Vintage racing isn’t exclusive to Goodwood, but there is a certain charm that exists only on the grounds of Lord March’s estate. Perhaps it’s how convincingly the whole thing works as a time machine, with old-fashioned dress, a classic pit setup, and more. Maybe it’s world-class drivers sending some of racing’s most incredible machines through corners, elbows out with little regard other than the checkered flag. Likely, it’s a combination of the two, and much more.
As devotees to the art of driving, we’re thrilled that such an event exists. Here are six of our favorite moments.
Romain Dumas is no stranger to driving right on the limit—he set the lap record for electric cars at the Nürburgring in the Volkswagen ID.R and recently wound around 99 hairpins up China’s Tianmen mountain. Watching him pilot a hulking mass of American iron with a thundering V-8 under the hood is just as transfixing. Dumas threw the 1959 Ford Thunderbird around the track with abandon during a practice session leading up to the St. Mary’s Trophy race.
Lotterer tames the Cobra
Calling the early AC Cobra a “handful” on track is like calling a stick of dynamite “a bit fizzy.” But André Lotterer tames handfuls for a living, and that skill set was on full display as Lotterer stuck the #2 car on pole for the RAC TT Celebration race on Sunday. The RAC TT Celebration class consists of closed-cockpit GT cars built “in the spirit of RAC TT races” from 1960–1964.
We can’t resist a good intracontinental battle, and the Kinrara Trophy race delivered in spades. The Kinrara regulations stipulate closed-cockpit GT cars with displacements of 3-liters or more, that were raced before 1963. Jaguar E-Types and Ferrari 250s headline the action, but we couldn’t get enough of this battle between a Jaguar E-Type Fixed Head Coupe and an Austin Healey 3000 Mk1. It’s a classic battle of power vs. precision, with the Jag running away on the straights only to find the Austin parked in its passenger seat through turns.
Late-’50s prototype racing was filled with experimentation and diverse, achingly beautiful solutions of how to achieve the best lap time. The Sussex Trophy race is for World Championship prototypes and production sports cars built from 1955–1960, and it’s a tour de force of some of racing’s most curvaceous machines. In a race that saw hard-fought battles all over the track, it was racer John Wills in a lightweight, 1960-cc Lotus-Climax 15 that took the flag—it didn’t come easily.
Touring car drama
Touring car racing is a special breed of excitement. The cars are ordinary vehicles massaged into race cars, rather than cars built with racing in mind from the get-go. The last lap of the second race for the St. Mary’s Trophy found the 1958 Austin A40 of Mike Jordan chasing down Grant Williams in a 1959 Jaguar MK1 that resulted in an extremely tight finish. Don’t miss the Studebaker Hawk in the background!
Flight of the Bentleys
Tall, tippy, and positively massive, watching a gaggle of pre-war Bentleys blast around the track was a revelation. You thought dancing a Thunderbird through here was tough? Try it on something with a roll center akin to your father’s pickup and tires as wide as the bike in your garage. And when was the last time you saw someone drop the top during a pit stop?
There are countless other great moments worth checking out from the weekend. Find more of them here at the Goodwood YouTube Channel.