60 Years of Mini Celebrated at Goodwood

Nick Swift’s no. 76 Mini racing in close quarter on the Lavant corner at Goodwood

What a difference a year can make!

Goodwood’s decision to hold the 77th Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) 2019 Member’s Meeting a few weeks later than usual was rewarded with a weekend of spring weather in contrast to last year’s snow covered track.

The weather matched the warm welcome of the Goodwood team and the enthusiasm of the members of the GRRC and GRRC Fellowship.

Mini is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year and the Minis proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend delighting the spectators throughout in the heats and the final.

The current Duke of Richmond’s grandmother, Betty, famously hurtled around the Goodwood Estate in her bright red Austin Seven Mini, hence the Betty Richmond Trophy for Minis.

The Minis fizzed around this historic Sussex race track as we revelled in their high speed racing at close quarters. The drivers tactically slipstreamed each other trading places right up until the final exit from Woodcote corner when Nick Swift, in his number 76 Mini, manged to take the lead for the final time from his friend and fellow racer, Nick Padmore, to win the trophy.

Nick Swift’s company, Swiftune, was started by his father in 1965 and remains a family firm. Swiftune’s 1293cc Appendix K race engines deliver about 130bhp with a top speed of 120mph!

Hopefully the Betty Richmond Trophy will appear again at future events.

An AC Aceca, Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France and an Aston Martin DB2/4 competing for the Tony Gaze Trophy
An AC Aceca, Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France and an Aston Martin DB2/4 competing for the Tony Gaze Trophy

It was lovely to see 1950s Sports and GT car racing returning to Goodwood for the Tony Gaze Trophy. My heart was in my mouth when Nick Finburgh in the 1956 AC Aceca, Kim Taylor-Smith in the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France and Marek Reichman in the 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 raced through the chicane together.

When I interviewed the British racing driver, the late John Young, back in 2017 he told me how he had raced at Goodwood in the 1950s. Our conversation moved onto driving his Gullwing Mercedes. John commented “When you drive a 300SL quickly it’s important to keep the power on in the corners or they spin – you’ve really got to drive it!” David Coulthard looked a bit twitchy in the IWC Schaffhausen 300SL Gullwing during practice but in the race he kept the power on and drove to a closely contested victory taking the Tony Gaze Trophy.

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 this year’s Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival go to www.goodwood.com/sports/motorsport.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.

Goodwood’s Motorsport Events a Winning Combination

Katarina Kyvalova in the 1954 Cooper Jaguar T33 approaching Woodcote at the 2018 Goodwood Revival

I am really excited, I’ve just booked my tickets for the 2019 Goodwood motor racing season’s 77th GRRC Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival. Goodwood’s quintessential British motorsport events celebrate not only the best of historic racing but also the cutting edge and contemporary in the automotive world. It’s a winning combination here in heart of West Sussex.

Once again the historic racing season will open with the 77th GRRC Member’s Meeting on the weekend of 6th and 7th April 2019. The GRRC spring Members’ Meeting captures the atmosphere of the motorsport meetings at Goodwood in the 1950s and 1960s. This celebration of motor racing is exclusively for members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC), and the GRRC Fellowship. It has its own unique atmosphere.

This member only event allows enthusiasts, drivers and car owners to mingle in the paddocks amongst the automobiles sharing what the Duke of Richmond describes as ‘a common passion’.

The reputation of the Goodwood’s Festival of Speed continues to grow attracting many of the world’s leading racing drivers and marques. As testament to this Tesla chose to debut its hugely influential Model 3 in the UK at the 2018 Festival of Speed against the backdrop of exotic machines hurtling up the famous hill climb. The best of British was also on display with Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, McLaren and Rolls Royce all much in evidence. The 2019 Festival of Speed is scheduled for the 4th to the 7th July.

Rupert Toovey at the 2018 Goodwood Revival

September’s Goodwood Revival has a unique and special quality to it attracting vintage outfits as well as cars. With my love of bowties, sports jackets and cords as my everyday attire I fit right in! The Revival celebrates the halcyon days of motor racing with the accompanying glamour of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

At this year’s Revival Katarina Kyvalova, herself no stranger to Goodwood and historic motor racing, was once again driving her 1954 Cooper Jaguar T33 in the 25 minute Freddie March Memorial Trophy for sports cars made between 1952 and 1955. It’s the longest race of the weekend and Katarina’s performance once again provided a welcome reminder of the Cooper team’s competiveness and important place in sports car and Formula 1 motor racing. I love the purposeful, clean lines of the Cooper Jaguar T33, especially in British racing green.

Next year’s Revival will take place from the 13th to the 15th September 2019.

To find out more about the benefits of membership of the GRRC and GRRC Fellowship, how to join, and this year’s Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival, and to book tickets go to www.goodwood.com/sports/motorsport. The 2018 Goodwood motoring season quickly sold out so don’t delay!

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.

Goodwood Festival of Speed Celebrates Silver Jubilee

A 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo on the hill climb at Goodwood
A 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo on the hill climb at Goodwood

There was much to celebrate at this year’s Silver Jubilee Goodwood Festival of Speed.

I arrived on the Friday to be greeted by the wail of the Jaguar XJR-9. The sound of its 7.0 litre V12 engine at high revs is hugely evocative. I remember watching Martin Brundle, Andy Wallace and John Neilsen win the 1988 1000km at Brands Hatch. I’ve never forgotten the sound and the flames coming from the exhaust as the car raced through the woods of Dingle Dell.

Andy Wallace would go on to win Le Mans that same year in the Tony Southgate designed XJR-9 with fellow drivers, Johnny Dumfries and Jan Lammer. The scale of Jaguar’s achievement becomes apparent when you consider that between 1981 and 1987 Porsche had won seven consecutive Le Mans. Porsche first competed at Le Mans in 1951 and has won at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe on 19 occasions with 17 outright victories; more than any other manufacturer.

Rupert Toovey at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed
Rupert Toovey at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Porsche celebrated 70 years of motorsport success at this year’s Festival of Speed. The magnificent installation on the lawns of Goodwood House suspended a number of icons of Porsche automotive design high above the crowds.

On the hill climb the crowds were treated to an array of racing Porsches which included an example of the Porsche 962C which won Le Mans in 1986 and 1987 at the hands of British Driver Derek Bell. Porsche GT racers, Rally cars and Single seaters were also keenly represented.

The Cosworth years were also celebrated. From 1968 the 3.0 litre V8 Cosworth DFV engine transformed the opportunities of numerous Formula 1 cars and teams. Amongst these was the Matra–Cosworth MS80 run by Tyrell which swept Jackie Stewart to victory in the 1969 World Championship. Stewart would win two more Formula 1 World Championships with the Tyrell–Cosworth 003 and 006 in 1971 and 1973. It was poignant to watch Jackie Stewart driving the Matra–Cosworth up the Hill followed by his two sons Paul and Mark in the Tyrells.
Interviewed at Goodwood after the drive with his sons Sir Jackie Stewart reflected fondly “Goodwood has a habit of bringing everyone together.” The weekend had the atmosphere of a huge motoring party.

As the exuberant sound of the racing cars and bikes at Goodwood Festival of Speed ended the cacophony of sound, the smell of racing oil and tyres and the spectacle of speed and colour faded to memory and thoughts turned to the evocative 2018 Goodwood Revival. This year’s three-day event will be held on the 7th – 9th September. The Goodwood Revival celebrates the halcyon days of motor racing with the accompanying glamour of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. For more information or to buy some of the few remaining tickets visit www.goodwood.com.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.

British Motor Racing in Sussex

Automobilia specialist Gordon Gardiner with an array of motoring collectables at Toovey’s
Automobilia specialist Gordon Gardiner with an array of motoring collectables at Toovey’s

With Lewis Hamilton’s heroic drive in the British Grand Prix alive in our imaginations I am looking forward to this coming weekend’s 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Lewis Hamilton made a less than perfect start from his pole position at Silverstone but it was Ferrari driver Raikkonen’s collision with the Briton’s Mercedes at Turn 3 which sent him spinning from the track. Hamilton’s drive from the back of the field to take second place will surely go down in Formula 1 history as one of the great drives.

I am in the company of Toovey’s Automobilia specialist and motoring enthusiast, Gordon Gardiner as I remark how the atmosphere at Goodwood Festival of Speed captures something of the an endurance road race from the 1950s as spectators line the course at close quarters and the cars speed up the climb.

Our conversation turns to a watercolour by Michael Wright. It depicts Mike Hawthorn flat out at the wheel of his Scuderia Ferrari 250 TR 58 which he drove with Wolfgang von Trips in the 1958 Targa Fiorio. In 1958 it formed the third round of the World Sportscar Championship. The car is being driven at great speed along the Sicilian roads which formed the 45 mile circuit of the Targa Fiorio where Hawthorn finished in third place.

Michael Wright’s late 20th century watercolour depicting Mike Hawthorn in his Ferrari, no. 102 titled '1958 Targa Florio'
Michael Wright’s late 20th century watercolour depicting Mike Hawthorn in his Ferrari, no. 102 titled ‘1958 Targa Florio’

The Targo Fiorio was an open road endurance race for automobiles held in the mountains of Sicily near Palermo which was started in 1906 by Vincenzo Florio.
Mike Hawthorn was noted for his speed and it was in 1958 that he became the first Englishman to win a Formula 1 World Championship.

I love objects and art which connect us with the past like this painting. Gordon comments “Automobilia connects the motor car enthusiast with motoring history and the vehicles themselves. Very few of us have the space or the funds to acquire the cars but by comparison Automobilia can be collected on a much more modest budget.”

Toovey’s next auction of Automobilia will be held on Friday 2nd November 2018 and entries are already being received. If you would like advice on collecting Automobilia you can contact Gordon Gardiner by telephoning 01903 891955 or emailing auctions@tooveys.com.

Gordon and I are looking forward to the 2018 Silver Jubilee Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrating the 25th anniversary of this remarkable motoring spectacle. No doubt motor racing enthusiasts will be out in force enjoying the spectacle and drama of this annual Sussex event in the company of the Duke of Richmond and the Goodwood team. To find out more visit www.goodwood.com.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.

20th Anniversary of the GRRC

Gareth Graham in the 1925 Bentley Speed Model overtaking the 1936 BMW 328 of Albert Otten at Woodcote

The 76th Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) 2018 Member’s Meeting coincided with a blast of icy weather which brought snow and drama to the weekend as the club’s 20th anniversary was celebrated.

My Dad, Alan Toovey, and I arrived at the Goodwood motor racing circuit to be greeted by the spectacle of racing cars at full speed as the snow fell heavily.

Rupert and Alan Toovey in the Daffodil Tent at the 76th Goodwood Member’s Meeting

The cold weather was in sharp contrast to the warm welcome of the Goodwood team and the enthusiasm of the members. The GRRC marks its 20th anniversary this year. This was the first time the club had welcomed members of the recently formed GRRC Fellowship to this annual spring motor racing event. Their number added to the atmosphere and sense of occasion.

As the racing cars from various eras came past at great speed Dad remarked how Goodwood had a reputation as a particularly quick circuit back in the 1950s and ’60s. Recalling the motor racing of his youth he was pleased to see that the cars had lost none of their pace with the passage of years.

The pre-1936 European sports cars came round Woodcote with surprising alacrity and the sound was wonderful. A cheer went up from the crowd as Gareth Graham in the number 7, 1925 Bentley Speed Model powered past the later 1936 BMW 328 in the approach to the Chicane.

Martin Halusa’s Bugatti Type 35c in the paddock pits

In the paddocks this member only event allowed enthusiasts, drivers and car owners to mingle amongst the automobiles sharing what the Duke of Richmond describes as ‘a common passion’. A steward’s whistle alerted us to Martin Halusa’s approaching Bugatti Type 35c. It was a rare treat to be alongside such iconic motor cars.

As the wind got up Dad and I headed to the Daffodil marquee which, as the name suggests, was filled with Daffodils and hay-bale seats. As the band played we sat discussing the racing with friends and members. The excellent Goodwood Ale and fish and chips revived us.

We set out for home as preparations for the evening’s fireworks were underway. The smell of Castrol and the noise of these remarkable cars replayed in our imaginations as our conversation turned in excited anticipation to the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July and Goodwood Revival in September.

The GRRC spring Members’ Meeting is a celebration of motor racing which is exclusively for GRRC and GRRC Fellowship members held here in the heart of Sussex. To find out more about the benefits of membership, how to join, and this year’s Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival go to www.goodwood.com/sports/motorsport.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.