WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOGRAPHY: GOODWOOD
The world must be returning to some semblance of normality, because the Goodwood Members’ Meeting will return to its usual season-opening springtime slot on April 9-10.
Despite being the smallest of Goodwood’s trio of major events, the Members’ Meeting is still a must-see – particularly as it provides the opportunity to witness post-1966 cars racing around the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit.
As is often the case at Goodwood, it’s the demonstration runs that are the most captivating and thrilling aspects of the day. This year’s focus on the shrieking sound of V10-powered Formula 1 cars promises to be especially spectacular.
The F1 demonstration’s roster consists of around 20 cars, although the V10 theme is relaxed a little for the inclusion of several V8 and V12 machines.
Williams’ FW18 is one of the headline cars of the group, particularly as it will be reunited with Damon Hill, who steered the famous Rothmans-liveried car to World Championship glory against Michael Schmacher and Eddie Irvine in 1996.
Several cars from other legendary drivers will also be present, including the championship-winning McLaren MP4/5, McLaren MP4-15 and Benetton B193 of Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen and Schumacher respectively. One of Michael Schuey’s Ferraris, the F310 from the 1997 campaign, will be on static display.
The high-revving nature of old F1 engines is complemented with the perfect course car: Gordon Murray’s GMA T.50 hypercar. As well as playing this role, the GMA T.50 will also take part in the demonstration runs alongside the F1 cars.
Accompanying the T.50 is the exciting global debut of the new GMA T.33 hypercar – although it is understood the car will be used only for static display, ahead of planned live demonstrations later in the year.
The wild Group C era of sports cars will also be celebrated at the Members’ Meeting with a fantastic line-up of 956s and 962s driven by Porsche legends Derek Bell, Tom Kristensen and Richard Attwood, who have 15 Le Mans victories between them.
New for this year is the first-ever tandem drifting demonstration to be held on the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Six of the world’s best drifters including triple Formula Drift champion James Deane will ensure a suitably noisy and smoky debut for drifting at the West Sussex event.
Beyond the demonstration runs, there are plenty of races to look forward to. The Gerry Marshall Trophy for 1970s and 1980s saloon cars creates plenty of nostalgia and thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing as the saloon cars and hatchbacks of yesteryear duel for victory.
For Goodwood’s trademark David vs Goliath racing, the Sopwith Cup for 1950s cars is essential viewing; where else can you watch American land yachts such as a Cadillac Coupe and Lincoln Cosmopolitan take on Renault 4CVs and Morris Minors?
The jewel in the crown of the Members’ Meeting racing schedule is the Surtees Trophy, which consists of fire-spitting Can-Am cars and GT40s thundering around the circuit for the fastest race of the weekend.
There’s also some Revival influence creeping into this year’s Members’ Meeting, with the introduction of motorcycle racing on both days and the Varzi Trophy for French and Italian pre-war Grand Prix cars and voiturettes.
When you have a spare few minutes between the action, it’s worth taking a look at the Auto Artists for Ukraine art sale being held between the startline and the Goodwood shop. The charitable collective of artists have raised £35,000 so far for victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and hope to substantially increase that sum at the Members’ Meeting. All proceeds from the artwork will be donated to the DEC Ukraine Appeal.
While the Festival of Speed and Revival are far bigger events that steal much of the headline space, the Goodwood Members’ Meeting offers the majority of what the others do but in a more relaxed and less busy setting. It’s better to go soon, before the secret is out.
You can stream the event online all weekend here.