McLaren F1 GTRs and 1970s F1 machines cause a stir at Goodwood

Sensational on-track displays featuring 1970s high-airbox Formula 1 cars, McLaren F1 GTRs and Group C Le Mans monsters featured heavily on the opening day of the Goodwood 73rd Members’ Meeting.

On a typical early spring day – bright but cold – events of Members’ Meetings past were evoked by non-stop on-track action as over 400 historic racing cars circulated among the half-a-million daffodils planted around the Goodwood Motor Circuit.

A unique demonstration featured the largest on-track collection of McLaren F1 GTRs ever assembled; including Derek Bell in the yellow, Harrods-sponsored car he raced at Le Mans in 1995 plus racing legends Kenny Brack and Steve Soper.

The Members’ Meeting gives an opportunity to witness cars on the Goodwood Motor Circuit that are too recent to have been seen here in period. The 1970s high-airbox F1 contingent included incredible Ferraris, McLarens, Tyrrells, Lotuses and even Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jarier reunited with the Shadow DN5 he last raced 40 years ago; while the Group C demonstration featured recent F1 driver Max Chilton behind the wheel of the Nissan R90CK that Mark Blundell took to pole position at Le Mans in 1990.

Racing in the dark is nothing new to Goodwood and the day came to an end with the GT cars of the 30-minute Graham Hill Trophy racing through the dusk, headlights ablaze. A fitting winner was the AC Cobra of Emanuele Pirro and Sean Lynn following a blistering start by the five-time-Le Mans winner and Goodwood favourite.

“I race with passion,” said the Italian. It was a fitting comment to end of a great day that also featured victories for Andrew Wilkinson (Lynx-Ford Mk3) in the Taylor Trophy and Nigel Garrett (Chevrolet Camaro Z28) in the qualifying race for the Gerry Marshall Trophy.

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