We were undecided for some time about whether to attend the March members meeting event. In the first instance the event was of course only open to GRRC members, however friends could have got us passes but at the princely sum of £75 per day or £120 for the weekend. On the face of it this seemed a lot. The event tickets then became available to ‘loyal supporters of Goodwood’ loosely translated to the ‘general public’ we wondered whether now the 72MM had lost some of its exclusivity? However as we had lots of friends attending we duly paid our money for the Saturday pass.
We elected to arrive in reasonable time having been used to Revival traffic! However we sailed into the car park opposite the main entrance at 0845h with zero queuing. It was just a short walk into the circuit and again no queues whilst tickets were checked. The sound of the screaming Mazda RX7’s drew us straight to the circuit edge, where we happily watched the 70’s & 80’s touring cars in the Gerry Marshall trophy. It was clear that the majority of drivers were giving it a good go, keen to get their cars up the sharp end of the grid, but the odd spin as they pushed too hard, marring their progress!
Wandering around the paddocks was a pure joy, barely any people, priceless motor cars all in mint condition and ready to be exercised on track. It’s unsurprising that the drivers were keen to put on a show, a beautiful spring day, with track conditions that could not have been better. Just to add to the pleasure the circuit funneled its way through a sea of yellow daffodils, planted especially for this event!
Wandering further around the circuit there was a pleasant waft of heat and wood smoke from the fire pits dotted around the site. The odd wellie boot being ‘wanged’ as part of the house games. The ‘great hall’ looked great as a school dining area. There was such a relaxed feel to the event and sights such as: Mike Wild being interviewed on camera by Amanda Stretton, Jay Kay from Jamiroquai admiring the classic cars in the privileged parking on the outside of Woodcote corner and being at the bar with house captain Anthony Reid as he bought himself a lunchtime pork pie! All theses amazing sites just seemed….well normal really!
Its at this point that you start to justify the entry costs and we haven’t yet watched a race! The highlight of the racing had to be the hour long Moss Trophy which ran into the early evening. The race ran into the dusky evening and whilst the light faded the excitement increased! Oli Bryant took over from Joe Twyman who had put in a great first stint in the Lotus Breadvan. However they had a bit of a job against them as the Ferrari Breadvan had stormed into the distance driven by Rob Hall, chased by the SWB GTO of Jackie Oliver who would eventually retire. The powerful Ferrari Breadvan was kept honest by a drifting James Cottingham, doing well in his E-Type. As it turned out the owner of the Breadvan who took the second stint could not maintain the lap times of Mr Hall and fell back through the field. So the man to watch was Oli Bryant who was storming through the field to make up 3 or 4 places pretty rapidly to get up behind the maestro that is Simon Hadfield driving as Aston Martin DB4. The DB4 had lots more power, although a fair bit more weight to carry around. It was fascinating to watch Bryant looking for ways through. In the end it was not to be and the DB4 triumphed ahead of the very rare Lotus Breadvan and then the E-Type of the Cottingham brothers. Superb stuff.
The excitement did not stop as the festivities continued into the night. We found ourselves in the ‘Guilty Pleasures’ hanger who were pounding out some great tunes, punctuated by the ‘Old Dirty Brasstards’ playing contemporary tunes in a brass band style! Our friend and client Joel Mutton adding to the entertainment by busting out some serious moves. Having danced into the night surrounded by stilt walkers, fire eaters, motorised grand piano vehicles and pensioners on segways we were then ushered out to watch a fabulous display of fireworks.
As we filed back out the circuit there was no doubt that we had got serious value for money and that the 72nd members meeting had been a huge success.