PORSCHES AT GOOD­WOOD

This year sees the sev­en­ti­eth birth­days of both Porsche and the Good­wood Mo­tor Cir­cuit, so what bet­ter time to look back at some of the mar­queʼs early ap­pear­ances at this his­toric race track?

Classic Porsche - - Contents - Words: Robert Bar­rie Pho­tos: As cred­ited

Robert Bar­rie’s de­fin­i­tive tale of Porsches rac­ing at the fa­mous UK cir­cuit

At this year ʼs Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed, to cel­e­brate 70 years as a cre­ator of the finest sports cars, Porsche is tak­ing cen­tre stage. But 2018 also marks 70 years of the nearby Good­wood race cir­cuit it­self, a track steeped in rac­ing his­tory, and in lat­ter years host to the fa­mous Re­vival and re­born Mem­bersʼ Meet­ing.

The links be­tween Good­wood and Porsche go back many, many years, as we shall see. As is so of­ten the case, itʼs a tale of what was and what might have been. Oh, and Stir­ling Mossʼs name crops up a few times, too.

Ini­tially, Porscheʼs sales in the UK were lim­ited, as were over­seas en­tries in race meet­ings at Good­wood, so it was in­evitably a few years be­fore a Porsche was seen at the cir­cuit, lo­cated close to the town of Chich­ester on Eng­landʼs south coast, which had of­fi­cially opened in Septem­ber 1948.

Records show that the first to ap­pear was Willi Buschmann and P W S Popeʼs left-hand drive 356 in the Nine Hour race in Au­gust 1953. The car fin­ished sev­en­teenth – and last – of the clas­si­fied fin­ish­ers. Mo­tor Sport re­ported, rea­son­ably enough, that it lacked speed, but it did at least keep go­ing. Other re­ports sug­gest it tan­gled with a front-run­ning Jaguar at one point – a sur­viv­ing pho­to­graph shows the Porsche in the throes of a spin…

W H Bled­soe is recorded as hav­ing run an­other Porsche at the sub­se­quent Mem­bersʼ Meet­ing and an­other left-hand drive 356, wear­ing Ger­man li­cence plates, took part in a speed trial at the cir­cuit in Oc­to­ber 1954.

Dick Steed then ran a Uk-regis­tered right-hand drive 356 at a Mem­bersʼ Meet­ing in June 1955. The first fac­tory en­try fol­lowed in the Nine Hour race that same year. Stir­ling Moss and Huschke von Hanstein, Porscheʼs press and rac­ing chief, shared a 550 Spy­der, but re­tired while in the class lead af­ter col­lect­ing an­other car. Moss fluffed the Le Mans-type start for

“LINKS BE­TWEEN PORSCHE AND GOOD­WOOD GO BACK MANY YEARS…”

once, but ap­pears to have been at his ex­u­ber­ant best there­after. In the words of Mo­tor Sport again, he drove the car ʻwith great skill, hold­ing over­steer slides, fling­ing it about as he ne­go­ti­ated the traf­fic, and con­tin­u­ally wav­ing an arm and blow­ing the horn at slower cars.ʼ Stir­ring stuff.

Wolf­gang Sei­del and Dick Steed had a stead­ier run to tenth over­all in the for­mer ʼs 550 Spy­der pro­to­type. The race was won by As­ton Martin, giv­ing them a hat-trick of vic­to­ries in the three Nine Hours races.

For Porsche, the next cou­ple of sea­sons saw fur­ther en­tries from Steed, who seems to have had a road traf­fic ac­ci­dent in his race car dur­ing one event, as well as oth­ers such as Steven Wilder, who en­tered a Uk-regis­tered 356 un­der the Scud­e­ria Por­tia ban­ner, and later ran a 550 Spy­der as a daily driver in New York.

Len Pot­ter ran an­other 356, pos­si­bly a Car­rera. Jack Burke and F W Sel­don ap­peared in a cou­ple more UKreg­is­tered 356s – the lat­ter is pic­tured point­ing the wrong way at La­vant hav­ing spun De­nis Jenk­in­sonʼs 356.

Chris­tian Goethals ran a 550A in the Chich­ester Cup at Easter in 1957. He is pic­tured in a four-wheel drift at Wood­cote, in front of what later be­came the Su­per Shell build­ing, in Robert Barker ʼs Mo­tor Rac­ing at Good­wood.

In 1958, the Tourist Tro­phy, a truly in­ter­na­tional event and a round of the Sports Car World Cham­pi­onship, came to Good­wood. The fac­tory en­tered a 718 RSK Spy­der, in which Jean Behra and Edgar Barth were fourth, and a 550A Spy­der, in which Carel De Beau­fort and Chris­tian Heins fin­ished eighth. More pos­i­tively, the cars were first and sec­ond in class and the fa­mil­iar pat­tern of high over­all plac­ings and mid-ca­pac­ity class wins was once again re­peated. The race it­self was won by Stir­ling Moss and Tony Brooks in an As­ton Martin DBR1.

A year later, Porsche sent three cars to the 1959 TT. It was a six-hour race for full points with a strong en­try and, for Porsche, a case of ʻn­early but not quiteʼ. Wolf­gang von Trips and Jo Bon­nier fin­ished sec­ond, a lap down on the win­ner, hav­ing led the race at half dis­tance. Barth and Um­berto Magli­oli were twelfth. Both pairings were in up­dated 718 RSK Spy­ders. Again, they were first and sec­ond in class. A third car, the Hans Her­rmann and Chris Bris­tow 718 RSK, failed to fin­ish.

Moss won the race once again in an As­ton Martin DBR1, hav­ing jumped into the Shelby and Fair­man en­try when his own car went up in flames in the pits. The Porsche Spy­ders were helped by lower fuel con­sump­tion and tyre wear than the other front-run­ners, but hin­dered by hav­ing bolt-on wheels, which made for slow pits stops. The 1959 TT was the last for open sports cars be­fore the for­mat switched to closed GTS in 1960.

As a re­sult of this, out went the Spy­ders and back came the 356 and its de­riv­a­tives. Five such cars took to the grid in a three-hour TT in Au­gust 1960. In the mean­time, Moss was sec­ond to Innes Ire­landʼs Lo­tus 18 driv­ing a Rob Walker-

en­tered and liv­er­ied Porsche 718/2 in the La­vant Cup for F2 cars at Easter. It was a rare pe­riod ap­pear­ance, and the best plac­ing, at the cir­cuit by one of Porscheʼs sin­gle-seaters.

Back to the 1960 TT and Gra­ham Hill fin­ished fourth in a fac­tory-en­tered 356 Car­rera Abarth GTL, the car ʼs light­weight body­work hav­ing been dam­aged shortly af­ter the start. Jo Bon­nier was eleventh in a fac­tory-en­tered stan­dard-bod­ied Car­rera and Ger­hard Koch six­teenth in an­other fac­to­ryen­tered Abarth.

Hill took the class win while Fritz Hahnl was fif­teenth in a stan­dard-bod­ied Car­rera. Good­wood and Porsche stal­wart Dickie Stoop was eigh­teenth in the first of his right-hand drive 356B Car­reras – a red car with the reg­is­tra­tion YOU 4. Moss took the first of two wins in Rob Walker-en­tered Fer­rari 250 GT SWBS – leg­end has it that he lis­tened to the ra­dio com­men­tary while rac­ing al­though in re­al­ity the noise in the cock­pit must have made that rather dif­fi­cult!

The fol­low­ing sea­son, 1961, saw en­tries from rac­ers such as Al­bert Gay and Robin Ben­son in 356s, be­fore an­other five cars lined up for that year ʼs TT. This time, Hill, in the same fac­tory-en­tered Abarth he had driven the pre­vi­ous year was sixth. Hahnl, in an­other Abarth, was tenth and Koch twelfth in a sim­i­lar car.

Keith Greene, in the Gilby Engi­neer­ing 356B Car­rera was sev­en­teenth, but Hill and Hahnl fin­ished the race first and sec­ond in class. On the other hand, Her­bert Linge in the other fac­tory-en­tered Abarth failed to fin­ish due to gear­box fail­ure. Dick­ieʼs 356 was on the en­try list again, but did not start. Moss won in the sec­ond Rob Walker-en­tered 250 GT SWB. In hind­sight, the 1961 TT was, per­haps, the high-wa­ter mark for Porsche par­tic­i­pa­tion. The fol­low­ing sea­son, Sei­del ran a some­what out­dated 718/2 in the La­vant Cup and Glover Tro­phy F1 races at Easter. The first of those was re­stricted to four­cylin­der cars and the sec­ond was the race in which Moss had his dread­ful ca­reer-end­ing crash. Both Stoop and Ben­son con­tin­ued to race 356 Car­reras at less high pro­file meet­ings and races.

The fac­tory was ab­sent from the 1962 TT, but the race fea­tured Ben Pon and Koch in a cou­ple of pri­va­teer Abarths. It was won by Innes Ire­land in a Fer­rari 250 GTO and is also re­mem­bered for an ex­pen­sive col­li­sion in­volv­ing Jim Clarkʼs As­ton Martin DB4 GT Za­gato and John Sur­teesʼs 250 GTO. Ben­son later added a 250 SWB to the mix for good mea­sure! (Edi­tor ʼs note: one dreads to think of the com­bined value of these cars to­day, and the cost to re­pair them!)

In 1963, the TT was run from a con­ven­tional grid, rather than a Le Mans-type start. Dickie Stoop en­tered in the sec­ond of his 356 Car­reras – a sil­ver 2.0-litre Car­rera 2 with the

“IT WAS A RARE AP­PEAR­ANCE, AND THE BEST PLAC­ING…”

reg­is­tra­tion 5 HOT, fin­ish­ing 12th over­all and sec­ond in class. The race was won by Gra­ham Hill in a Fer­rari 250 GTO, with Mike Parkes sec­ond in a sim­i­lar car.

The fol­low­ing year saw the de­but of the 904. John Whit­more raced the spe­cial or­der Bor­neo green SMARTen­tered (Stir­ling Moss Au­to­mo­bile Rac­ing Team – set up fol­low­ing Mossʼs en­forced re­tire­ment as a re­sult of his ac­ci­dent) car at the Easter Meet­ing – fin­ish­ing sixth over­all and third in class. Robert Barker ʼs ex­cel­lent A Record of Mo­tor Rac­ing at Good­wood sug­gests Trevor Tay­lor did so at the sub­se­quent Whit­sun meet­ing, but other sources are less sure. In any event, the car was dam­aged in test­ing around this time and dis­ap­peared for a while.

The re­doubtable Dickie Stoop en­tered his Afn-sup­plied Ir­ish Green 904 – now car­ry­ing the plate YOU 4 – in a 2.0- litre sup­port race at the Tourist Tro­phy Meet­ing later in 1964. A chance for Porsche to score a long-awaited first win at the cir­cuit? Not quite, yet again. Stoop fin­ished sec­ond with Mike Deʼudy third and John Mor­ris fur­ther down the or­der, each driv­ing 904s. Mike Spence won the race in a Lo­tus Elan. Deʼudy and Mor­ris ap­peared again in their 904s in 1965, Deʼudy in the Sus­sex Tro­phy race, but Good­wood was by now wind­ing down. The cir­cuit fi­nally closed to rac­ing in 1966. The last race was a five-lap hand­i­cap won by a dou­ble-agent called – in­evitably – Dickie.

More sur­pris­ingly, per­haps, it also closed with­out hav­ing seen an out­right Porsche vic­tory – and with­out the new 911 hav­ing raced there. Those omissions were be­lat­edly ad­dressed in the Ald­ing­ton Tro­phy, al­most fifty years later at the re­in­stated Mem­bersʼ Meet­ing in 2015. CP

“IT CLOSED WITH­OUT… THE NEW 911 HAV­ING RACED THERE”

Be­low: Dickie Stoop col­lect­ing his 904GTS at AFN in 1964. The car sub­se­quently raced at the Tourist Tro­phy meet­ing (AFN Archives)

Above right: De Beau­fort/ Heins 550A Spy­der raced at the 1958 Tourist Tro­phy and was sold at Bon­hams Scotts­dale Jan­uary 2018 (Bon­hams)

Above left: Chris­tian Goethalʼs 550A Spy­der, Easter Meet­ing 1957 (John Ross)

Be­low left: The Buschmann and Pope 356 spin­ning in the 1953 Nine Hour Race. This was the first Porsche to com­pete at Good­wood (Fer­ret Fo­to­graph­ics)

Left: The Von Trips/bon­nier 718 RSK Spy­der pauses for breath in the pits along­side the works sup­port van at the 1959 Tourist Tro­phy (Fer­ret Fo­to­graph­ics)

Be­low right: The 718 RSK Spy­ders of Barth/magli­oli (back­ground) and Her­rmann/bris­tow at the 1959 Tourist Tro­phy (Fer­ret Fo­to­graph­ics)

Above: Dick Steedʼs RHD 356 Pre-a in a glo­ri­ous four­wheel drift at the Mem­bersʼ Meet­ing held in June 1955 (Fer­ret Fo­to­graph­ics)

Left: Dickie Stoop slides his 356B Car­rera GT in the 1963 Tourist Tro­phy (The GP Li­brary) Right: The Behra/barth 718 RSK Spy­der at full flight in the 1958 Tourist Tro­phy (Fer­ret Fo­to­graph­ics)

Above: Stir­ling Moss look­ing typ­i­cally re­laxed at speed in the 550 Spy­der he shared with Huschke von Hanstein in the 1955 Nine Hour (Keith Duer­den Col­lec­tion)

Far left, top and bot­tom: Behra/barth 718 RSK Spy­der, 1958 Tourist Tro­phy (Porsche Archiv)

Left: Gra­ham Hil­lʼs 356 Car­rera Abarth in the pad­dock at the 1960 Tourist Tro­phy with the Jo Bon­nier 356 Car­rera GT be­hind (Porsche Archiv)

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