Exciting racing at Goodwood is hardly a new phenomenon. Gordon Cruickshank recalls three favourites from a golden era
International Glover Trophy, 1960
Easter at Goodwood always brought the crowds. It didn’t always bring good weather, but in 1960 the circuit man-agers estimated the gate at almost 60,000. They came to watch a Formula One race —not a grand prix, but with a field of that calibre.
There were cars from Cooper (for Bruce McLaren), Vanwall (Tony Brooks) and three BRMs for Graham Hill, Dan Gurney, (both in P48s) and game Jo Bonnier in the older, front-engined 25. Lotus, still to score a win in F1, had also switched its engines to the rear, bringing a pair of the new 18s for limes Ireland and Alan Stacey.
Not that the works entries had it easy: among the privateer Coopers were newcomer Chris Bristow (who had sensationally grabbed pole), as well as Roy Salvadori, Harry Schell and, of course, Stirling Moss.
There was to be a warm-up scrap, too: the Lavant Cup, the traditional Easter F2 race. All-round genius Moss was expected to carry that off in Rob Walker’s Porsche 718— except Ireland in an F2 variant of the new Lotus ran away with it It was a warning shot to Cooper, whose current finest, the T51, was now about to face Chapman’s lightweight contender for the first time. Lining up alongside Ireland’s slim Lotus, suddenly the ‘flyweight’ Coopers looked almost podgy.
At the flag, the gloves were off. Ireland took the lead and Moss set off to catch him — the near-unknown and the household name outstripping the field from the first corner. Of course this was where Moss always shone — up against it, in the inferior machine. He had the Cooper cranked right over, rear tyres scrabbling, inside-front waving, but while he could dose up at Lavant, the Lotus, equipped with the same engine, responded to Ireland’s smooth style and edged away again.
Spectators stood on tiptoe to watch Moss smashing the lap record by four seconds, but it was Ireland’s day. He took the flag with 2.8sec in hand, setting a race record of over 100mph. The Coopers of Bristow and McLaren were a lap down.
So when the papers landed on breakfast tables the next morning, Ireland was a star; by the second GP of the season, Monaco, Moss had persuaded Rob Walker to buy a Lotus 18 and duly supplied Chapman with his first GP win. Some compensation for that thrilling but frustrating Easter afternoon.
I remember… “That was the first time we knew about the Lotus 18 — there were no spy pictures in those days. Afterwards I said to Rob Walker, We’re going to have to get one’ — it was a huge leap forwards. But Chapman didn’t want to sell us a car because we were competing against him —you can’t blame him.” Sir Sliding Moss
“It was the best day of racing I can remember from my childhood. I was sat in the grandstand with my father and I can remember the wave of astonishment that Stirling was getting beaten. Not so much in the F2 race — us insular Brits thought it was a natural that a Coventry-Climax car should beat a Porsche. But in F1 ? That was different. And that was the day I became a big limes Ireland fan.” Simon Taylor
“Innes Ireland drove very calmly in the new Lotus, making Moss work hard in last year’s Cooper, then did a victory lap in a Borg ward saloon, the Glover Trophy held out of a window” Bill Boddy
Lavant Cup, 1961
Although the British teams had turned GP racing end-for-end with their rear-engined cars, the engine builders were slow to act when the proposal to convert 1500cc F2 into F1 for 1961 went ahead.
The plan was not popular in Britain, for it made a large number of 2.5-litre GP cars instantly obsolete. So the British authorities set up the Inter-Continental Trophy for single-seaters up to three litres. Goodwood ran the Lavant Cup to this formula, and while there were only nine entries in the Easter fixture, it looked pretty promising.
BRM had fitted a 2.5-litre engine to a new car for Graham Hill; Moss and McLaren brought low line Cooper T53s; Dan Gurney had a Lotus 18; and to leaven the mix came Chuck Daigh’s Scarab with a 2.9 Offy.
From the off Gurney headed McLaren and, thanks to a jump start, Daigh was third. Traffic swirled round Moss as his Cooper jumped out of gear, so in the opening laps, the Scarab was falling back at the same rate Moss was heading to the front. Seventh, fifth,third, Stirl hauled ’em in; up front, McLaren had passed Gurney, and soon Moss too passed the Lotus. After being passed by Hill for third, Dan piled the Lotus into a bank.
Moss clambered over McLaren on the last lap to take an unexpected flag; or it might have been unexpected if this wasn’t what Moss did best. Give him a handicap and he would always make a race of it.
Inter-Continental faded away after just five rounds, but at least provided some brilliant entertainment on ‘the garden circuit’.
I remember… “I was third:fastest in practice, but I had a bad start due to the gearbox mounting breaking and lost 10 seconds into the first corner, though I don’t remember any more selection problems after that and it held together right to the end.” Sir Sliding Moss
“We had had a violent hailstorm — everything was covered in white — but usually, when it was dull elsewhere,you would cross those hills to Goodwood and it was like lifting the shutters.
“Moss made a very bad start and was engulfed by the tail-enders, but he picked them oft” a couple per lap. Typical Moss, he revelled in difficult circumstances –the track was still very greasy. It was a good old ding-dong ; Bruce himself was in terrific form that day — he really fought against Stirling, and this was what made the race.
“Although the main event was for the new 1.5-litre F1, most of us still looked on the Inter-Continental series as the proper F1, where we could see real racing cars. But it didn’t last long: we thought each race was the last opportunity to see beefy single-seaters before they were consigned to the scrap heap.” John Blunsden, journalist
“It was a miserable, mostly wet day. Moss waved his fist as he picked off the opposition one by one, including his dose rival, McLaren in Tommy Atkins’ Cooper.” Bill Boddy
International Trophy, May 1965
the big crowd couldn’t know, as they sheltered from the chill wind which offset the effect of
What the bright blue sky, was that they were witnessing Goodwood at its peak, when proven champions and champions-to-be mixed in the small paddock with club racers.
To today’s eyes, the menu overflowed with goodies. Not only F1 cars with grand prix stars — but also a phalanx of works Group 6 sportscars, a spread of exotic GTs, and the highly-popular saloons.
Remember, a meeting like this was not a special occasion: this was the normal fare of British racing at the time. But this would be the last full year in which crowds could enjoy such pleasures under the Sussex Downs.
A bevy of works cars headed the grid as the International Trophy formed up, but there was no Ferrari. Enzo saw no gain in this non-championship race so far from Modena, so the current world champion John Surtees, at Goodwood to drive his Lola 170, stood in the pits as Graham Hill forced his BRM to the front ahead of Jim Clark’s Lotus 33, with Gurney’s Brabham sprinting from the third row to trail them. Young turk Jackie Stewart had his pole-sitting BRM close behind.
Hill’s lead was soon under threat: Clark’s slender 33 was equipped with the brand-new 32-valve Coventry-Climax V8 engine and seemed perfectly suited to Dunlop’s new wonder tyre, the R7. On lap six he elbowed Hill aside and began to open up a gap. Behind, Gurney looked spectacular, using armfuls of lock to keep up with Hill — he had taken a gamble on another hailstorm and fitted rain tyres, yet was managing to fend off Stewart. Just when the pattern seemed set, Hill’s BRM V8 began to grumble audibly, and he was quickly consumed by the broad-sliding Gurney and the tidy Stewart.
Only three-and-a-half laps from safety, it was Stewart’s turn to suffer: a bang from behind his back announced another job for the Bourne repair sheet Moments later the Brabham pitcrew saw their leading man coasting to a halt opposite the pits with the oil pressure gauge slumped on the stop.
While the faultless Clark continued — did it feel as easy as it always looked? — Hill’s sad-sounding BRM was suddenly second as the flag fell, with Jack Brabham equally surprised to see P3 on his pit signals. Jimmy’s front tyre deflated on his slowdown lap. One minute earlier and it might have ended differently.
Not the closest race ever; nor the greatest fightback ever staged, just one of the races which made Goodwood special in that last full season: a star-studded field of racing’s greats, driving works-entered cars, with no points to gain, merely a trophy.
Clark would also win in the Lotus Cortina and Lotus 30 that day. A special day for the Scot A special day for spectators, too. But it was just another day at Goodwood.
I remember… “The bank by the chicane was a marvellous viewpoint. A fair amount of mayhem took place there in this race. Bob Anderson’s Brabham went through the wooden hurdles and he had to stop to remove the timber. He was disqualified. As was Jochen Rindt; once there was was a hole, the temptation was to brake later because you knew if you got into trouble you could drive through it — and he did. Then Jo Siffert clouted the bank and totalled his Brabham-BRM.
“I think the press knew that the 1960s was a pretty damn good time, that it wasn’t going to get much better. Drivels weren’t in gilded cages, it was all one big club.” John Blunsden, journalist