Two years ago I debuted at the Goodwood Revival in Sean and Laura Danaher’s stunning 1938 Maserati 6CM. I qualified 5th and finished 3rd. Last year it was P2 and P2 respectively and this year many were asking 'could I take the top step?’ I was sure I needed rain to compete with the extra capacity, power, torque and pre-selector grearboxes of the ERAs on Goodwood fantastic sweeps and long straights.
Well once all the signing on, ration books and gongs were dished out Sean, in his Maserati 8CM Grand Prix car and I, in the 6CM headed out onto a dry circuit for qualifying. We were requested to drive the first lap at about 50% to allow all cars to clear the assembly area. There was a magnificent field of 30 cars and it was clear traffic would be an issue so I attacked the first flying lap and secured P1 with a 1 min 32.1 sec lap.
Then came the traffic and I had to abandon several further attempts. Still P1 was on the board but I was sure someone would pip me as there were about 6 fast ERAs and a couple of other cars which could be competitive. Another chance appeared and resulted in a 1 min 31.3 sec lap which set me on pole for the race. This equated to over 94 mph average speed. Apparently this was the first non ERA pole for 13 years. Feeling pleased the next stop was the Veuve Cliquot tent.
Despite pole I was clear that the race would be hard work. Without rain I expected the big ERAs to out drag me down the straights so prepared myself for an 'interesting' race!!
We were due to open the Saturday festivities so lined up at 1000 for the start. I got away well but one car jumped me with a very fast start. Running a tad wide at St Mary's the fastest ERA jumped me on the way to Lavant. This would not do!
Chasing hard I got past the first ERA and set out to close the small gap to the leader. I closed a touch and then had a big moment on oil. This opened the gap and a real challenge was not to be and no rain fell! The power and torque deficit left me trailing and my focus changed to keeping ahead of the chasing pack. P2 with the ever increasing competition it was another great result and with the pole position was a step up from last year.
And it rained on the victory lap! Next year.....
A big thank you to Sean and Laura for putting me in the car and Sam Jordan and Keith for their excellent fettling.
Next stop is the next round of the British Endurance Championship at Silverstone on the International Circuit. So far this year we have had 6 out of 6 poles, fastest laps and wins. We have some stiff competition this week end so will be looking to keep it safe and score well for both the class 2 and overall championships which we are currently leading. Fingers crossed!