The glory of Goodwood
ASTONS WERE IN THE THICK OF THE REVIVAL ACTION, PLUS HIGHLIGHTS FROM SPA, CASTLE COMBE AND SILVERSTONE
THE GOODWOOD REVIVAL continues to cast its spell, the quality of the cars and the racing as high as ever. This year, the Kinrara Trophy was a Friday evening innovation, setting the tone for the whole weekend with a terrific grid and intense racing at seemingly ten-tenths throughout. Such was the intensity that three of the five DB4 GTS entered suffered damage in the race, but Tom Alexander’s car, driven by Adrian Willmott, led the field before coming unstuck at Woodcote corner, eventually finishing in 9th place. The star for many was the Zagato-bodied DB4 GT (the car started life as a GT, not a Zagato) of Rob Huff and Richard Meins, which finished a fine 5th.
The Freddie March Memorial Trophy race witnessed a very tight scrap between Rob Hall in Martin Melling’s DB3 and Steve Boultbee-brooks’ DB3S, Hall clinching third by just 0.8sec. The TT Celebration for 1960s cars had just one Aston this year (no doubt to avoid a repeat of the Kinrara grid) but Wolfgang Friedrichs’ DP212 did well to finish 12th for what is a relatively original car. It’s gratifying that such valuable and original cars are exercised in such competitive grids.
Just a week later, the circus moved to Spa for the 6 hours. Friedrichs was out again, this time sharing his DB4 GT with Simon Hadfield and Michael Mallock to finish a strong 19th overall in a huge field; a little further back was the fairly standard DB4 of George Miller and Les Goble.
The first of October saw a significant gathering of historic cars at Castle Combe for the Fifties Sports Car Racing Club event. The main race had 38 entries, Steve Boultbee-brooks’ DB3S pipping a ’Healey to the line. Steve also went on to win the Jon Gross Memorial Trophy race – now a regular fixture that brings out many Astons in honour of the late enthusiast. On this occasion it was a nice mixture of pre- and post-war cars. Ruddell’s DB2/4 came second, but in 5th was the first pre-war car, the Monoposto of Mark Gillies, who headed Chris Woodgate in the Gross family’s DB MKIII.
The AMOC racing season finale for 2016 was held at Silverstone on the same day as the Castle Combe event, which might have dented the entry lists, but decent grids saw the season out. In the Intermarque race, more modern cars disadvantaged the Astons but Chris Kemp drove superbly in the very wet conditions to come home 9th. Two places further back was Nick King in his lightweight DB4, which must have been a handful in the wet. Astonishingly he beat the GT4S of Smail, Marriott and Tinn, which surely made him driver of the day!