The 2022 GRRC 79th Members Meeting was an absolute blast and made all the more enjoyable seeing a batch of V10 F1 cars taking to the circuit for demo runs!
79MM RETURNED TO ITS REGULAR PLACE IN THE CALENDAR, AND I WAS DETERMINED TO ATTEND AS IT WOULD BE MY FIRST.
The Members Meeting formula is relatively simple – invite owners and drivers of historic motor racing cars (some of them extremely valuable) – to race their precious machines around the old airfield circuit in the Sussex Downs and allow members of the organising Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) and their guests to come along to watch the fun. Around this core activity, the GRRC has created an event that resembles a big, noisy private garden party, with visitors encouraged to adopt country-style or period attire and generally soak up the atmosphere of one of the classic car world’s most exclusive yet informal and relaxed occasions.
Because the event is open only to GRRC members and guests, numbers are limited, making moving around the circuit and the paddocks much more comfortable than at the similarly themed but significantly bigger Goodwood Revival. However, despite its more intimate scale, there is still a huge amount to take in and enjoy and I hope I’ll be able to convey some of what this splendid event is like.
I attended with my equally enthusiastic family (wife and 2 sons) and we rolled trouble-free into the car park just before 9.30 after the 90-minute drive up from Bournemouth on what was a very chilly but beautifully bright and clear Saturday morning. First order of the day was a quick comfort break, and then hit the paddocks.
This year, there were two ‘high speed demsnstrations’: the 40th anniversary of Porsche’s much-celebrated 956 and 962 Group C racers offered the perfect excuse for a sumptuous gathering of 1980s Le Mans favourites that ran into a picturesque sunset on Saturday evening but it was the other demo that grabbed headline status, as Goodwood gathered a mixed bag of “V10-engined” 1990s Formula 1 cars. The quote marks are important, because most of them were actually V8s…
But it didn’t matter. Modern-era F1 cars are tough even for the Duke of Richmond’s renowned team of hunter-gatherers to coax out, because they’re rare and fiendishly expensive to run, plus transporting anything from the continent is harder than it used to be.
Aside from the obvious visual appeal of these iconic racers, there isn’t much that can compare to the scream of these V8 and V10 engines reverberating across the Goodwood Estate. You feel them as much as hear them, and ear plugs are recommended.
Memories of past heroes came flooding back as a collection of F1 legends including the McLaren MP4/5B that took Ayrton Senna to the 1990 world championship showcased exactly why this era is remembered so fondly by fans.
Also among the main attractions of this spectacular demo were Michael Schumacher’s Benetton B193 and the Arrows A11 that broke the Goodwood lap record at SpeedWeek presented by Mastercard back in 2020. Thank you 1,000,000 times over to the generous owners who were willing to put their cars out on track – what an amazing demo.
Which brings us to the actual racing. The Members Meeting featured very different classes ranging from a single bike race over multiple saloon and formula races to the sports cars from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Some of these races are known from the Revival although they mostly carry different names and slightly modified entry years. The main race at the MM was the Graham Hill Trophy and consisted of several Jaguar E-Type and AC Cobras. A few big names like house captain Emanuele Pirro and the first Porsche Le Mans winner Richard Attwood were entered in the race and at the end it was the pole sitting Jaguar E-Type of Minshaw / Keen that took the chequered flag with a comfortable lead over the Ferrari 250 GTO/64 rep of Franchitti and Pastorelli.
We are looking forward to the Festival of Speed and the Revival later this year and we have also marked the 80th Members Meeting to take part next April.