As the final competitors leave the paddocks and the 76th Members’ Meeting draws to a close, the snowflakes continue to fall across the Goodwood Motor Circuit this morning. More than 30,000 Goodwood Road Racing Club Members, Fellowship subscribers and their friends and families braved the icy temperatures to watch classic racing at its very best, with all races running as planned bar the Hailwood Trophy ‘bikes.
Of course, it would be impossible to look back on the weekend without thinking of our absent friend and inimitable commentary maestro Henry Hope-Frost. The vast majority of competitors adorned their racing cars and crash helmets with #Fever stickers and, across the paddocks, wherever you looked, there were appreciations of Henry in one form or another. The tributes were rounded off with an incredibly emotional and poignant ‘Minute of Fever’ ahead of Saturday morning’s Formula 5000 demonstration – just as the snow began to fall.
When not filling themselves up on the very best food the South Downs has to offer, members were hard at work, earning points for their respective Houses. From axe throwing to flower arranging and ferret racing to 4×4 ‘football’, Anthony Reid’s Methuen house reclaimed the House Shield, winning for the fourth time in five years.
While conditions were unfortunately too risky for the Hailwood Trophy riders to take to the track, the weather didn’t deter the four-wheel competitors, who gave the hardy Members’ Meeting spectators some excellent on-track action. From Formula 5000s in a blizzard – on slicks no less – to Rob Huff getting a Jaguar E-type more sideways than seemed possible, there were highlights in abundance across the weekend.
Members’ Meeting timing partners IWC Schaffhausen launched its all-new racing team, with David Coulthard on hand to pilot the team’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL in the Salvadori Cup. Starting from 15th on the grid, DC worked his way up through the field and came across the finish line in a very respectable ninth place.
In a Members’ Meeting first, the Goodwood Motor Circuit was the chosen location for the worldwide dynamic debut of the McLaren Senna. Taking to the track twice across the weekend, the 798bhp hypercar was part of an on-track parade displaying the entire history of McLaren Automotive, with guest commentary from Amanda McLaren, daughter of founder Bruce.
Opening proceedings on Saturday afternoon, both the Ronnie Hoare Trophy presented by JD Classics and the Gerry Marshall Trophy provided some enthralling lead battles, with James Cottingham in a Porsche 904 and Mark Blundell and Kerry Michael in a Ford Escort RS2000 taking the spoils respectively.
With a dusting of snow from the ‘Mini Beast from the East’ greeting competitors on Sunday morning, fortunes favoured the brave in the early morning races. Tony Wood’s Cooper-Bristol took the first win of the day in the Hawthorn Trophy, before John Milicevic led home a depleted Formula 3 field in his Brabham BT21 in the Derek Bell Cup.
Martin Stretton in the Lister-Jaguar ‘Knobbly’ narrowly beat a pair of Lotus 15s to the chequered flag in the Salvadori Cup, while Patrick Blakeney-Edwards romped home in the Caracciola Sportwagenrennen presented by IWC Schaffhausen. The two-driver Moss Trophy provided some of the most exciting driving of the weekend, as Rob Huff wrestled a Jaguar E-type to second behind the E-type of Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.
A shortened Gerry Marshal Sprint, courtesy of an unfortunate first-corner incident and lengthy safety car period, resulted in a somewhat unexpected double victory for Ford Escorts, as Pantelis Christoforou took the win in the Marlboro-liveried Escort RS2000. The all-new race for Vintage Specials – the Bolster Cup – provided the largest variety of machinery on the grid, and it was Tim Llewellyn who made it across the line first in the Bentley 3/8 Special.
While David Hart took his Ford GT40 to victory in the Gurney Cup, it was son Olivier who attracted the attention of the cameras with his wild driving to third in the Shelby American Cobra Daytona Coupe. A four-strong Lotus Cortina battle rounded out the weekend, with Goodwood Road & Racing track tester Andrew Jordan taking the final win of the 76th Members’ Meeting in the Sears Trophy.