Swift nabs last-gasp victory in Betty Richmond Trophy finale
Nick Swift claimed a dramatic last corner win in the Betty Richmond Trophy final for Mini saloons and variants. The accomplished Mini ace got too much wheelspin at the start, with pole man Ian Curley eking out a slender lead on the opening lap. Man on the move, however, was Nick Padmore with Swift dragging himself back into contention by the time they arrived at the chicane for the second time. Curley was bundled down the order as Swift led from Padmore with former Mini7 champion and self-confessed ‘oldest and fattest man in the race’ Jonathan Lewis assuming third place.
Swift and Padmore swapped places repeatedly, lap after lap, as Lewis and Curley squabbled behind them. There was all to play for on the final lap, with Padmore barely a car’s length ahead of Swift as they descended on Lavant for the final time. Padmore then had a grassy ‘moment’ but appeared to recover as the lead quartet arrived at the chicane, only for Swift to brilliantly muscle his way past for a famous victory.
Fisken to the fore in John Duff Trophy thriller
Just 0.9sec blanketed the top two finishers following a thrilling John Duff Trophy race for vintage sports cars, with Vauxhall man Gregor Fisken just edging out Frazer Nash ‘Chain Gang’ racer Philip Champion. Fisken, who first raced the 30-98 ‘Brooklands Special’ as a 17-year-old back in 1982, made a tentative start from pole position, and dropped down the order at the start, as Bentley ace Ben Collings led from Champion. However, the latter asserted himself heading into Madgwick for the third time, while Fisken recovered brilliantly and was soon lapping two seconds faster than the leader. Champion and Collings continued to wage war, until the latter fell back into the clutches of eventual third place finisher, Invicta driver Trevor Swete. Fisken was only assured of victory as backmarkers came into play on the final tour.
Davies and Newall display Mustang savvy in Gerry Marshall Trophy thriller
Craig Davies and Andy Newall emerged victorious in a thrilling 45-minute Gerry Marshall Trophy encounter for Group One saloon cars on Saturday evening. It was dramatic race, with works Porsche ace Neil Jani blasting into the lead from the outside of the front row at the start in the Rover SD1 he was sharing with James Wood, only to run out of road seconds later. It soon settled down to a Ford Mustang battle up front, with Davies heading double Le Mans winner Romain Dumas aboard Bill Shepherd’s ex-Richard Lloyd example as Tom Blomqvist kept a watching brief in Kerry Michael’s ‘flat-front’ Ford Escort RS2000. Barely 0.2sec blanketed the lead duo at quarter-distance, with Blomqvist a couple of tenths further back. The top three were a remarkable twelve seconds ahead of their pursuers with 20 minutes run.
Sadly, the lead battle was nullified after Dumas connected with the back of Davies coming out the chicane with 20 minute left to run. Davies pitted to swap places with wingman Newall on the next tour, as Blomqvist assumed the lead. The World Endurance Championship star drove the Escort on it lock-stops for lap after lap, and only stopped to hand the car over to its owner Kerry Michaels shortly before the pit window closed with 15mins left to run. Sadly, Michaels retired the car from second place to Newall with five minutes left to run.
Newall survived a last lap scare after the car slowed appreciably, to lead home Jani and Wood by 33sec, with the Faberge-liveried Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 of Nigel Garrett and septuagenarian star Stuart Graham in third.
Curley and Swift star in manic Betty Richmond Trophy heats
Ian Curley and Nick Swift starred in the two Betty Richmond Trophy races for Minis which kicked off the on-track action at the 2019 Goodwood Members’ Meeting. Curley dominated the opener, leading from pole position to the flag, but he was never more than three seconds up on his pursuers. At the start, Curley got the drop on fellow front row starters Darren Turner and Tom Blomqvist, with second row man Bill Sollis blasting his way into contention on the run to Madgwick for the first time, only to connect with Blomqvist. The latter pulled off a heroic save but was bundled down to sixth place. Sollis was eliminated shortly thereafter following an accident at St. Mary’s.
Curley was chased hard by Chris Middlehurst and Ben Hatton during the early running, the latter being lucky to survive a huge moment on the run to St. Mary’s as he attempting to wrestle second place from Middlehurst. He clouted a kerb on the third tour and connected with Middlehurst. The latter was able to continue but Hatton retired his car. Lars Ekorness then closed on Curley but wasn’t able to mount a serious challenge, with 0.78sec splitting them after 20 minutes of racing. Blomqvist recovered to claim a well-deserved third place.
Nick Swift and pole man Nick Padmore starred in the second instalment, swapping the lead to the final corner of the last lap. Swift led into the first corner, with Padmore second. The two friends were rarely more than a car length apart from that moment on, soon dropping eventual third-place man Jonathan Lewis. Padmore was seemingly quickest on the Lavant Straight on the run to Woodcote, only to lose out on the last lap after a minor mistake. Less than half a second blanketed the top two, with Lewis twelve seconds further down the road after 20 enthralling minutes.
“It was very busy out there” Swift said afterwards. “It was a great race. It will be slipstreaming heaven tomorrow.”
The top 15 finishers from both encounters will line-up on the grid for this afternoon’s final. It promises to be an epic race!
Legendary Porsche 917s to celebrate 50th birthday at 77th Members’ Meeting
Former F1 star Mark Webber, Le Mans winner Richard Attwood and Top Gear presenter Chris Harris will lead an incredible parade of Porsche 917s at the 77thGoodwood Members’ Meeting to celebrate the 50th birthday of Porsche’s original Le Mans victor.
Born out of Ferdinand Piëch’s obsession with winning the Le Mans 24 Hour race outright, the 917 would give Porsche overall victories at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1970 and 1971. This brace of triumphs marked the first in what would become a record-breaking 19 wins over the next 47 years.
The very first car, chassis #001, will lead out the parade around the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Chassis #001 was originally used as the test model, but has undergone extensive restoration at the Porsche Museum over the winter. Sharing driving duties at the Members’ Meeting will be original driver, and winner of the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours, Richard Attwood and 2015 World Sportscar Champion with Porsche, Mark Webber.
Behind 917-001 will be three more cars from the Porsche Museum – the 1970 Daytona 24hr-winning 917K and two 917/30s, including the car that dominated the 1973 Can-Am championship, lapping at over 220mph at Talladega in the process.
Mark Webber will also be on hand to drive one of the 917/30s, alongside fellow Porsche alumni and 2016 Le Mans 24 Hour winner, Neel Jani. Meanwhile, motoring journalists Richard Meaden and Andrew Frankel will put the 917/30s through their paces, and BBC Top Gear’s Chris Harris will get behind the wheel of the 917K.
Finally, a privately owned 917/10 will bring the parade to a close in its bright STP livery which it wore in period when raced by Jo Siffert in the 1971 Can-Am Challenge.
Representing five decades since the 917 was born, these five cars will be in action on both Saturday and Sunday, providing both a visual and audible treat for all in attendance.