Lockie ends 10-year ERA winning run
Calum Lockie’s joyous flying dismount from Sean and Laura Danaher’s Maserati 6CM spoke volumes. Although he started from pole, from Friday’s dry practice, the Scot’s superlative Goodwood Trophy victory broke a 10-year drought for the marque. Not since 2006, when Germany’s Stefan Schollwoeck won in a sister car, had the Modenese trident been sharp enough to burst English Racing Automobiles’ bubble.
Five of those nine ERA victories were notched by Mark Gillies in R3A but his quest to become the first six-time winner of a Revival feature was ill-starred. The green machine careered into the corn at St Mary’s early in qualifying, yet the Us-domicied Briton recovered to grid second between the silver Maserati #1556 – period mount of French-argentine George Raphael Bethenod de las Casas, aka ‘Raph’ – and Christian Glasel (Alfa P3).
Lockie’s hopes of a dry race were dashed when drizzle greeted Saturday’s start. He departed boldly, but Gillies was ahead inside a lap and twitched away. Exhibiting fingertip control as rivals tip-toed in worsening rain, Mark was 11 seconds up after four laps when a spark plug oiled-up. He dived for the pits where James Ricketts changed it, but his charge from 16th to ninth was punctuated by a Lavant spin.
New leader Lockie was being reeled by Michael Gans (ERA R1B) who had slithered past Matt Grist (Alfa P3) with the ballsy Tom Dark (Bugatti T73) in tow. Irishman Paddins Dowling, whose ex-peter Whitehead ’38 Australian Gp-winning ERA R10B stalled as the Union Jack fell, tore through the field thereafter, catching the leaders hand-over-fist in his 1500cc steed.
In Gans’ angst to land gold he tripped over Julian Wilton’s ERA R7B (ex-arthur Dobson) into the chicane and spun, falling to fifth behind Grist, Dark and Topliss and landing a 10 second penalty. Dowling leapfrogged Gans and, on the final lap, wrested fourth from Nick Topliss in ERA R4A, Pat Fairfield’s ’37 Rand (South African) GP winner.
But the day belonged to Lockie and the Sam Jordan-prepared Maserati. “I had to monitor how hard to push, how much risk to take, but in the four years I’ve raced this car it’s never run better,” he enthused.