A35S TAKE OVER GOODWOOD
Humble Austins to be raced by superstars in Revival headline event
Motor racing greats will do battle in Austin A35s in the St Mary’s Trophy at the Goodwood Revival on 9-11 September.
This year’s Trophy grid has the top four drivers of the current British Touring Car Championship as well as 24 Hours of Le Mans and Formula 1 winners.
International superstars include drivers from the world of BTCC like Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan as well as experienced racers Anthony Reid, Stuart Graham, Robb Gravett, Mike Jordan, Rob Huff, Paul Radisich and Steve Soper. In addition, the most successful 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and last year’s St Mary’s Trophy winner Tom Kristensen will be aiming to reclaim first place. The 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mark Blundell, 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan, 2009 Le Mans Winner David Brabham and former Formula 1 drivers David Coulthard and Jean Alesi will also be competing with Austins.
The Trophy is normally open to production-based saloon cars of a type raced between 1950-1959. This year the field has been narrowed down to exclusive use of two-door A35 saloons.
Thirty will be taking part and all have been built to the same Historic Racing Drivers Club Academy specification using identical parts from supplier Motorbuild. Each comes with an 85bhp 1275cc A+ engine and an MG Midget 1275 gearbox, dampers, brakes, master cylinders, fuel tank, radiator, front and rear springs. The St Mary’s A35s also have glassfibre bonnets and wings.
Last year’s first part of the St Mary’s Trophy was battled out between 2013 BTCC Champion Andrew Jordan, and 2015 BTCC Champion Gordon Shedden, before Tom Kirstensen muscled in late on in the race. Jordan and Shedden are both keen to win this year.
Jordan says: ‘It’s really nice to have a car that works with you. You can feel it all moving around and it teaches you mechanical sympathy. I cannot wait to see 30 of these on the grid.’
Shedden adds: ‘ The A35s are cracking little cars and I would imagine the race will be extremely competitive. It could be the motor race of the year.’
The small Austin saloons offer dramatic moments like this at the Revival in 2014.