Photographer: Scott Paterson | Words: Joe Allard
Alarm goes off at 4.45am, roll out of bed, grab the pre-packed overnight bag and set Waze to Goodwood Motor Circuit. Message your co-pilots that your going to be fashionably late and make haste to catch the sunrise.
We arrive to the sound of V8's burbling, Swift Tune Mini's rasping and a wee Scottish photographer complaining of his mouldy ham sandwiches. Mouldy sandwiches aside, we make our way to the smell of fuel and coffee. This is the 77th Member's Meeting.
This event is not just about the gathering of cars from all periods of racing, Its the gathering of people and the stories told from all era's, Engineers, Owners, Racers and fans all exchanging stories and memories in the pit area, which makes for some good ear wigging and an amazingly unique atmosphere.
Where else can you get up a close with ex le man legends, multiple M1 Procars and Top Gear/Youtube extraordinaire Chris Harris prepping the Swift Tune Mini he was racing for that weekend? Some say the highlight of the weekend is the racing but for us, it's walking around the pits, meeting the owners of the cars and the attack on the senses. Whether its flames firing out from a pre war racer, your eyes burning from the fuel or your ears bleeding from cold starting V8's.
The racing was entertaining to say the least. But one particular race stood out amongst all others, the Betty Richmond Trophy Race. Consisting of 60 period correct mini's split in two groups of 30, it made for some memorable moments, the way these things hit chicanes is something that any petrolhead should experience. The final race was the pick of the bunch and of course, Nick Swift of Swift Tune took home the trophy and deservedly so. If you ever get a chance to poke your nose around a Swift Tune prepped mini, take full advantage of it. They are a work of art and British engineering at its finest.
We lost Scott for a majority of Saturday morning as those who know him, know that his heart lays with anything from the BMW M stable and for 5 M1 Procars to be sitting there, soaking in the morning sunrise and not a soul around them, it was perfect time to pour over the details, including the Jim Beam liveried 1979 car.
On the whole, it's very difficult to put Member's Meeting in to words. You can only write so much to try and capture someones imagination and take them to that place. I know I've mentioned it already but the atmosphere is something to be experienced and if you ever do, for a petrol head, it's a slice of what heaven on earth.