Words and Photography: Jonny Smith
With this weekend being the 76th Member's Meeting, I thought I would bring you a quick recap of last year's 75th event.
Held at the Goodwood Race Circuit, this legendary event is 1 of 3 held throughout the year, the others being: The Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival.
Over 2 days the event lets you get up close and personal witnessing race cars from all different eras racing, recreating the early days and the spirit from decades before.
Goodwood plant tens of thousands of daffodils, these have become the unofficial symbol of the event, their colour is shined upon to what can be quite a gloomy landscape.
The range of history that was on display stretched quite possibly to the beginning of motorsport itself. The pre-war era, spitting flames and roaring thunder as they passed, it was a spectacle to watch.
The Group A demonstration was also here, with the iconic BMW E30s, world dominating Sierra S500s and many others. But the main attraction, a favourite for me and I would guess many of you around the same age was the incredible GT1 era cars, Mclaren F1s, Porsche 911s, Mercedes CLK and even a Lotus Elise. It was awesome to see this class pace around the track, a slight glimpse into what it must have been like back in the 90's.
I think one of the great parts which can go overlooked, which really helps you enjoy everything, is the deliberate low-level attendance. Nothing like the sea of people at Festival of Speed. This lets you get really close and take an in-depth look at pretty much anything you're interested in and for us photographers, not having people constantly walking in front of the lens. It just adds to the already quite relaxed mood in the paddocks and when a car starts up you have a good chance of getting right up close and take in everything.
With the meeting not just being a static display, all the cars in the paddock at some point would eventually go on track. By on track, I do mean racing, and racing hard too. This is no fancy parade around the Goodwood circuit. Unfortunately, with this being racing, the odd accident does happen now and then and here no car is spared. Unlucky for some, like one of the McLaren F1s, this was the case. Ending up in one of the tyre barriers, with the owner, none other than Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason simply saying in a follow-up interview, "These are racecars, they're meant to be raced and pushed to the edge, not locked up in a garage". A GT40 and a single seater were also unlucky.
If you can get tickets to this exclusive event you will surely enjoy the entire weekend, It's an event the true enthusiast would enjoy and appreciate the efforts involved in getting all these historic cars together to do what they were designed for, RACE.
We were unable to attend this year but we wish all the owners and drivers the best of luck and hope the weather didn't put to much of a dampener on things.