All the highlights and breaking news ahead of this weekend's 76th Goodwood Members' Meeting
10 Goodwood highlights
A wall of noise
Did the earth move for you? It probably will when up to 30 Formula 5000s are unleashed in two groups each for some rapid demonstration laps. These mighty 5-litre monsters from the late 1960s and early 1970s have never before run in such numbers at Goodwood and it will be a true assault on the senses. A minute of noise will be held on the grid in celebration of the life of the Henry Hope-Frost who passed away tragically last week.
A relaxed atmosphere
This is the Goodwood event without huge crowds and it has a much more relaxed atmosphere. The paddock is less rammed and there is plenty of space to watch the racing. But it still features special Goodwood touches, including 100,000 daffodils planted around the venue to give it a real feeling of spring.
Celebrating a great
The life of the late Dan Gurney will be celebrated by the Gurney Cup race for sports-racing cars from the 1960s. The eclectic grid will mark the diversity of Gurney’s career by including Ford GT40s, AC Cobra Coupes, McLaren M1s and Lotus 23Bs. Gurney, who was a fan of Goodwood, died in January aged 86.
A vintage new addition
The legend of Pre-War ace Rudolf Caracciola is honoured in a new race for the Members Meeting, catering for sports cars of the 1920s and 1930s. The Caracciola Sportwagenrennen is packed with cars from Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Maserati and BMW in the memory of one of the greatest drivers of an era.
Moby Dick on track at Goodwood! As part of the celebration of the Group 5 sports car era, the Porsche Museum is sending a couple of cars and the spectacular ‘Moby Dick’ version of the 935 from 1978 is a stunner. The name comes from the long tail developed for Le Mans, where it ran at 228mph from 845bhp, but faltered in the race.
An iconic circuit
For the mildly energetic, a walk around the full Goodwood lap is a must at this event, which is a far easier prospect than at the Revival Meeting. The views beyond Madgwick, at Fordwater, ‘no-name’ and St Mary’s, are outstanding and offer a fantastic chance to see cars and drivers at full stretch.
GT40s set to battle
The Ford GT40 remains one of the most desirable sports-racing cars ever produced and nine of them will race in Sunday’s Gurney Cup. Shaun Lynn, David Hart, Joaquin Folch and Richard Meins are among the leading drivers in GT40s and they will go head-to-head with the fastest 2-litre sports-racers in the talented hands of Chris Goodwin, Andrew Hibberd and Michael Gans.
Cat-and-mouse touring cars
Back on the Members’ menu is a race for pre ’66 touring cars in honour of Jack Sears and by keeping the Mustangs and Falcons away, Goodwood has set up a barnstormer. Old mates Andrew Jordan and Mark Sumpter top the Lotus Cortina pack with Steve Soper, Andy Wolfe and Henry Mann, while quality also pervades the Mini pack with Jonathan Lewis, Nick Swift and Chris Middlehurst.
Group 5 rarities
The final element of the Group 5 era was for what were loosely termed special production cars, taking little more than the silhouette of the production model. This weekend, a fantastic array of these cars from 1976 to 1982 will be demonstrated. BMW M1s, Zakspeed Capris and five Ferrari 512 BB LMs will all wow.
Capacity F3 grids
For the third year in a row, the magnificent one-litre Formula 3 cars of the late 1960s get a slot at the Members’ Meeting and a capacity 30-car grid will be aiming replicate the 2015 race, which ranks among the closest finishes in Goodwood history. Andrew Hibberd is chasing a hat-trick but friend and rival Jon Milicevic will have other ideas.
BTCC Stars return to Goodwood
At least 15 current or former British Touring Car Championship racers, including five champions, will join three ex-grand prix racers in the star-studded Gerry Marshall Trophy race.
Saturday’s programme wraps up with the wonderful spectacle of Group 1 Touring Cars racing into the Sussex sunset. The 45-minute two-driver race for the cars of the 1970s will create a unique atmosphere as headlights pierce the rapidly failing light following the race start at 1740hrs.
With nine BTCC crowns between them, Matt Neal, Colin Turkington, Jason Plato, Andrew Jordan and Tim Harvey head the field. Neal is a former winner of the race, taking the spoils in 2015 alongside David Clark in the mighty Chevrolet Camaro. That partnership will be renewed this weekend to go up against the Camaro of 2016 winners Grahame and Oly Bryant.
Jordan and Nick Swift will be chasing another overall podium in their diminutive Mini 1275GT, while Jason Plato shares the Ford Mustang Boss of Craig Davies, Harvey returns to the wheel of a Rover SD1 and Turkington shares a Ford Escort RS2000.
Meanwhile Top Gear presenter Chris Harris has big shoes to fill when he partners Chris Ward in the JD Classics Rover. Ward and touring car ace Gordon Shedden won the 2017 edition and Ward also took the Rover to victory back in 2014 at the first revival of the Members’ Meeting.
Other stars in the race include former World Touring Car champion Rob Huff, former Formula 1 racers Jochen Mass, Emanuele Pirro and Tiff Needell and sportscar aces Darren Turner and Nicolas Minassian.
Mitchell to live BRM dream
Young Ben Mitchell will have the drive of his life when he handles a 1957 BRM P25 grand prix car in the Hawthorn Trophy race.
Having cut his teeth in Historic Formula Ford, Mitchell, 24-years-old, has built a reputation as a talented all-rounder but will now take on the rare 2.5-litre front-engined Formula 1 car from 1957.
He said: ‘The BRM is owned by Robs Lamplough who has kindly asked me to drive it.
‘I'm very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel at the Members' Meeting. A Type 25 BRM has to be one of the iconic 1950s GP cars, so to have the opportunity to race one is special and at Goodwood, even better!’
Pacey-Hassan Bentley to make Goodwood debut
The one-off Bentley-based Pacey-Hassan Special will race at Goodwood for the first time when marque expert William Medcalf contests the Bolster Cup.
Brooklands racer Bill Pacey commissioned Bentley guru Wally Hassan to build a special with the aim of setting a new lap record at Brooklands. It was finished in 1936 and two years later, now supercharged, it lapped at 129mph.
‘To race a car as special as this for the first time at Goodwood is an immense privilege and also a challenge,’ said Medcalf.
‘The Pacey-Hassan is a brute with lots of torque. I’m sure we can please the spectators with some close racing and maybe the odd bit of oversteer!’
Veteran racer and aviator Robs Lamplough, 77, will start another season of racing by entering his Brabham BT28 in the Derek Bell Cup for 1-litre F3 cars. Half a century ago, Lamplough was racing a McLaren M4A Formula 2 car and was on the grid for Jim Clark’s final race at Hockenheim in April 1968.
Walker’s Thunderbug plug
With his 1905 Darracq still being rebuilt after a catastrophic engine failure, Mark Walker will borrow Thunderbug, usually raced by his son Hughie, for the Bolster Cup. Meanwhile, Hughie will instead handle their 1929 Frazer Nash-based Martyr Special. In the same race Nick Leston, son of 1950s and 1960s racer Les, pays homage to the 1920s American dirt track specials with his Lovell Elkhart Sprint Racer.
Hepworth on show
Among the Formula 5000s will be the 1969 four-wheel drive Hepworth FF built by hillclimber David Hepworth. The late Bev Bond raced it briefly in the inaugural UK F5000 race at Oulton Park 49 years ago, but Hepworth had far more success as he twice won the British Hillclimb Championship. His sons will drive the car this weekend.
Former NASCAR racer and star of the Goodwood Festival of Speed Mike Skinner will make his UK racing debut by sharing the Rover SD1 of Bill Shepherd in the Gerry Marshall Trophy. Now semi-retired, Floridian Skinner started racing in 1975 and enjoyed a lot of success in the NASCAR Truck Series.
BGT champ collection
Ahead of the start of his British GT programme, Jon Minshaw will field three cars at Goodwood, sharing the driving with his British GT team-mate Phil Keen. They will campaign a Jaguar E-type in the Moss Trophy, race the Lister Knobbly in the Salvadori Cup and run Minshaw’s Porsche 935 in the Group 5 demonstrations.
Stunning Porsche ensemble
A remarkable line-up of eight Porsche 904 Carrera GTSs, from 1964 and 1965, will make a special sight in the Ronnie Hoare Trophy race – the opening event on Saturday afternoon. Not many more than 100 were built in period and getting eight on one grid is a feat probably never before achieved in the UK.
A replica of Alan Curnow’s Datapost-liveried Ford Fiesta from the 1980 BTCC will race for the first time this weekend with touring car star Mat Jackson and owner John Mitchell. The car has been built up from a road-going car with support from Alan Mann Racing.
The rare sight of all three Morgan SLRs and the sole Triumph TR4 SLR together on one grid will be a highlight of Saturday’s Ronnie Hoare Trophy. The special-bodied Sprinzel Lawrence Racing development cars were first raced in the early 1960s and all four cars are due on the grid at Goodwood.
Pirro’s Prancing Horse
Goodwood favourite and five-time Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro will race the unique Ferrari ‘Breadvan’ in the Stirling Moss Trophy. The Italian ace will share the one-off 1961 250 GT SWB-based special with owner Lukas Halusa.
Images courtesy of Paul Lawrence