2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the start of motorsport at Goodwood. At the heart of these celebrations is Goodwood’s motor circuit so it was fitting that this year’s Goodwood 75 celebrations should begin with an exceptional display of motor racing at the Members’ Meeting last weekend.
Motor racing began at Goodwood in 1948 and continued through a golden age of motorsport until 1966. It became what has been described as ‘the spiritual home of British motor racing’. During this period many of the greatest drivers of all time raced at Goodwood including Juan Manuel Fangio, Roy Salvadori, Jim Clark, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Phil Hill and Jackie Stewart.
In 1993 the then Lord March (now the 11th Duke of Richmond), with a group of other enthusiasts, held the first Festival of Speed with more than 100 cars and motorcycles blasting up the hill.
In September 1998 the first Goodwood Revival was held on the original circuit exactly 50 years to the day to the day after the Duke’s grandparents had first opened the circuit.
2014 saw the re-introduction of the Members’ Meeting for members of the GRRC and GRRC Fellowship who support motorsport at Goodwood.
This year’s Members’ Meeting, the 80th since motorsport began at Goodwood, started the Goodwood 75 celebrations with a stunning array of cars, motorcycles and racing held in the crisp spring sunshine.
The SF Trophy is always popular with the crowds at Goodwood. These Edwardian racing cars and aero-engined specials from the early 20th century provide a sense of drama and occasion. Amongst the favourites at Goodwood is the Fiat S76, later also known as the Fiat 300HP Record and affectionately called ‘The Beast of Turin’. Made in 1910 its 28.4 litre engine developed 290bhp and is capable of some 130mph. It was built to break the land speed record.
Its current owner, Duncan Pittaway famously describes driving the car, which he fastidiously restored, as like “wrestling a gorilla”!
I am already looking forward to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival which embrace the modern and the halcyon days of motor racing with the accompanying glamour of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.
The GRRC Spring Members’ Meeting is always an exciting celebration of motor racing which is exclusively for GRRC and GRRC Fellowship members here in the heart of Sussex. To find out more about the benefits of membership, how to join, and to book tickets for this year’s Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival go to www.goodwood.com/sports/motorsport.