SOPER TOPS BAT­TLE OF THE GT40S

74TH MEM­BERS’ MEET­ING

Motor Sport News - - Goodwood Report -

In a week­end pep­pered with big ac­ci­dents and a lot of safety car laps, the Good­wood Mem­bers’ Meet­ing still de­liv­ered some out­stand­ing ac­tion from amaz­ing grids. Head­lin­ing Satur­day’s ac­tion was the Alan Mann Tro­phy, a two-driver hour-long con­test for Ford GT40S that ran into the dusk of the early evening. A star-stud­ded pack of 25 GT40S made for a breath­tak­ing spec­ta­cle and any one of four or five cars could have won the race.

Af­ter some early shuf­fling, World Tour­ing Car star Rob Huff took con­trol of the race and was nicely on tar­get to hand Richard Meins a use­ful lead un­til the ail­ing front brakes fi­nally dis­ap­peared and the car was re­tired.

Rob Hall worked into se­cond in the car of Scott Walker but was soon un­der pres­sure from Mike Jor­dan who had charged up the field from a mis­fire­hin­dered 14th on the grid. They raced hard and Jor­dan looked for a gap, but Hall de­fended res­o­lutely and Jor­dan stopped early to hand over to EX-BTCC cham­pion son An­drew.

Hall stayed out to the very end of the pit­stop win­dow but Jor­dan swept ahead be­fore Walker re­joined and the for­mer lead car was bun­dled down the or­der over the fi­nal 20 min­utes.

It all looked good for Jor­dan un­til a rear wheel bear­ing failed with 10 laps to go and the Steve Soper/david Cuff car took the lead. How­ever, on a mis­sion was Phil Keen af­ter tak­ing over from Oliver Bryant and Keen was within half a se­cond of Soper when the oil light, which had been flick­er­ing for some time, stayed on through the chi­cane and Keen quickly turned the en­gine off to avoid ma­jor harm.

“We just tried to keep the lead cars in sight,” said Cuff as Martin Stret­ton/ Tony Wood and Si­mon Had­field/ Joaquin Folch wrapped up the podium at the end of an ab­sorb­ing con­test.

The Gerry Mar­shall Tro­phy for Group 1 tour­ing cars was an­other ma­jor crowd-pleaser, with some sen­sa­tional rac­ing all down the or­der from a high­qual­ity field. Satur­day’s 15-minute ap­pe­tiser, which re­ally only served to set the grid for Sun­day’s two-driver thrash, was won at a can­ter by Chris Ward in the JD Clas­sics Rover SD1.

With Ward backed up by Gor­don Shed­den on Sun­day, an­other win was on the cards and Ward duly shot clear in the early laps. How­ever, a ma­jor oil slick at St Mary’s from the ex­pired Rover of Tiff Needell turned the race around as the safety car was scram­bled and Ward’s vi­tal time ad­van­tage was swept away.

The 2015 race-win­ning Chevro­let Camaro of David Clark/matt Neal lost time with a rear punc­ture, but mak­ing strong progress was the Bryant fam­ily Camaro and, af­ter the stops, Oliver Bryant was able to hunt Shed­den down and sweep ahead with three laps to go. Ul­ti­mately, the Camaro won by nine sec­onds even though Gra­hame B had spun on the oil at St Mary’s.

It was a first Good­wood win for the Bryants. “It’s great to do it as a father and son team,” said Bryant Sr.

“I tried my best but the safety car com­pro­mised us,” said Ward.

John Young/steve Soper com­pleted the podium as the best of the Ford Capri pack. The best non-camaro lap was, how­ever, 2s down on Neal’s fastest tour.

Al­though in­ter­rupted by Stephen Bond’s ac­ci­dent ( see Rac­ing News, page 13), the Brooks Tro­phy for pre-1960 Grand Prix cars was an ex­cel­lent race as Barry Can­nell (Cooper T51) had to work very hard to fend off a de­ter­mined chal­lenge from the four-wheel-drive Fer­gu­son in the ca­pa­ble hands of Nick Adams. A rocket start set the Fer­gu­son away and the wily Can­nell only just wrig­gled back ahead. He then had to con­tend with a safety car stint as Gre­gor Fisken added his Fer­rari Dino to the lead con­test un­til a late spin at Wood­cote.

An­other race trun­cated by the safety car was the Derek Bell Tro­phy for onelitre F3 cars, but this was al­ways go­ing to be­long to An­drew Hib­berd, hav­ing his first race in his father’s ex-chris Ir­win Brab­ham BT18. In the few rac­ing laps the cars had, Hib­berd went clear as Peter Thomp­son fought off Jim Block­ley for se­cond. James King, race win­ner a year ear­lier, was an early ca­su­alty af­ter his en­gine grenaded on the La­vant Straight.

On the Good­wood de­but for the cars, the Ed­war­dian pack cov­ered it­self in glory in the SF Edge Tro­phy as a won­der­ful con­test raged at the head of the pack of out­ra­geous cen­tury-old ma­chines. It all came down to a cat-and­mouse con­test be­tween Dun­can Pit­t­away’s GN Cur­tiss, the vast V12 De­lage of cir­cuit new­comer Mathias Si­elecki and the in­creas­ingly brake­less 1916 Sun­beam In­di­anapo­lis of Ju­lian Ma­jzub.

Pit­t­away won the de­cid­ing dash to the line by less than a quar­ter of a se­cond from Si­elecki as Ma­jzub chased. “You don’t of­ten get races like that,” said a ju­bi­lant Pit­t­away. “That car is huge when it comes bar­relling past you,” he said of the De­lage.

The Day­tona Co­bra Coupes of friends James Cot­ting­ham and An­drew Smith eas­ily had the legs of the rest of a classy field of pre-1966 GT cars in the Gra­ham Hill Tro­phy. Un­for­tu­nately, this was an­other race in­ter­rupted by a safety car af­ter Karsten Le Blanc went off heav­ily at Ford­wa­ter in his AC Co­bra.

Will Nuthall toyed with fel­low Coop­erBris­tol pi­lot Ed­die Mcguire be­fore rush­ing clear in the Par­nell Cup, while Richard Meaden was the class of a typ­i­cally lively Whit­more Cup for un­der two-litre tour­ing cars. Mark Sumpter, rac­ing solo in his Lotus Cortina for the first time, kept Meaden hon­est for the 10-minute dash, while Nick Swift came out on top of a won­der­ful but all too brief Mini con­test with Nick Pad­more, Ja­son Stan­ley and Rob Huff.

The Bruce Mclaren Tro­phy race was halted af­ter two laps and not restarted af­ter Michiel Smits flew off the track at Wood­cote. At the time of the red flag, Nick Pad­more, Phil Keen and Olly Bryant were lim­ber­ing up for a Lola T70 Spy­der slug-fest.

As the light faded, Sam Hancock wrapped up the week­end with a re­sound­ing Peter Collins Tro­phy win in the mighty Cun­ning­ham C4R. ■

There were plenty of tal­ented young rac­ers in ac­tion at Good­wood and in the his­toric grand prix car arena, the one to watch was Will Nuthall.

Be­ing the son of one of the most re­spected pre­par­ers of his­toric sin­gle-seaters is a mas­sive leg up, of course, and Will is show­ing true class in cars that are 40 years older than he is.

In the Par­nell Cup for pre-1953 sin­gle-seaters, he took Steve Rus­sell’s ex-bob Ger­ard Coop­erBris­tol to a re­sound­ing win and qual­i­fied se­cond fastest in the Cooper T51 of John Saun­ders for the ear­lier Brooks Tro­phy.

Tin-top en­counter gets un­der­way

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