The Goodwood Circuit’s layout hasn’t changed since 1948, apart from the addition of a soft chicane before the main straight, which decreased top speeds just enough that Lord March could refurbish and re-open the track for the first Goodwood Revival in 1998. Rest assured, the circuit is plenty fast still even after this tweak, which means that if you’re racing a 1960s Mini Cooper against the big guns here, your only chance to make up time is through the corners. Keeping your momentum requires all conceivable revs and total commitment, because a Mini just won’t catch a V-8 Ford Galaxie 500 in the straights. In fact, it will have a hard time overtaking even a tiny Lotus Elan.
The #76 1963 Mini Cooper S belongs to Mini-builder and racer Nick Swift of Swiftune Engineering fame; if anybody knows his way around Goodwood on three wheels, it’s him. Hop aboard as he battles it out with fellow Mini-maniac Nick Padmore, who’s also in a Cooper S with a Swiftune engine at full tilt. In the following onboard video, Swift explains how he attacks each corner: four-wheel drifting at Madgwick so he can go flatout through Fordwater, still not braking though St. Mary’s, notching down only one gear for Lavant, and keeping it right on the edge at 118 mph across Woodcote…. just before making it through the chicane for a top-speed run down the straight.
Forget Formula 1, vintage racing is where it’s at.