Goodwood Members Meeting 2021 – Day Two (Part 2)

By Craig Ranson
By Craig Ranson

Managing Director – Bridge Classic Cars

With so many different races scheduled throughout the day, the paddocks would always have something to look around. Whatever you wanted, it was there. 1960s GT racing? Of course. Pre-War Alfa Romeos? Absolutely. Vintage Formula 1 cars? Come right this way.

Each of the machines carried with it their own team of caretakers. Those who would patiently and methodically serve the car. When the announcement would come over the tannoy that these machines were being called to the staging area, you could feel the energy around you change. It became even more electric.

On the track, the atmosphere totally changed. From the easy-paced tide of the paddocks to a torrent of energy and excitement. As the various engines from decades of motorsport gone by were let loose on the 2.4-mile circuit, you could feel the history bounce of any surface that dare stood in its way.

Watching a group of priceless vintage machines barrel into the first corner. 1,2,3 and sometimes 4 wide into the tricky left-hander of Madgwick on the run into Fordwater. Then the track changes. Vast sweeps and bends that makeup St Mary’s before getting the power down in just the right place to get you slung into Lavant and the straight beyond.

Some get it right. Others however get it wrong. The exit has to be millimetre perfect for these bygone racers, one tyre on the slick grass could spell disaster for their chances. A Mustang runs wide on the exit and gets onto the green, spitting it left into the tyre wall before the turn into Woodcote. But, the engine doesn’t cut out. He’s held the clutch in. Within a second of coming to a standstill, the American racer pops into gear and spins around wildly on the rough. The driver aims the now crumpled and torn front of the car towards the track and with one almighty move, he rejoins the circuit. Eager to hunt down his position and the man he feels responsible.

Historic racing is made up of many of these moments. Victory from the jaws of defeat, triumph not over but with the machinery. And the only place that truly encompasses all of this is glorious Goodwood.

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