With only 3 days since we were racing at Snetterton in David Mason's fantastic Ferrari 458 GT3 (see last report) we packed up and headed off to the wonderful Goodwood Revival.
I was again very privileged to race Sean and Laura Danaher's stunning 1938 Maserati 6CM Grand Prix car in the Goodwood Trophy for the fourth year running. So far I had qualified/ finished 5/3, 2/2 and 1/2 so everyone was asking me if I was finally going to stand atop the podium!! No pressure then.....
With all the paperwork and formalities done we lined up in the collecting area ready to be first on track for qualifying. I had set my plan and decided to go like a bat out of hell straight away and try to set a time very early in case of heavy traffic, oil or rain. It would also get me up to speed quickly as I had not driven the car since the Donington Historic Festival in early May. This worked a treat and first time round P1 was on the board. I kept at it expecting others to get into their stride, as I am up against the very fast and powerful 2 litre ERAs, but each time I raced by it was still P1!! Others may have had problems but the 6CM was perfect and handling like a dream. The session came to an end without change and I was on pole at Goodwood for the secong year running!
Now the pressure was really on especially as all the weather forcasts were for rain the next morning. Usually I pray for rain but in this case we run a small disadvantage....
After suitable celebration and with much anticipation my attention moved to next day's race. It was the most competitive field we have had and there were around 8 cars which could have a good go at winning. This was going to be tough.
Leading the field round to the start it was dry and then the drops started appearing on my windshield. My heartbeat increased and I was expecting to be swamped off the line. However, when the flag dropped it was dry enough and my timing was good. I shot into the lead and, expecting the big ERA's to come blasting past down the first straight, tucked my head down and went to work.
This was all good until the main straight when Mark Gillies in ERA R3A just drove past me down the main straight. Oh, for that power and troque!! Now the rain started to fall and the grip disappeared. Oversteer and wheelspin increased with every corner and down every straight. This was.....exciting!! I tried to hold onto the ERA but he edged away from me until, around lap 4 he signalled into the Pits. I could not believe my eyes and was back in the lead.
It was now all about a tactical drive and not falling off. The rain increased and visibility decreased. I watched my pit board and the gap grew from 8 to over 10 seconds. Then, as it got wetter the tables turned and the gap shrunk by about 2 seconds a lap. I focussed hard and worked out that I needed to increase my pace a fraction to give me the gap I needed. This worked well and with 2 laps to go we had a 3.2 second gap. Enough but not comfortable in any way!! Puddles were forming and grip was sparse but I kept it on the island and next time round the gap was 7.7 secs. My chaser had made a big mistake and as long as I didn't do anything silly I was on for it!
That was a long lap but up came the chequered flag for my first win at Goodwood and the first win for a non ERA in the Goodwood Trophy for 10 years. We had done it and the victory lap in the lashing rain was sweet!!
A huge thank you to Sean and Laura for putting me in the car and to Sam and Keith for spannering. It is still sinking in. We have won the two most important races of the year: The Nuvolari Trophy (only won by ERAs until this year) and the Goodwood Trophy (won by ERAs for the last 10 years). It doesn't get much better than that.
The highlights are here https://www.facebook.com/GoodwoodRRC/videos/1287835744560089/