Is Members’ Meeting the best event Goodwood puts on? Probably. It’s also one of the best events on the motorsport calendar.
Last weekend saw the 75th Members’ Meeting taking place, and unlike the more famous Festival of Speed and Revival, this is very racing-centric. The schedule is wall-to-wall qualifying sessions and races, with day one predominantly the former.
Not that the drivers seem to have noticed. Throughout the weekend multi-million-pound Ford GT40s, Bugatti Type 35s and Ferrari 250s have shimmied through chicanes mere inches from their competitors, often wildly oversteering, despite the fact it’s only been qualifying.
One suspects the drivers – lots of them pros, on a weekend away from modern race series – just want two goes at racing their mates behind the wheel of cars lairier and scarier than those in their day job. It’s fantastic to watch. It must be astonishing to be a part of.
Highlights? Qualifying for the Pierpoint Cup saw a whole grid of loopy American muscle cars – mostly Mustangs – sideways almost everywhere and making a joyous racket. The first leg of the Gerry Marshall Sprint race, meanwhile, hosted oodles of old touring cars, from Ford Capris to Rover SD1s via some very punchy little Minis. It was bedlam of the very best kind.
Then there was the GT1 parade, which saw several Le Mans-spec McLaren F1s, Porsche 911s and even a Ferrari F40 on circuit. They weren’t driving with huge commitment, with no grid position or chequered flag to chase. But they still spat flames and demonstrated just how fantastic a well-executed downchange sounds.
Highlights from day two of 75MM included the Graham Hill Trophy, (a bunch of priceless Ferraris and Astons being swarmed by some spectacularly overdriven Lotus Elans) and the Surtees Trophy. Little over a week after the death of John Surtees, the sight of Lolas and GT40s battling it out will be even more meaningful than normal.
If you were there, we hope you enjoyed every second. If you weren’t, come back to TopGear.com for more from the 75th MM. Then start planning how you’ll get to 76MM next year…
Pictures: Drew Gibson/Jayson Fong/Paul Melbert