Goodwood Fordwater Trophy race celebrates 60 years of 911 with sustainable fuels

Goodwood Fordwater Trophy race celebrates 60 years of 911 with sustainable fuels

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Star-studded Goodwood celebrates past, present and future of 911 racing

2 Racecar customers involved in prep of these 2.0 Cup cars - www.historika.co.uk/ and https://www.neilbainbridge.com/

Goodwood, Great Britain. A spectacular race dedicated to the classic Porsche 911 was a highlight of this year’s Goodwood Revival, held on 8-10 September at the renowned race circuit in West Sussex, on the south coast of England.

The Fordwater Trophy saw an impressive entry of 27 1965 Porsche 911s – and three 1964 901s – join a timed race in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the 911. In addition, each car was powered by sustainably sourced fuels.

A star-studded roster of driver pairings got behind the wheel to deliver a scintillating race. Among those competing were 2009 FIA Formula One World Champion Jenson Button (GB), Porsche test driver Lars Kern (D), former factory Porsche race driver Patrick Long (USA), and 2015 FIA World Endurance Champion Mark Webber (AUS) – the Porsche Brand Ambassador and nine-time GP winner was making his return to competitive motorsport for the first time since hanging up his helmet in 2016. 

Adding to a remarkable and talented field of famous names was the appearance of Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2022 / 2023 Junior Adam Smalley (Lancashire), sharing the No.23 Porsche Classic entry with former Formula One and IndyCar Series driver, Max Chilton (Surrey). New to historic racing and the Goodwood Revival, the British team of Smalley and Chilton were driving the only right-hand drive 911 on the grid. After an encouraging practice session, technical challenges sidelined the team from further running part way through the race, but both drivers were nonetheless thrilled to play a part in the spectacular and atmospheric event. 

The Fordwater Trophy broke new ground as the first historic motor race with a full grid running exclusively on sustainable fuels. In order to take part, Goodwood required competitors to comply with the FIA sustainable fuel requirements which mandate a minimum of 70% advanced sustainable components. In this way, the 911 race at the Revival showcased the practicalities and possibilities for the future of motorsport, with each original, two-litre air-cooled flat-six Porsche 911 powered by advanced fuels from a variety of suppliers, and which required no mechanical modifications to use.

On Friday, drivers were permitted just one hour of track time to familiarise themselves with the challenging nature of both the original 911 and the fast and flowing 2.4 mile Goodwood circuit. The quickest lap times from Friday’s session were used to form the grid for Saturday’s race. Andrew Jordan, 2013 British Touring Car Champion and former Porsche Sprint Challenge GB team entrant, set the fastest time to secure pole position in a car shared with Matt Holme. 

Under cloudless skies, Saturday’s race saw the cars get underway from a standing start and thrill the capacity crowd with 45 minutes of racing, punctuated by a mandatory pit stop for a driver change. The car of Phil Quaife and James Thorpe took the lead early on with the pole-sitters Jordan/Holme slipping back. However, Oliver Webb soon produced a brave overtake at Woodcote corner to put the car he shared with Guy Ziser in front. The race was soon neutralised by the Safety Car when Richard Tuthill found the barriers. 

With three minutes added to the clock, racing got back underway with 28 minutes remaining. As the first pit stops began to take place, Smalley unfortunately made his retirement before Chilton’s stint. Pit stop infringements would see a handful of drivers given 10 second time penalties, but there were no such issues for Mark Webber, who made his return to competitive racing in a 911 shared with Bonamy Grimes. In the second half of the race the 47-year-old Australian used his stint to demonstrate that he has lost none of his speed since being crowned World Endurance Champion with the Porsche 919 Hybrid in 2015.

In the latter stages of the race Jordan accelerated back into the lead and set an electrifying pace. As battles raged all the way around the track, Webber’s performance stood out as he gained several places, including an impressive move to overtake the Webb/Ziser entry for fifth place with a clean run out of the chicane.

Jordan and Holme would accept the winner’s laurels with Quaife/Thorpe second. Former Porsche Carrera Cup GB racers George Gamble and Seb Perez finished one place ahead of the Webber/Grimes 911 which crossed the line having held onto fifth – up four places in total. 

The Revival weekend, and the Fordwater Trophy, brought to a climax a special year of Goodwood celebrations marking 75 years of motor racing at the circuit, 75 years of Porsche sports cars and 60 years of the 911. The bumper anniversary year has included Porsche as the celebrated marque at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and the demonstration of a unique collection of historic cars at the 80th staging of the Goodwood Members’ Meeting earlier in the year.

Comments on the race
Mark Webber (Porsche 911 #116): “It’s been really nice to be invited to take part in this tremendous event. I’ve done very little historic racing, and I even had to get my race licence again. But it’s been very enjoyable! Porsche doesn’t often race here, and it’s unique for the Fordwater Trophy to be dedicated to these beautiful short wheelbase 911s. They’re pretty lively to say the least but everyone’s having a good time. Wherever we can match beautiful classic Porsche machinery like this with modern technology in terms of propulsion and sustainable fuel it has to be a good thing.” 

Adam Smalley (Porsche 911 #23): “It has been a privilege to be here representing Porsche Cars GB. It’s my first time at the Goodwood Revival, and to race alongside Max Chilton, and against names like Mark Webber and Jenson Button, has just been an amazing experience. I’ve grown up racing cars with sequential gearboxes and paddle shifters rather than the ‘H-pattern’ manual lever our 911 has - and you spend the whole time driving sideways which is not the norm for me! I’ve never taken part in a race with a driver change either so it’s all new, exciting and such good fun.” 

Max Chilton (Porsche 911 #23): “The moment I first left the pit lane I loved it. I’ve got a 1973 911 2.7 RS so I know the basis of a classic 911, though these race cars are very different with their skinnier tyres and lower power, so it is not quite the same. I’m relatively inexperienced when it comes to racing historic cars. For example, it’s been 20 years since I’ve competed in a car with a manual gearbox, and that requires a driver to heel and toe! But as a huge Porsche enthusiast it has been an honour to be to asked to drive this 911 for Porsche Cars GB.”

Paul Kitchen (Porsche Classic, Porsche Cars GB): “Porsche Classic attends Goodwood Revival every year, where we demonstrate our range of original equipment spare parts with live demonstrations. This weekend, our colleagues from the Porsche restoration facility in Germany were working on a 911 body shell and restoring a steering wheel and a seat from a Porsche 928. Overall, we’re here to engage with the Porsche community at this great event. Customers appreciate our knowledge and enjoy buying products from us. And to mark 60 years of the 911 with our classic 2.0 race car joining the Fordwater Trophy is very special.”


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