The 2017 historic racing calendar will this weekend kick off for JD Classics as they attend the 75th Goodwood Members Meeting with a strong seven car line-up. Leading the team will be the Patrick Motorsport Rover SD1 which having raced regularly at the meeting will hope to re-claim its victory from 2014. Competing cars throughout the weekend also consist of our GT40, Costin Lister, Lister Knobbly, Cooper T45 and the newest addition to the team, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2600 Monza which will make its JD debut in the weekend's Varzi Trophy race. The ex-Tom Walkinshaw Jaguar XJS will also demonstrate its powerful touring car prowess during the weekend’s Group A demonstrations.
With a host of on-track action to enjoy, JD Classics will also be hosting a suite throughout the weekend. Located adjacent to the pits, the Jackie Stewart Pavilion allows invited guests to enjoy its prime track side position whilst enjoying JD Classics’ hospitality.
A cold and damp start to the weekend, the Gerry Marshall Trophy qualifying session got underway as the field were deployed from the pit lane and onto the track. With damp on track conditions, traction proved tricky for the JD Classics Rover as Chris Ward battled against the weather. Completing six laps and currently running in 1st place, Chris brought the Rover into the pits handing the remainder of the qualifying session to Gordon Shedden. With the car continuing to battle against the treacherous conditions and struggling for traction, the Rover SD1 qualified in 8th position ahead of Saturday evening’s 60 minute Gerry Marshall Trophy race.
On its first competitive outing for JD Classics, the Cooper T45 of John Young had a vast field of fellow single seater Grand Prix cars all vying for pole position to compete against. With weather conditions failing to improve, it wasn’t long before the 20 minute session was red flagged and the field were brought into the pits whilst a stranded car was recovered. 10 minutes later and with play now resumed, the field returned to the track to make good the remaining 8 minutes of the session. Running in third place until the final lap, the Cooper Climax of Gareth Burnett managed to claim position with John Young qualifying in 4th place.
Taking part in the weekend’s Group A demonstrations, the Tom Walkinshaw Racing Jaguar XJS demonstrated its powerful touring car qualities as it took to the track amongst fellow power houses such as Rover’s and BMW’s. Driven by sports and touring car driver Steve Soper, the daily ten minute high speed demonstrations proved a popular addition to the weekend’s on-track action.
The powerful Costin Lister of Chris Ward and Lister Knobbly of Derek Hood took to the track for the Scott Brown Trophy qualifying. Paying homage to the iconic British marque, a 25 strong field of Lister’s headed out onto track for the 15 minute session. Running a fast first lap, the Lister of Chris Ward began its charge as he continued to improve on his time with every lap. Looking set for a 2nd place, the Lister Knobbly of Jon Minshaw made a late surge and claimed the 2nd place with a gap of just 0.2 seconds separating the pair. Derek Hood’s Lister Knobbly also ran consistently despite being caught in traffic.
As the racing progressed into the afternoon so the weather conditions improved and the track dried as the Alfa Romeo Monza took to the track for its debut outing with JD Classics. Driven by Derek Hood, the session was a chance for the team to familiarise the car with the track ahead of tomorrow’s race. After three laps however the Alfa came into the pits complaining of a misfire. Having been checked over by the team, the car was soon back out onto the track. With another couple of laps the problem had cleared and completed the 15 minute qualifying session without further problems.
The final qualifying session for the JD Classics team was for the Surtees Trophy and combined a powerful field of GT40s, Lola T70’s and Chevrolet’s. Chris Ward was once again behind the wheel and as expected put in consistently competitive times producing a 1:22.7 as his fastest. Despite such competitive times the session was dominated by the Lola T70 Spyder of Simon Hadfield and Tony Sinclair who qualified in 1st and 2nd respectively. In spite of this, the GT40 still maintained the pace to claim 8th position on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Saturday afternoon’s The Gerry Marshall Trophy was the first of the weekend’s races for JD Classics and with the Rover SD1 of Chris Ward and Gordon Shedden sitting in 8th position, there was work to be done. As the flag fell and the field roared away from the grid, Chris Ward got off to a flying start powering up into 3rd place by the time the field had come down into Madgwick. By the end of the first lap, the JD Rover was now leading the field in a strong 1st position. Continuing to build up the lead over the coming laps, the Chevrolet Camaro of Stuart Graham and Nigel Garrett began its charge continuing to match the Rover’s pace and within four laps, the two tussling front runners started to encounter traffic from back markers. With both cars negotiating the traffic successfully, the chase continued, however on lap 8, the Camaro ceased an opportunity to steal the lead as they remained close until the pit window opened.
Coming in for his changeover on Lap 17, Chris Ward handed the drive to Gordon Shedden who, thanks to a quick stop by the JD Classics team re-joined the race in 2nd place. Now 38 seconds behind the Camaro, Gordon had to maintain the pace. Lap 21 and the front running car finally made its stop; an opportunity the JD Rover took full advantage of. A slow pit stop meant that by the time the Chevrolet Camaro returned to the track, the Rover SD1 was now a clear 46 seconds in the lead ahead of the now second placed Ford Capri of Andy Priaulx and Patrick Watts with the Camaro now sitting in 3rd.
As the race entered the final 25 minutes, Gordon Shedden continued to pull away from the field extending the Rover’s lead to 53 seconds. With the Camaro now on a late surge, it wasn’t long before the Chevrolet had worked its way back up into 2nd place. A heavy crash into the tyres for the Mazda RX7 of Mike Wilds and Ian Cowley on Lap 27 saw the safety car deployed closing the field back up and losing the JD Classics Rover its significant lead. After five laps behind the safety car and with the stranded Mazda now recovered, the race resumed and the JD Rover continued its charge around the Goodwood circuit undeterred for another four laps to take the chequered flag a clear 13 seconds ahead of the Chevrolet Camaro of Graham and Ollie Bryant.
The weather got Sunday off to a cold and windy start as the field of rear engine Grand Prix cars lined up on the grid for the Brabham Trophy. John Young made a flying start behind the wheel of the JD Classics Cooper T45 moving up to 3rd by the first corner and by Lap 2 was hot on the heels of the 2nd placed Lotus Climax of Sam Wilson. Having dropped back into 4th place by Lap 3, John Young chased the Cooper Climax of Roger Wills as they battled it out for position with only 0.1 seconds separating them to the chequered flag. Despite applying the pressure, the JD Cooper was unable to pass its adversary and so claimed a respectable 4th place. A great first outing with JD Classics for the single seater T45.
A flying start for the JD Classics Costin Lister saw the Scott Brown Trophy race get off to a high octane start. Racing up from 3rd position, Chris Ward drove the car into a flying lead as the field headed down into Madgwick however by the end of Lap 1, the Costin Lister was now running in second behind the Lister Knobbly of Phil Keen. The Knobbly of Derek Hood was also on a charge having gained three positions in the first lap alone. Not to be outdone, Chris Ward responded to the front running Knobbly’s speed by producing a lap time of 1:24.6; the fastest lap time achieved in the Lister to date.
By Lap 8 and with just 7 minutes remaining, the two front running cars had pulled away from the rest of the field with 17 seconds separating the JD Costin from the Knobbly of Sam Hancock. As the race reached its final stages, leader Phil Keen continued to dominate the race and with a gap of 9.6 seconds took the chequered flag with a well-deserved 2nd place for the JD Classics Costin Lister of Chris Ward. The Lister Knobbly of Derek Hood also ran a strong race and maintained position having made up three places at the start of the race.
Comprising of both Italian and French pre-war grand prix cars, a variety of the finest racing examples lined up ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Varzi Trophy race. The impressive Alfa Romeo Monza of Derek Hood lined up on the grid amongst a field of contemporaries including Maserati’s, Talbot’s and fellow Alfa Romeo’s. With the rain continuing to hold off, the field pulled up into their starting positions on the grid ahead of the 20 minute race. Despite it being the car’s first outing at Goodwood for JD Classics, this didn’t deter Derek Hood from testing the car’s limits having moved up a place by the end of the second lap alone. Running well throughout the race, the Alfa came across the finish line without fault.
A 15 minute sprint race, the second Gerry Marshall Trophy race on Sunday afternoon got underway as the influx of saloon cars took off from the starting grid. A reverse grid for this race, the Rover SD1 of Chris Ward started the race in 19th place and within the first lap alone had fought through the field up into 9th place. Maintaining the momentum, the Rover was soon running in 9th position with little sign of slowing down as by Lap 3, Chris Ward was now running in 5th.
Racing wheel to wheel alongside fellow Patrick Motorsport Rover of Stuart Hall, both cars powered towards the chicane with Chris Ward making a bold move taking the outside line and moving through into 4th place. Another half a lap and now into 2nd, the front running GTI Volkswagen MK1 of Jim Morris was now within sight. With five minutes remaining, the Rover made its move as the two cars ran side by side down the start finish straight before pulling ahead and into the lead down into Madgwick. Increasing the lead over the final couple of laps, the JD Classics Patrick Motorsport Rover crossed the finish line to take a double victory in the weekend’s Gerry Marshall Trophy.
The final race of the weekend, the Surtees Trophy celebrated the life of the race’s late namesake. Led by Lord March in a Lola T70 similar to the one used by John Surtees to win the inaugural Can-Am title in 1966, the field of sports prototypes did a lap of honour whilst cars in the paddock revved their engines in celebration of the great World Champion.
Starting from 8th position, the race looked set to be an exciting finale to the weekend. A clean start for the JD GT40, the field were led away by the Lola T70 of Simon Hadfield. As darkness descended over the iconic Goodwood circuit, a crash between a Cooper Chevrolet and Ford GT40 led to the deployment of the safety car. With Chris Ward now running in 6th, the field were grouped together with 15 minutes remaining. With the debris cleared, the race got underway again and the JD Classics GT40 raced home to a respectable 5th place in the last race of the 75th Members Meeting at Goodwood.