock!”
Win Percy and Gary Pearson ran their E-type to third, while a mighty drive by Tony Dron took the Ferrari 330LM/B he shared with Eric Heerema past the Jason Plato/ Mike Knight Chevy Corvette on the sprint to the flag. Plato was superb and fourth place was only lost when his co-driver ran onto the grass at the Chicane’s exit.
New for 2002 was the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, run into the dusk of Saturday evening to recreate the feeling of the Goodwood Nine Hours. As in period, the race was won by an Aston Martin, the combined skills of Frank Sytner and Willie Green taking their DB3S to victory by nearly 40sec. Michael Steele and Julian Bronson led the chase of the Aston in their HWM-Jaguar, while Desiré Wilson starred with a charging drive in the Cooper T33 she shared with John Pearson until electrical gremlins forced the car out.
For Sytner, this was the highlight of his weekend, for he also had to retire his Brabham BT4 with diff failure early in the Glover Trophy, probably the legacy of a clash in practice. However, the pace of Bobby Rahal in his Cooper T79 had already set the foundation for victory. A bid by Richard Attwood to win the race three times in a row was wrecked by an increasingly off-song power unit in John Beasley’s BT4, and he finished second.
Percy and Dron were the stars of the Sussex Trophy, as the latter’s ex-Von Trips Ferrari hunted down the leading D-type over the closing laps. Outgunned by more powerful cars at the start, Dron had to battle up from sixth, drifting the Ferrari flat through Fordwater to depose his rivals one by one.
“This Ferrari is fabulous. But Win didn’t make it easy,” said Dron, after taking the lead from Percy at St Mary’s with just over a lap to run. The latter was philosophical in defeat, knowing that the Ferrari would erode his lead as the race progressed.
Racing the ex-Peter Arundell Lotus 22, Martin Walford scored a resounding win in the Chichester Cup for Formula Juniors. However, in the early laps he battled mightily with Michael Schryver’s similar car — until lap 10. “I thought I had it done and dusted,” said Schryver. But the gearbox baulked on the downchange at Lavant and he spun onto the grass. It happened again at Woodcote and he had dropped to sixth at the flag.
After five years of trying, Derek Bell and Grant Williams finally clinched the St Mary’s Trophy in the ex-John Coombs Jaguar MkI. Despite a track made incredibly slippery by oil, Williams and Bell outpaced the MkI of Justin Law and Gerry Marshall. The race was led initially by the Percy/Voyazides Jaguar, but when this car retired with failed diff, into a marvellous third came the Austin A35 ofJackie Oliver and Nick Whale. But the biggest cheer was reserved for Barrie Williams, who was throwing Norman Grimshaw’s Morris Minor around on his way to fourth place. “Midwife on call,” was how `Whizzo’ described his style.
Williams had won the Goodwood Trophy on Saturday, his Connaught A-Type finishing ahead of the battling ERAs of Jost Wildbolz and Mac Hulbert.
Also on Saturday was a resounding Earl of March Trophy 500cc win for veteran Reg Hargrave in his Kieft. Julian Majzub had been hoping to win this race for a fifth time, but he had to settle for second.
BAR F1 test driver Darren Manning showed his versatility a week ahead of his ChampCar debut by romping home in the Whitsun Trophy in Peter Teichman’s Ford GT40.
John Harper made his extra half-a-litre count to see off Martin Stretton in their Cooper battle in the Richmond and Gordon Trophies, and Adrian van der Kroft secured the Fordwater Trophy in his Morgan Plus Four.
On two wheels, former 500cc world champions Wayne Gardner and the heroic Barry Sheene took a win apiece. Paul Lawrence