Many people asked could Goodwood put on another great event to compete with its Festival of Speed and Revival? The simple answer is a resounding yes!
The event was billed as the Goodwood Road Racing Club’s 72nd Members’ Meeting, and it took place on 29-30 March. So what happened to the previous 71? I hear you say, well they took place between 1949 and 1966, so it was well overdue! They were held in the summer and consisted of on-track competition and accompanied by picnics in the car park and socialising on the lawns. The 71st was the last meeting to take place before Freddie March closed the circuit for racing.
Lord March certainly has a flair for staging fantastic events and this was no exception. It was a pleasure to be part of an event that combined outstanding motorsport in a quintessentially British garden party
setting. The swathe of yellow of the thousands of daffodils that lined the circuit liven the spirits in a celebration of the start of British Summer Time. There is little doubt that this will become the annual kick off for the Summer Season.
This is the most important new historic motor sport event in over 15 years and featured more than 400 iconic racing and rally cars going wheel-to-wheel and several high-profile celebrity appearances as the four Houses of Goodwood fought tooth-and-nail for the Goodwood House Trophy.
As a member’s only event there was an intimate feeling about the event and everyone was a VIP. Lord March, his family, the drivers and celebrities all shared the school dinner service in the Great Hall with more than a passing resemblance to Hogwarts!
With intense on-track action backed up by off-track challenges all counting for House points – including traditional school sports day-style events, cocktail mixing, a tug-of-war and even welly wanging – the atmosphere of the event evoked the spirit of good-natured competition that is central to all Goodwood events.
An all-star line-up of cars included a high-speed parade of turbocharged Formula 1 machinery – featuring several ex-Ayrton Senna Lotuses and Tolemans – a glorious display of iconic Le Mans 24 Hours racers, the world’s largest Bugatti-only race and the first race to ever feature 1980s cars at
Goodwood – The Gerry Marshall Trophy – ensured a great weekend for all.
Among the star names visiting the event were Formula 1 legend Sir Stirling Moss, who was an avid spectator, DJ Chris Evans, Olympic cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy, international model David Gandy and celebrity chef James Martin – who raced his 1963 Morris Mini Cooper S in the Sears Trophy for production saloons on Sunday.
The event also featured spectacular Saturday night festivities, featuring a host of entertainment in The Great Hall, live music, circus acts, theatre and a steam fair – all finished off with the largest fireworks display ever witnessed at Goodwood.
Lord March said: “What a fantastic way to kick off this new event. The sensational selection of cars and drivers is just about the most diverse we’ve ever had at Goodwood Motor Circuit. From some of the most beautiful 1960s sportscars ever designed to the quite incredible noise of the turbo Formula 1 machines… And all in an intimate environment that allowed everyone to become a part of it themselves. Our challenge now is to make the 73rd Members’ Meeting even better!”