Goodwood Members Meeting 2018 – Lord March’s coolest event

Even after their hands have warmed up again and their bones have stopped hurting, participants will remember the Goodwood Members’ Meeting 2018 for decades to come. When was the last time the hills around Lord March’s estate were covered with snow in mid-March? When was the last time drivers had to cope with such wintry conditions at Goodwood’s season opener?

Sitting behind the wheel of a historic racing car on a weekend like that took a hefty dose of British grit and sporting spirit. But drivers refused to be cowed by sub-zero temperatures, a slick track and often-thick flurries of snow; and the duels were as intense as ever. Given the conditions, it’s impossible to praise the driving achievements seen at the 76th edition of the Goodwood Members’ Meeting too highly.

The Members’ Meeting has fewer restrictions than Goodwood’s other flagship events – the Festival of Speed and the Revival. This is true both for the drivers, who can drive much faster, and for spectators, who can get much closer to the paddock and the racing action. The Members’ Meeting has therefore earned a reputation as the most intimate Goodwood event, and the one most tempting for drivers.

Photographer Julien Mahiel was there with his camera, and he has put together a gallery of impressions from the Goodwood Members’ Meeting 2018:

Racing impressions from the Goodwood Members’ Meeting 2018

One of the outstanding highlights was the Moss Trophy for 1960s GT racing cars. In recent years these cars have been regarded as blue-chip collectables, and it was spectacular to see Jaguar E-Types, AC Cobras, Aston Martins and Austin Healeys speeding round the historic course in West Sussex. The race was made even more special by the performance of racing drivers Emanuele Pirro and Lukas Halusa in a Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan.

The Gurney Trophy featured a particularly strong line-up of cars – all prototypes from between 1960 and 1966. They included Can-Am models from McLaren, Lotus and Lola as well as several Ford GT40s.

This year’s Ronnie Hoare Trophy was very much a celebration of Porsche’s 70th anniversary. The first race in the event was for GTs from 1963 to 1966, which included Ferrari 275 GTBs and a lot of Porsche 911s and 904s. The winner was James Cottingham of DK Engineering in a Porsche 904. One of the most impressive cars on show was a Porsche 904 Carrera GTS once driven by Dickie Stoop, who was a fighter pilot before going on to compete at Le Mans. The Goodwood Members’ Meeting 2018 was the first historic racing event to be graced by the moss-green car. Meanwhile, the idiosyncratic Morgan SLR driven by Billy Bellinger stood out clearly from the crowd of Ferraris and Porsches.

Other highlights included victory in the “Caracciola Sportswagenrennen” for the 1928 Alfa Romeo 8C 2500 Monza driven by Christopher Mann. In the demo drive for Group 5 vehicles, the Porsche 935 in Martini livery particularly caught the eye. Former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard also impressed: his drive in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” showed just how difficult the slippery track was, even for a driver of his outstanding caliber.

All photos copyright Julien Mahiels.

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