SPORTS CAR CENTRE PRESENTS
Motoring news from around the world - **Month** 20**
20th Anniversary: Goodwood Revival
This year did mark the 20th anniversary of the Goodwood Revival, and to celebrate this milestone, Goodwood assembled a huge parade of Revival race-winning cars from the past two decades.
Jim Clark’s Lotus-Climax 25 – raced by Andy Middlehurst – that has won five of the last seven Glover Trophies, and the ex-Raymond Mays ERA A-type R3A are just two of the Revival winners that are returning to Goodwood on 7-9 September to celebrate the Revival’s 20th anniversary. The Revival Winners parade will feature nearly 50 of the most well-known race victors, and many of the cars are from previous Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophies.
We will pay attention to some of the more interesting ones.
The first car to win a Revival race has a centenary of victories.
The English Racing Automobiles B-Type voiturette racer, chassis R5B, affectionately known as ‘Remus’, is one of those magnificent, rare beasts that combine history, speed, spectacle, drivability and success. As we reflect on 20 years of the Revival it seems fitting that this very special racing car won the very first Revival race, the Woodcote Cup, in 1998.
R5B was bought by Siam’s Prince Chula in 1936 for his ‘White Mouse’ racing team, for his debonair cousin, Prince ‘Bira’ Birabongse, to race alongside R2B and R12B ‘Hanuman’. Tony Rolt bought the car in 1937 and added some notable wins before the war, including the British Empire Trophy at Donnington in 1939. Following Ian Connell’s stewardship, John Bolster campaigned the car after the war, scoring a creditable sixth at the 1948 British Grand Prix at Aintree, not at all bad for a 12-year-old car. John had a big ‘off’ in ‘Remus’, ending his Grand Prix ambitions and putting R5B out of service for a year, one of only four years – bar the war – that it didn’t compete in an 82 year-long career. Successes came thick and fast with Bill Moss, scoring 17 VSCC and BOC wins in three years, which set the scene for the Lindsay family’s long and triumphant ownership.
The Hon. Patrick Lindsay bought R5B in 1959 for an eye-watering £695 and it stayed in the family until 2010, when it was bought by current owner Charles McCabe. Cars come and go, and there was no shortage of cars coming and going in the Lindsay household: the 24-litre Napier Railton, a few Maserati 250Fs, John Cobb’s Alfa Romeo Monza, an Ecurie Ecosse D-type, the V12 Sunbeam ‘Tiger’, a Type 59 Bugatti and P3 Alfas all passed through his hands.
Despite the line-up of cars that he had piloted, it was ‘Remus’ that he used as a yard stick, holding true to the promise that it would be the last car that he ever sold. Indeed, he never did. ‘Remus’ was passed onto his son Ludovic, who campaigned it for another 25 years and, just like his father, was never far from the front.
When Ludovic sold R5B in 2010 it had scored 164 podiums from 384 starts and 113 race and class wins. Six of those were scored at Goodwood in 11 events.
Jim Clark's Lotus 25
The Lotus 25 was a racing car designed by Colin Chapman for the 1962 Formula One season. It was a revolutionary design, the first fully stressed monocoque chassis to appear in Formula One. In the hands of Jim Clark it took 14 World Championship Grand Prix wins and propelled him to his 1963 World Championship title. Its last World Championship win was at the 1965 French Grand Prix.
The unveiling of the 25 at Zandvoort in 1962 was a shock for the competition, and particularly for teams like Brabham and UDT/Laystall who had recently purchased 24s from Lotus, with the understanding that they would be "mechanically identical" to the works cars - Chapman reserved the right to alter the bodywork of the cars.
The monocoque made the car more rigid and structurally stronger than typical F1 cars of the period. The 25 was three times stiffer than the interim 24, while the chassis weighed only half as much. The car also was extremely low and narrow, with a frontal area of 8.0 ft², 0.74m² as compared to the normal 9.5 ft², 0.88 m² It was also envisaged to have a column gear lever, to keep the cockpit width to a minimum, although this was only experimental and discarded. To assist the low profile and low frontal area, the driver reclined sharply behind the wheel.
The 25 was powered by the Mk.II 1496cc through to the Mk.5 1499cc versions of the Coventry Climax FWMV V8 in crossplane and flatplane formats. Later, Reg Parnell Racing in 1964 fitted BRM P56s of similar specification to their second-hand 25s. Such was the 25's effect on motor racing, even today's modern F1 cars follow its basic principles.
The car gave Clark his first World Championship Grand Prix victory, at Spa in 1962. He took another win in Britain and again in the USA, which put him in contention for the title, but while leading the final race in South Africa a much publicised engine seizure cost him the title to Graham Hill.
Clark gained his revenge the following year, taking his first World Championship in the 25, by winning 7 races, Belgium, France, Holland, Britain, Italy, South Africa, and Mexico. Lotus also won its first constructors' championship. Following the United States GP, a 25 was taken to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for evaluation, where they also trialled Lucas electronic ignition for Ford. The results were encouraging enough for Colin Chapman to mount his ultimately successful challenge on the Indianapolis 500.
The 25 was again used during the 1964 season, winning a further three races in Clark's hands. At the final race in Mexico, just as in 1962, the Climax engine developed an oil leak and with literally a lap to run Clark coasted to a halt in sight of world championship victory, this time conceding to John Surtees. Despite the introduction of the Lotus 33 in 1964, the 25 was still used until well into the 1965 season, Clark taking the car's final win at the 1965 French Grand Prix.
Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan
The two-part St. Mary’s Trophy is one of the most highly anticipated races of the weekend. Run for alternating touring car periods, it features a race for professionals and one for the owners with the result determined on aggregate. In 2018, the most modern touring cars were eligible for the race, like Lotus Cortinas, Alfa Romeo GTAs and Minis. While the race for the professionals is usually quite messy, there were few issues this time round in Part 1 of the St. Mary’s Trophy. Rob Huff crossed the line first in his Cortina but he was penalised 10 seconds for a false start, handing victory to Andy Priaulx in another Cortina. Andrew Jordan was classified an impressive third despite having been forced to start from the back of the field. The second race was an altogether different affair with Duncan Pittaway first clouting the chicane in his Plymouth Barracuda bringing out a red flag and then Peter Chambers rolling his Cortina after the re-start. When the dust had finally settled, it was young Olivier Hart who clinched victory in Part 2 with his Alfa Romeo. He played no part in the aggregate results as the car dropped out of race one after the gear lever came off. The Cortina that won the opening race was now driven to second by owner and former BMW works driver Steve Soper, which was more than enough to claim overall victory.
Shortly after the chequered flag fell for the second part of the St. Mary’s Trophy, it was time for the blue ribband Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy celebration race. This one-hour, two-driver race is usually so spectacular that it is broadcast live on British national television. Unfortunately, the messy St. Mary’s Trophy race caused such a delay that in order to fall inside the broadcast window, this year’s Tourist Trophy Celebration was shortened to just 45 minutes. Starting on pole was the Cobra shared by father and son David and OIivier Hart with David taking the start. He immediately grabbed the lead but was then hounded by the Martin Stretton / Karsten le Blanc Cobra with Stretton at the wheel. During the intense opening laps, Hart also clipped the chicane with a five-second penalty as the result. Stretton briefly grabbed the lead on the road but once Olivier Hart had taken over, there was no stopping the Dutch Cobra. He won with an 18-second lead over Minshaw and Keen in a Jaguar E-Type while Mike Jordan valiantly fought off the Cobra shared by Joe Twyman and Revival debutant Andre Lotterer, to claim third in the TVR Griffith he shared with owner Mike Whitaker.
Amazingly, the very best racing was still to come after the television cameras had been switched off again. We were particularly enthralled by the fight for victory in the Glover Trophy for 1.5-litre Formula 1 cars. Leading the way from pole was four-time winner Andy Middlehurst in the dominant Lotus 25. He was, however, quickly challenged by Joe Colasacco in the magnificent Ferrari 1512 F1. So loud was the Ferrari’s 1.5-litre, flat-12 howl that Middlehurst could actually hear Colasacco behind him over his own V8 engine. Middlehurst defended meticulously and cleanly but eventually had to cede his place after a beautiful pass from Colassaco. This allowed the American team to finally score a well deserved and long overdue Revival victory in the marvellous Ferrari.
The final race of the weekend, the Sussex Trophy for late 1950s sports cars, started with drama on the line as the Lister Jaguar of pole-sitter Keen stalled. The start was abandoned and Keen had to start from the pit-lane. He spent the next 25 minutes clipping off rivals one by one and, despite very strong opposition, rounded off his remarkable comeback with a victory.
What the Duke of Richmond has achieved with the Goodwood Revival Meeting is quite unparalleled. Under his stewardship, the Goodwood Motor Circuit has been open longer than it was in period and the Revival ranks among the most prestigious historic motor racing events. Each year, the Duke and his team provide a magical step back in time with uncountable subtle and not so subtle (a full size steam locomotive) cues. Despite the size of the event, there were also subtle personal touches with a beautiful tribute to Dan Gurney who passed away earlier this year and was one of the Duke’s absolute heroes. Piloted by Jackie Stewart and Derek Bell, Gurney’s Belgian Grand Prix winning Eagle was sent out on parade laps each day to honour his memory. The sight and sound of that fantastic machine alone would have been enough to make the journey to Goodwood worthwhile let alone the rest of the three days of action.
1952: A legend is born: The spectacular history of the Mercedes-Benz SL has its origins in motor racing.
The 300 SL (W 194) of 1952 was the first all-new racing car designed by Mercedes-Benz after the Second World War and the first vehicle to bear the designation SL (for “Super Light”). Its basis – engine, transmission and axles – derived from the 300 model, the Adenauer-Mercedes.
Weighing just 50 kilograms, the 300 SL’s innovative spaceframe guaranteed low weight combined with maximum torsional rigidity. However, its design rendered conventional doors impossible. The solution – top-hinged doors that swung upwards – was a stroke of pure engineering genius.
The legend of the “Gullwing” was born. And the vehicle’s impressive looks were soon matched by its performance. At its first competitive outing, the gruelling 1,600-kilometre Mille Miglia, the 300 SL finished an impressive second.
It then went on to multiple victories in each of its next four races: the Bern Prize for Sports Car (one-two-three), the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans (one-two), the Jubilee Grand Prix for sports cars at the Nürburgring (one-two-threefour) and the 3,100-km road race across Mexico, the Carrera Panamericana (one-two). The latter was a particularly spectacular victory since despite a collision with a vulture resulting in a broken windscreen, Karl Kling and Hans Klenk battled on to bring their car home in first place.
An improved version of the 300 SL followed in 1953 and acquired the nickname “Hobel” (English: “woodworking plane”). The engineers had once again demonstrated their inventive spirit with such technical innovations as direct fuel injection.
Bringing The World’s Top Motor Museums To Life
The famous Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox boasts many wonderful virtues. Every year, it intrigues thousands of roadside viewers with its unique history and appeal which draws eager entrants from all around the globe. It also serves to honour all those pioneering engineers for their ingeniously innovative technologies dating back to the dawn of the horseless carriage era.
Furthermore, the world’s longest running motoring event inspires a large number of museums not just to display their extraordinary veteran cars but also to keep them in perfect running order in readiness for their annual pilgrimage from capital to coast.
“It’s a unique spectacle and brings notable exhibits from our collection to life,” enthuses Stephen Laing, curator of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. “We need events like this to keep the cars going and it provides us with a great opportunity to involve our key trustees and also to get the cars out in front of the public.”
Now exhibited at the newly refurbished British Motor Museum at Gaydon, the Trust’s remarkable collection adds up to the world’s largest display of historic British cars – at the last count it totals more than 300 vehicles spanning classic and vintage as well as veteran eras. Around eight of these machines date back to before 1905 and thus are eligible to join the Veteran Car Run, and six are regularly entered, sometimes for high-profile participants.
Damon Hill and Charley Boorman drove the museum’s exceptional 1904 Rover 8hp (the world’s oldest surviving Rover car) in last year’s event, while Olympic rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave jumped aboard its 1904 Thornycroft 20hp tonneau in 2014, a car driven previously by the late Sir Terry Wogan.
A few years ago the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu did likewise providing a 1904 two-seater De Dion-Bouton for TV baker Paul Hollywood, while the renowned Louwman Museum in Holland always supports the event by bringing ‘Genevieve’, the crowd-pleasing Darracq from the much-loved 1953 movie of the same name.
The Haynes Museum based in Sparkford, Somerset, is another notable supporter of the Veteran Car Run. Created on the amazing car collection amassed by motoring enthusiast and automotive manual publisher John Haynes OBE, the Museum is run as a charity with an ethos that its cars and motorbikes are made to be driven.
“Senses are only truly engaged when you see, hear and sometimes smell… … and we’ve always prided ourselves on the work our Workshop and Restoration Centre do to persevere and restore our collection. The museum’s ethos is that cars and motorbikes are living, breathing machines,” says Deputy CEO Chris Scudds.
No surprise, then, that its 1903 Darracq Type L is a regular on the Run. It was crewed by TV ‘Wheeler Dealers’ Edd China and Mike Brewer back in 2013 and more recently by the Museum’s CEO, Chris Haynes.
Last year, it was due to be driven by Bronek Masojada, Chief Executive of Supporting Partner Hiscox Insurance, but sadly – as can be the case with a vehicle that is over 100 years old – it failed to make the start. Undaunted, Masojada will be back behind the wheel in November crossing his fingers for a trouble-free journey all the way to Madeira Drive finish in Brighton.
“The atmosphere and camaraderie of the run came to a head last year when our century old French beauty decided to take the day off. Despite test driving her just weeks before, it simply wasn’t to be,” recalls Masojada who wasn’t left stranded in London and thus still savoured the magical event’s unique appeal.
“Having hitched a lift with a fellow veteran, I can vouch for how enjoyable the Run is whether you’re behind the wheel or experiencing it as a passenger. That said, I’m hoping for a smoother ride to Brighton this time around and have no doubt the run will deliver yet another year of world-class motoring nostalgia.”
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