Time to wrap up the coverage from Goodwood. Simon Hildrew was clearly on pole position in the Photographic Grand Prix……………here are some highlights from his triple stint.
john Brooks, July 2017
Time to wrap up the coverage from Goodwood. Simon Hildrew was clearly on pole position in the Photographic Grand Prix……………here are some highlights from his triple stint.
john Brooks, July 2017
As one might expect, at Goodwood there was a fine display of sportscars from the early days right through to the 2017 winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours. There was also a special tribute to the Great Dane, Tom Kristensen, nine-time victor at La Sarthe.
Our great snapper, Simon Hildrew, was also on tip top form, so enjoy the penultimate gallery on DDC from the Festival of Speed.
John Brooks, July 2017
Can it really be 25 years ago that Lord March first introduced the Festival of Speed? These days it is part of what used to be known as ‘The Season’, a must attend for all of those who take pleasure in the automobile. Our man, John Elwin, was in attendance at the very beginning, so who is more qualified to bring us a report of the delights to be found on the Hill in 2017?
With this being the 25th running of the Festival of Speed you might be forgiven for thinking that Lord March and his team would have run out of ideas for things to celebrate. But no, they found a whole raft of subjects worthy of commemoration to draw in the crowds.
In a departure from tradition they chose to celebrate an individual rather than a make of car with the pride-of-place sculpture on the lawns in front of Goodwood House. The person concerned was no less than Bernie Ecclestone who has recently stood down as the head honcho of Formula 1. Relative newcomers to the sport might think that a controversial choice but he has done more than anyone else to make the sport what it is today and in reality much of what we watch with awe every year at Goodwood simply wouldn’t have happened without Bernie’s drive. There were initial fears that a life-size statue in front of the house would look like a garden gnome but as usual Gerry Judah worked his magic with a creation depicting ‘The Five Ages of Ecclestone’, five representative cars soaring into the sky. Starting with the Connaught he tried unsuccessfully to qualify for the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix, it progressed to Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 72 (Bernie was his manager) a Brabham BT49 from the period when he owned the company, a Ferrari from the Schumacher era and last year’s World Championship-winning Mercedes.
On Sunday Ecclestone was driven up the Hill by Lord March in an open AC that belonged to his grandfather, Bernie being warmly received by the enormous crowds. They were followed by a cavalcade of F1 cars, led by reigning World Champion Nico Rosberg – a big fan of the Festival – at the wheel of a 2014 Mercedes. They returned to the House, where Bernie was introduced from the balcony to the waiting fans. There was something of scrum to get a view and Rosberg, being the last to arrive, had a job to get his race car to the front doorstep. Bernie was then interviewed by Mark Webber, not the most accomplished emcee in the world, it has to be said, before enjoying a Champagne reception surrounded by many luminaries from the F1 world, ranging from former Brabham designer Gordon Murray to FIA President Jean Todt. As if you needed reminding that the times are a-changing, amongst them were Ron Dennis and Peter Sauber, two long-standing team owners who have recently relinquished control of the teams they ran for so long, leaving them in the hands of corporate non-entities.
The cynics amongst us could be amused that the new guard in the shape of Chase Carey, head of Liberty Media, was left to rub shoulders amongst the riff-raff at ground level, some of whom reportedly resorted to fisticuffs! Carey may well have gone away re-thinking his ideas to give the public more access to the Formula 1 Paddock – maybe Bernie wasn’t so wrong after all! He also got to ride up the Hill in Duncan Pittaway’s fire-breathing monster 27-litre Fiat; aside from testing the aerodynamic qualities of his faintly ridiculous moustache (he didn’t wear a helmet) it may also have given him ideas about returning to proper engines. Pittaway drove the monster to Goodwood from his home in Bristol, requiring eleven fuel stops en route – imagine that in a GP!
Another nod to the passing era was the celebration of the Williams Grand Prix Engineering’s 40 years in Formula One. Sadly Sir Frank himself was not well enough to attend but daughter Claire and son Jonathan were present, supported by Patrick Head and Bernie and including others with Williams connections such as Adrian Newey and drivers Nico Rosberg and Damon Hill. Whilst Claire busies herself with the day-to-day running of the team, Jonathan is taking care of the history. Williams has retained ownership of many of its old cars, as recently seen at the birthday celebrations staged at Silverstone. Jonathan has a programme to bring the old cars back to life, aiming to work on two a year. This year’s projects have been the six-wheeler that never actually raced, and Nigel Mansell’s 1992 World Championship-winning FW14B, which remarkably has not run in the intervening 25 years! The FW14B with its Renault engine is not compatible with modern software, but fortunately Williams still has the original tower computer from the day, complete with floppy discs, and it still works! Both cars took to the Hill at Goodwood. With Claire and Jonathan firmly ensconced, and Claire shortly to give birth, hopefully this most British of teams will remain under the control of the family for many years to come.
The Cosworth DFV was the mainstay of many Formula One teams for some years, including Williams, and this most successful engine of all time celebrates its 50th birthday in 2017, having debuted in the back of the Lotus 49 at the Dutch Grand Prix in June 1967. Lotus boss Colin Chapman had convinced Ford to fund development of the engine for the exclusive use of Lotus initially, in the new 3-litre formula, but such was its dominance, everyone wanted it in the following years.
The DFV powered all three of Sir Jackie Stewart’s World Championships, scored whilst driving for Ken Tyrrell’s team. Remarkably, all three cars were at Goodwood, so Jackie together with sons Paul and Mark demonstrated them on the Hill several times during the weekend, driving the 1969 Matra MS80, 1971 Tyrrell 003 and 1973 Tyrrell 006 in what must be a unique convoy.
No motoring event this year has been complete without a Ferrari 70th Anniversary tribute and Goodwood was no different. One could get a bit blase about the Prancing Horse-adorned machines but Goodwood did bring together a breathtaking collection from the very beginning to the very latest and since most were demonstrated on the Hill, it was an aural as well as visual feast. Amongst them was a re-creation – the originals were all destroyed – of the Sharknose 156, giving Derek Hill an opportunity to find out what his late father Phil’s 1961 World Championship-winning machine was like. During the course of the weekend Jackie Stewart was also re-united with the 330 P4 he and Chris Amon drove to second place in the 1967 BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, thus helping Ferrari clinch the World Sportscar Championship. It is the sole-surviving example of a car Jackie himself describes as possibly the most beautiful racing car of all.
We are becoming immune to the eye-watering numbers being paid at auction nowadays for almost any Ferrari, so it was somewhat amusing to learn that Nick Mason paid £4,000 for his 250 GTO! I can recall seeing it parked, two wheels up on the kerb, outside a well-known model shop on a busy road many years ago – bet he doesn’t do that now. It also has the registration number 250 GTO, leading one commentator to muse that that alone was probably worth more than his house. Another Ferrari in long-term ownership is Sally Mason-Styrron’s 1949 166. The combination was actually the very first to drive up the Hill at the first Festival back in 1993. What’s the betting Sally and her Ferrari will be back for the 25th anniversary FoS next year?
The Ferrari demonstration led neatly into a tribute to the late John Surtees, who passed away earlier this year. Surtees won the 1964 World Championship at the wheel of a Ferrari. John was a stalwart supporter of the Goodwood events from the very beginning, bringing along cars and ‘bikes from his own collection, as well as cajoling others to come along. Amongst them was Stuart Graham, who like Surtees also successfully made the switch from ‘bikes to cars, although not in Formula 1. He was, however, the only man to win the TT on two and four wheels. At Goodwood, Stuart both rode ‘bikes and drove a re-creation of the Brut 33-liveried Chevrolet Camaro he campaigned so successfully in touring car racing.
The John Surtees tribute included a minute of noise, in the presence of John’s wife and daughters, Lord March and Bernie Ecclestone, followed by a demonstration of various ‘bikes ridden by the likes of Freddie Spencer, and cars including a Lola T70, Surtees F1 and F2 cars, and of course a Honda F1 car.
The AMG business is now the sporting arm of Mercedes-Benz, but it started out as a tuning business run by Hans-Werner Aufrecht, ultimately becoming synonymous with Mercedes’ successes in DTM, the German touring car championship, in the 1990’s and progressing to the then-new GT1 sports car programme, culminating in that famous flying incident at Le Mans. Now owned by Mercedes, the company celebrates 50 years this year and to mark the occasion Bernd Schneider, a driver who has been associated with many of its successes, demonstrated a DTM Mercedes C-Klasse. Of course, Mercedes was very much in evidence elsewhere, with everything from turn-of-the-century (that’s last century!) racers to recent Formula 1 cars. Amongst them was Ben Collings’ 1908 French GP car that was driven on the road from Bristol in convoy with another Mercedes and Pittaway’s Fiat. Imagine seeing that lot looming up in your rear-view mirror!
Doubtless there were many other anniversaries and celebrations, but Justin Law marked his own 40th birthday by setting the fastest time in the Shoot-Out that brings proceedings to a close on Sunday. Driving an IMSA Bud-liveried Jaguar XJR 12D he set a time of 46.3-seconds, just pipping Jeremy Smith’s Penske PC22 Indy car. Showing the way to the future, Nick Heidfeld was fifth fastest at the wheel of the Mahindra Formula E prototype. With Lord March stating we will see autonomous cars on the Hill next year, times really are a-changing…
…and one last word. Not celebrating any anniversaries that we are aware of, that incorrigible enthusiast Emanuele Pirro really must have thought all his birthdays had come at once, for he got to drive the MoMo Ferrari 333SP, Lotus 56 Turbine Indy car and the six-wheeler Williams. That’s not bad for a day out, is it?
John Elwin, July 2017
John Elwin crossed The English Channel bound for Goodwood and the 74th Members Meeting, though it was not all plain sailing though as his observations show………Simon Hildrew is on his usual top form with cameras in hand.
To the wider world the 2016 Goodwood 74th Members Meeting will be remembered for a couple of spectacular, if freakish, accidents which received widespread coverage but for those who took the trouble to go to the track on what was a bitterly cold weekend, it will long be recalled for some thrilling racing.
In particular the rarely seen Edwardians, the thundering machines warming the hearts of an appreciative crowd. Demonstrations of three disparate groups of relatively modern racers were well received, but are they really necessary?
A highlight of the event was the Alan Mann Memorial race, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ford’s famous Le Mans victory with an all-GT40 grid – some of which were even original cars! With much of the initial development work having been done at Goodwood, they provided an excellent spectacle as they raced into the dusk on Saturday evening. As a result of a litany of mechanical failures and incidents hitting others Steve Soper/David Cuff emerged as worthy winners.
For sheer spectacle though, the GT40’s had to give best to the amazing array of machinery that appeared for the SF Edge Trophy race for Edwardian cars. These leviathans, many of them aero-engined, are rarely seen racing and the spectators were spellbound by a fantastic three-way battle for the lead as Duncan Pittaway’s relatively small GN-Curtiss emerged victorious, ahead of 23 year-old Argentinian Mathias Sielicki’s Delage V12 and Julian Majzub’s Sunbeam Indianapolis.
The Gerry Marshall Trophy Group 1 Touring Car Race was actually two races, with Chris Ward (Rover SD1) winning Saturday’s 15-minute race from John Young’s Ford Capri and Nigel Garrett’s Chevrolet Camaro. Sunday’s 45-minute two-driver race saw father and son Grahame and Oliver Bryant driver to victory with Ward, co-driven by reigning BTCC champion Gordon Shedden in second place. Young, sharing with Steve Soper was third. Soper’s good fortune ran out in the Whitmore Cup race, retiring his Lotus Cortina to leave a slightly disappointed(!) Richard Meaden as runaway victor in another Cortina. Apparently Soper was the rapid journalist’s hero and he was looking forward to a battle.
The Graham Hill Trophy GT race was ended under full-course yellows after Karsten Le Blanc crashed his Cobra heavily but the race for the lead had become a battle between a pair of Cobra Daytona Coupe’s, James Cottingham beating Andrew Smith to the flag by half a second.
The Brooks Trophy race was fittingly won by Barry Cannell’s Cooper-Climax T51, an ex Brooks car! The race was marred by the potentially nasty accident that befell Stephen Bond. His Lotus 18 clipped a spinning Cooper exiting the chicane and was launched into the air, clearing the fencing and ending up hanging over the spectator tunnel, which fortunately was empty at the time, Bond suffering injuries to his shoulder.
The Derek Bell Cup went to Andrew Hibberd (Brabham BT8) who was a comfortable winner once last years’ victor James King was forced into retirement. The Bruce McLaren Trophy was red-flagged after just two laps and not re-started following a serious accident. A body panel flew off Marc Devis’s Lola T70, hitting Michiel Smits, causing him to heavily crash his T70. There were serious concerns for his safety and he was eventually taken to hospital where he was found to have damaged vertabrae. Thankfully he is well on the road to recovery back home in Holland and has vowed to return next year. The brief race was awarded to Nick Padmore in yet another T70.
Lengthy repairs were required to the tyre wall, with the result that the remaining races were reduced to just ten minutes in duration. Will Nuthall (Cooper-Bristol T23) won the Parnell Cup whilst Sam Hancock simply stormed off into the distance in the replica Cunningham C4R to claim the Peter Collins Trophy some 26 seconds clear of Steve Boultbee Brooks’ Aston Martin DB3S – and that after just ten minutes of racing!
As has become de rigeur at Goodwood, three high speed demonstrations entertained the crowds between races. The first was for Super Touring cars, the class celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. A colourful array of machinery including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Vauxhall and Volvo took to the track, all in original liveries. What’s more some were re-united with their original drivers, including former champions John Cleland, Andy Rouse and James Thompson, whilst the ever-enthusiastic Emanuele Pirro was back behind the wheel of the Audi A4 with which he began his long career with the manufacturer driving in Germany’s STW series in 1997. He was proud of the fact he was wearing his original overalls too!
A Group 5 Sports car demonstration saw a mind-blowing array of Porsche 917’s, Ferrari 512’s and Lola T70 Mk3B’s blasting their way round the circuit. Adding to the occasion, former Le Mans winners Richard Attwood and Derek Bell took part in Porsche Salzburg and Gulf-liveried 917’s respectively.
The F1 period being celebrated was the ground effect era; since this was also the Cosworth DFV era there was no shortage of cars. Since Lotus was effectively responsible for bringing both into F1so it was perhaps fitting that the marque dominated the display, Classic Team Lotus alone bringing six cars, including examples of Types 78 and 79. Clive Chapman himself got behind the wheel of the 88B, whilst Indianapolis 500 winner and avowed Lotus fan Dario Franchitti got his first taste of DFV power by driving the twin-chassis 88. He loved it!
Inevitably questions have been raised once again about the safety of Goodwood in the modern era, but neither accident on the day could be attributed to the circuit. Good fortune played a part in Bond’s accident however. Had it happened at the much busier Revival Meeting the odds of spectators being in the Tunnel would have been higher, leading to a greater chance of injuries or worse. The accident involving the Lola T70’s raises different questions not entirely related to that particular incident.
The reason the circuit was closed in 1966 was that cars of this type were simply becoming too fast for the venue. Fifty years on, the circuit remains much as it was in 1966, but these ‘historic’ cars have received continuous development, and at the same time whilst the current drivers are mostly competent they are not on a par with the likes of John Surtees or Graham Hill who raced them in period. Perhaps it is the competitors that should be under scrutiny rather than the circuit?
John Elwin, May 2016
Simon Hildrew is one of the unsung heroes of motorsport photography, he gets on with the job and turns out the kind of results that you would expect from an Old School pro. His background in local newspaper photojournalism stands him in good stead when covering events at Goodwood, the story is told from soup to nuts in full and without drama.
Lord March brought us something new this year, the 72nd Members’ Meeting, OK not actually new but more of an adaptation of an event, but the rave reviews from participants and spectators alike signal that once more a bullseye has been scored. Simon took his cameras and lenses along to witness the action, enjoy the view…………
Last week I caught up with our Special Correspondent in Belgium and he gave me the good news that he had finished his reflections on this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. So for the enlightenment of us all here is his copy and images.
A visit to the Cathedral Paddock at half past seven on the Friday morning is always well rewarded. Here we have the surviving 1939 V-12 Le Mans Lagonda, the work of W.O. Bentley and his team.
The two cars entered came 3rd and 4th, following obediently the speeds set by the master – he wanted to ensure reliability and to go all out for a win in 1940; but that of course never came. The two cars had their final outing in the very last Brooklands meeting in August 1939 before the war clouds moved in. A win in a handicap race for this car crowned their short career before a V-1 hit the garage where they were stored, doing considerable damage. This car represents the works car which took third place at Le Mans in the hands of Arthur Dobson and Charles Brackenbury.
Beware! – some replicas have been made but this is the only genuine survivor!
Anyone still somnolent at that time of the morning soon had their condition violently shaken by the shattering bombardment of noise from 12 short-stub flame-spitting exhausts of the 26.9-litre V-12 Liberty engine of Babs being warmed up – wonderful! Babs of course is the real restored car which that engineering genius Parry Thomas had developed from the Higham Special which he had obtained from the estate of Count Zborowski who had been killed at Monza in a works Mercédès in 1924. Thomas worked on the car for a year or so, re-naming it Babs, and in 1926 he set new World Land Speed records in April of 169 and 171 m.p.h. on the Pendine Sands in South Wales.
The car underwent further modifications prior to Thomas returning to Pendine in April 1927 to try to beat Campbell’s record of 174 m.p.h. set in February in Bluebird. Alas, he crashed fatally and the damaged car was buried forthwith in the sand. It was that enthusiast Owen Wyn Owen who obtained permission to dig up the remains and to restore the car to its original final state as we see here.
Speculation has for a long time suggested that the driving chain came off to cause the head injuries from which Thomas died but this is now discounted – the covers were intact – and it is thought that he lost his life when the car turned over on top of him.
More record breaking – the Peugeot 208 T16 with which Sebastien Loeb lowered the record at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb by 90 seconds! This one–off machine puts out 875 b.h.p. via the four wheels and set a time of 8 mins 13.878 seconds on the 12.42 mile drive up through the 156 corners of this incredible venue in Colorado.
It is not often that the sole Cunningham C-6R escapes from its captivity at the magnificent Collier Collection in Florida. This attractive car, however, ranks as a failure. It is the last of the line of cars which Briggs Cunningham built to conquer Le Mans, a goal he never achieved to his great disappointment. It appeared for the 1955 season and differed from its V-8 predecessors in having an Offenhauser 4-cylinder engine more usually associated with Indianapolis than sports car racing. This unit was mounted inclined at 12˚ to the left and was de-stroked to 2942 c.c. The car first raced unpainted at the Sebring 12 Hours but had to retire when the flywheel exploded. By Le Mans it had acquired a fin and traditional American colours of white with a blue stripe. But the engine was not suited to the fuel supplied and its drivers Briggs Cunningham and Sherwood Johnston had to retire. The car raced again a few months later at Elkhart Lane where the Offenhauser failed once more. As Cunningham was by this time becoming involved with racing Jaguars, the C-6R finished its career with a Jaguar engine.
This is Jaguar C-Type chassis 005 and it has a special place in history. In 1952 Stirling Moss drove it to victory in the Reims Sports Car Race, thus making it the first car to win an international sports car race using disc brakes. Sitting at the wheel here is Norman Dewis who was Jaguar’s long-serving test and development driver. In fact, so precious was he to Jaguar that Sir William Lyons forbade him to race. In 1955, however, the boss relented twice: in that year’s Le Mans, Dewis shared the third long-nosed works D-type with Don Beauman who eventually put the car irretrievably into the sand when lying fourth. Then in the Goodwood 9-hour race Dewis drove Jack Broadhead’s D-type with Bob Berry into a respectable fifth place.
Over from the Daytona Speedway Museum was the final version of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Land Speed Record car Bluebird. After a break in 1934 from record-breaking which gave Reid Railton time to come up with this all-enveloping body, Bluebird returned to Daytona in March 1935 when this 5-ton machine, complete with twin rear wheels and air-brakes and powered by a 36.5-litre supercharged Rolls-Royce R engine, took the record at 276 m.p.h. However, Daytona Beach was becoming increasingly unsuitable for these higher speeds and Campbell opted to try the salt flats at Bonneville in Utah – by September he had become the first man to drive a car at over 300 m.p.h., 301.129 m.p.h. in fact. Campbell had achieved what he wanted and retired from the arena.
One of Bluebird’s air-brakes.
Tucked away from the general crowds on the southern fringes of Goodwood were two Rolls-Royces, unlabelled and without any apparent supervision. One was the 1913 Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle which James Radley used in support of the three works cars which brought success to the Derby marque in the Austrian Alpine Trial that year. Rolls-Royce had entered the cars to redeem their reputation after Mr Radley had driven his private Silver Ghost in the 1912 event and had failed to climb the Katschberg Pass because its 3-speed gearbox lacked a sufficiently low ratio. Needless to say, the 1913 cars had 4-speed boxes and other modifications:
To recall their ultimate success, Rolls-Royce introduced the special edition “Alpine Trial Centenary Collection” version of the current Ghost model painted a pale blue and here can be seen the two cars from the rear.
David Blumlein, August 2013
One of the high points in the motorsport calendar is the visit to Goodwood House and its grounds for the Festival of Speed. Stunning cars in a stunning setting, what could be more agreeable? Luckily we have the fine work of Simon Hildrew to remind us of the delights on show this year. Enjoy!
TS Eliot declared that “April is the cruellest month” well he never worked at Le Mans, the Great Race sucks the life force out of you, so poor DDC and its reader have been neglected.
During two days at the Goodwood Festival of Speed I have seen the usual cornucopia of goodies, so here as a taster is the Lotus Position. On the front lawn no less…….
John Brooks June 2102
After nineteen years it must surely be getting difficult to unearth yet more rarely seen racers with which to attract the crowds to Lord March’s front garden and this year’s event did have a slight ‘so what’s new?’ feel to it.
Nevertheless that did not deter a record attendance of more than 181,000 popping down to Sussex, many of them appearing to be first-timers and somewhat different to, shall we say, the regular crowd.
Of course a large number were attracted by the Moving Motor Show event that ran on the Thursday for the second year. Such is the success of this that it is likely to become a slightly more stand-alone show run over two days earlier in the week.
With the E-Type celebrating its’ 50th birthday this year, Jaguar was the featured marque with Gerry Judah’s customary sculpture in front of Goodwood House depicting an E-Type Coupé nose-diving into the ground; apparently the other way up was considered to look just too phallic! Whatever, looking as though it was made out of a re-cycled windmill it did not have the presence of Judah’s previous masterpieces although those lucky enough to see it after dark reckoned it was more impressive when floodlit. Strangely though, Jaguar themselves did not seem to make much of the occasion, unlike others before them.
There was a dedicated Jaguar class taking to the Hill in honour of the Big Cat’s history at Le Mans; it’s 60 years since a C-Type took the first win and amongst those turning out was a rare appearance of a ‘Lowdrag’ C-Type built for the 1952 race. The streamlined bodywork might have increased performance down the Mulsanne but it also ruined the cooling and two of the three cars retired due to overheating, the third for other mechanical reasons. Amongst the E-Types being exercised were E2A, the early factory prototype that Briggs Cunningham took to La Sarthe in 1960 and ‘ECD 400’, the first E-Type to win a race in the hands of Graham Hill at Oulton Park in April 1961.
All eyes however were on the recently restored Lowdrag car that claimed Peter Nocker’s life at Montlhery in 1964.
After languishing for many years the wreck has been rebuilt by Peter Neumark’s Classic Motor Cars Ltd business, representing some four years’ work and utilising as much of the original as possible – more than 5,000 hours went into the very individual bodywork alone. And no, it’s not for sale.
With chatter about a possible return to Le Mans by the Tata-owned marque, former works driver, Andy Wallace, was on hand to remind everyone he has not lost his touch as he took to the Hill in a gorgeous Silk Cut XJR9LM.
If Goodwood had a central theme it was the Indianapolis 500’s centenary, an impressive array of men and machinery being lured across the pond, ranging from the 1911 Marmon Wasp that won the first race, to most recent winning driver Dan Wheldon. Whilst some took to the Hill during the weekend an ‘Indy Track Moment’ took place each day.
A symbolic line of bricks was brought over from the Brickyard (must have been interesting explaining away that hand luggage!) and laid on the track in front of the House where 33 cars – the same number as form an Indy grid – were lined up behind a 1958 Chevrolet Pace Car, whilst an authentic American announcer did the introductions. Marching bands and majorettes added to the occasion before a roof-top guitarist pounded out ‘Back Home in Indiana’ before the familiar ‘Gentlemen, start your engines’ was given.
Amongst the stars who drove were Parnelli Jones, Al Unser Jnr., Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal, Emerson Fittipaldi and Dario Franchitti whilst Josh Hill got to drive grandad Graham’s ’66 race winning Lola – or at least the re-creation thereof.
Two-times winner Dario was in seventh heaven though. With a keen sense of history he is a great fan of fellow Scot Jim Clark and having had the opportunity to briefly get behind the wheel of Jim’s ‘65 Indy-winning Lotus 38 so sensitively restored by Classic Team Lotus last year, he was able to have a proper run in the sister car that Bobby Johns drove to seventh place that year before Clark himself used it to finish second in 1966, making it a British one-two. Franchitti was even resplendent in Clark look-alike helmet.
Lotus was very much in evidence at Goodwood, as befits an event with the title “Quantum leaps that shaped motor sport”, for Lotus were responsible for many of them. Amongst the impressive array under CTL’s awning was a Type 25 (first monocoque chassis in F1), 49B (first F1 car to race with a high wing), 76 (first F1 car to run a semi automatic clutch), 88 (first F1 car to run with a composite monocoque, not to mention two chassis), 96T (first Indycar with composite monocoque).
It was a terrific vindication of all that Clive Chapman and his team have done to keep the Team Lotus to the forefront in recent years that Dan Collins set BTD during the Top 20 Shoot-out on board the twin-chassis Type 88.
It was another Lotus that caught Clive’s eye though, as Parnelli Jones had brought over the day-glo red STP-liveried 56 Turbine car with which Joe Leonard so nearly won the 1968 Indy – he was leading when with just nine laps remaining the Pratt & Whitney turbine suffered a flame-out, leaving Bobby Unser to take the first win for a turbocharged car. Mused Clive, “I think our winter project will have to be restoration of our 56B if I can find an engine.”
The 56B was the F1 interpretation of the Indy car built for the 1971 season. It ran in Gold Leaf colours initially, debuting at the Race of Champions before Dave Walker gave it a brief GP debut at a wet Zandvoort. In the wake of problems surrounding the death of Jochen Rindt the year before the car was painted gold and black and sent to Monza under the World Wide Racing banner for Emerson Fittipaldi, finishing eighth. After one more non-championship race the car was abandoned in favour of the Type 72, and for sometime languished in a corridoor at Lotus, where this particular writer made use of the flat rear deck to sort-out filing whilst working there. It did have its uses after all!
Modern F1 cars no longer set times at Goodwood but many of today’s stars turned out, inevitably home-grown stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button received a tumultuous welcome. And without any FIA stuffed shirts in attendance to give him the seemingly obligatory dressing down, Hamilton truly entertained in a 2008 MP4-23. He also got to drive – with a little more respect – the 1981 MP4, John Barnard’s design that utilised the then novel carbonfibre and launched the now Ron Dennis-run McLaren on the path to future success.
Incidentally, McLaren test driver Chris Goodwin has invested some of his earnings in a McLaren M1B, the first chassis built and raced in the US by Chris Amon. Goodwin will be following in the footsteps of his long-time historic racing father Tony when he races it at the Revival.
Other current F1 teams represented included Red Bull with an old RB1 for Mark Webber and Adrian Newey, Williams, Ferrari and both Team Lotus and Renault, all using older cars.
They reason they don’t use today’s cars is that the mileage counts towards their testing allowance and it also puts pointless mileage on the engines.
Martin Donnelly somewhat bravely got back behind the wheel of a Lotus-Lamborghini 102, the model with which he ended his F1 career with a huge shunt at Jerez in 1990. The car, the only Lotus ever to have used a V12, has recently been restored by CTL and owner Andrew Morris also took a turn, although with very limited track time in the car it’s been a bit of a learning curve as there have been a few problems getting the Lambo to run cleanly and engine spares are not exactly plentiful.
In keeping with the Motor Show theme, the majority of manufacturers now have a presence of some sort with from Audi, occupying their usual dominant pitch by the hill down to tiny Morgan, whilst newcomers Lotus were showing the new Esprit, now signed-off for production.
Despite my opening comments, there was plenty to see at Goodwood, even a successful record attempt by Terry Grant for the longest distance by a 4-wheeled vehicle on two wheels – he managed to get his Nissan Juke all the way up the 1.1-mile hill, but one has to stop somewhere this’ll be it – until the Revival in September, that is!
John Elwin, July 2011