Now into their third year of sponsorship, JD Classics are attending this year’s Goodwood Revival with a total of 8 cars both competing on track and on display throughout the weekend.
Wet weather set the scene for the weekend’s racing as the Lister Maserati of Nick Riley was first to qualify for JD Classics in the Madgwick Cup. With the rain coming down heavily, the 15-minute session got underway and conditions proved treacherous for all 28 cars as developing standing water hampered the field’s performance. The JD Classics Lister Maserati of Nick Riley managed to avoid becoming a victim of the weather conditions to qualify in 19th place.
With the weather continuing to worsen, qualifying for St Mary’s Trophy was also hampered with a first lap incident causing the session to be red flagged. With the field congregated in the pit lane as the stranded car be recovered, the team took advantage of the time to check over the formidable looking Jaguar MKVII which, in the two-driver race had former Formula 3000 driver Nicolas Minassian behind the wheel. As the session restarted and with little over 10 minutes left of the session, many a car continued to fall foul of the challenging on track conditions with the Sunbeam Rapier of Chris Harris skidding through Woodcote Corner just before the chequered flag. Managing to control the sheer size of the MK7 and remaining unscathed throughout qualifying, the JD Classics car ran consistently to qualify in 25th place ahead of Friday afternoon’s second session.
Friday afternoon saw the first appearance of the weekend of JD Classics’ resident driver Chris Ward qualifying the 1965 Ford GT40 in the Whitsun Trophy session. An 29 car array of big powerful pre 1966 sportscar prototypes, the 15 minute session began. As so many before, the Cooper T61 of Chris Jolly experienced just how tricky the on track conditions had become after an afternoon of rain spinning off on the out lap.
With under 10 minutes left of the session and with the JD Classics GT40 sitting in 18th place, Chris Ward pushed through on a flying lap hoping to get a clear run of the Goodwood circuit and successfully charged the GT40 up into 2nd place. Despite a good lap, the late surge of two fellow GT40’s and the powerful Lola T70 of Mike Whitaker meant that when the chequered flag fell the JD Classics GT40 qualified in a solid 4th position.
With no time to spare for the resident driver, Chris Ward had no longer jumped out of the GT40 then he was back behind the driver’s seat this time in the familiar Cooper Jaguar T33. Having competed in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy for the past three years and taking the win in 2015, both car and driver were familiar front runners to the grid. Despite the rain now easing off, the standing water on track still made for precarious conditions. Remaining unfazed and as the chequered flag fell at the end of the session, the JD Classics Cooper T33 had claimed an impressive pole position over a second ahead of the Aston Martin DB3 of Rob Hall.
The ease up in rain didn’t last long as the heavens opened up just in time for the second of the St Mary’s Trophy qualifying second this time with JD Classics MD Derek Hood behind the wheel. The field of pre-1959 saloon cars continued to struggle with the conditions and a stranded Jaguar MK1 saw the 15 minutes finish under the yellow flag. Having navigated the difficult driving conditions, the JD MKVII finished the session in 25th place and with an average overall position from both sessions, the MKVII will line up on the grid in 25th place ahead of Saturday afternoon’s race.
The driving duo of Chris Ward and Gordon Shedden made their return to the Goodwood Revival this year in the distinctive green Jaguar E-Type ‘1196 WK’ for the afternoon’s RAC TT Celebration free practice session. A chance to shake down the car and refamiliarize themselves with the circuit, dropped oil meant that once again another session was red flagged and the grid were returned to the pit lane. With Chris Ward handing over the drive to Gordon and the team checking over the car in the process, the session re started allowing the field of closed cockpit GT cars to get a feel for the cars ahead of Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.
With all the weekend’s on-track excitement, JD Classics were also pleased to have their 1965 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter on display in the paddock throughout the weekend which was used in period as a team transporter for the Alan Mann Cobra race team. JD Classics also displayed their 1952 Connaught A6 which was also on static display as part of the weekend's tribute to Ecurie Ecosse. Purchased by the team, the Connaught was prepped to race for the 1953 season; just one of many vehicles paying homage over the weekend to the Scottish team including the customer Jaguar XK120 of Steve Ward. In its distinctive Ecosse blue livery, the car was invited to take part in the weekend’s demonstrations and parades.
A stark contrast to the day previous, Saturday’s racing began in dry, sunny and warm conditions as the Lister Maserati of Nick Riley lined up on Row 7 of the grid ahead of the start of the weekend’s Madgwick Cup. A flying start as the lights went green saw the Maserati soar past his adversaries to gain three places from the line now running in 15th place. With the track now dried out from Friday’s all day drenching, competing cars were now pushing more than ever in a bid to claim position. Maintaining several consistently timed laps, the JD Classics Maserati managed to overtake a further two cars to finish the race in an impressive 13th place; a fantastic first competitive appearance for both driver and car together at Goodwood Revival.
Chris Ward was first in the driver’s seat for the RAC TT Celebration qualifying session as the distinctive Jaguar E-Type ‘1196’ headed out onto track. Quick to deliver Chris Ward achieved a pole sitting time of 1:25.6 on his first flying lap. The Ferrari 250 GTO of Frank Stippler and Andy Newall however was hot on the heels and within one more lap had clinched the pole position from the JD E-Type. With just under 15 minutes of the session remaining, Chris handed the drive over to Gordon and returned to the field in an attempt to beat the Ferrari’s time of 1:25.476.
Despite its retirement due to an incident through Woodcote, the front running Ferrari still continued to maintain the session’s fastest lap and as the chequered flag edged ever nearer, the pressure was on for Gordon Shedden to produce a flying lap time. Suffering a spin through St Mary's, the E-Type was quickly corrected and able to re-join just in time to squeeze in one more lap. Continuing to match the Ferrari’s sector times, the front row was going to sparated by only the smallest of gaps and as the JD car flew through the chicane and down towards the chequered flag to complete a 1:25.440 pipping the pole position by 0.038 of a second.
With the pole sitting GT40 of Mike Jordan penalised to the back of the grid, the JD Classics GT40 was promoted to the front row of the grid sittin in 3rd place ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Whitsun Trophy. Under familiarly wet conditions, Chris Ward followed the now pole sitting GT40 of Nick Padmore and the Lola T70 of Mike Whitaker off the start line as the field roared down into Madgwick corner. Despite the slippery on track conditions, Chris Ward was already challenging for position and by the end of the first lap had claimed the 2nd place spot. An incident on the first lap saw the safety car deployed grouping the field together as the stranded Hamill-Chevrolet was recovered from the track. With an extra 3 minutes adding to the race to make up for the time lost behind the safety car, the race got back underway with the two front running GT40s closer than ever with a 0.6 second gap separating them. Coming down into the start finish straight side by side, Chris Ward edged into the lead as the race entered its latter stages. Just 0.6 seconds behind, Nick Padmore remained on the attack until a spin allowed the JD car to pull away into the lead with a 6 second advantage. Despite experiencing traffic through the backmarkers, Chris Ward took the chequered flag 3 seconds ahead of Nick Padmore’s fellow GT40.
With no time to rest, Chris Ward jumped from the GT40 to the Cooper T33 for Saturday’s final race, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy. Due to a technical infringement, the Cooper now lined up at the back of the grid with the now pole sitting Aston Martin DB3 leading the field away from the grid. With 28 cars all vying for the title, the JD Classics Cooper refused to hang around and by the end of the first lap had claimed 14 places.
As the time continued to tick ever closer to the chequered flag, the Cooper maintained its charge and by Lap 5 was up to 2nd place and closing in on the front running DB3 of Rob Hall. With just over 10 minutes remaining, the race for the lead became a heated one with the Aston Martin valiantly fending off the advances of the persistant Cooper T33. Challenging for the lead, the Aston Martin continued to fight off the Cooper’s advances and as they entered the final lap, the cars ran side by side down into the first corner at which the JD Cooper snuck through the inside and took a second consecutive win with a gap of 0.2 seconds. A short lived victory for the JD Classics team, the Cooper T33 was awarded a five second penalty thus demoting Chris Ward to 2nd place.
An mechanical gremlin saw the MKVII take early retirement from the first of the St Mary’s Trophy on Saturday afternoon in the first of the two part race. Sunday afternoon’s second race was this time captained by JD Classics MD Derek Hood and starting from Row 10 drove a consistent race in spite of the previous day’s technical issue to finish in 22nd place.
The weekend’s focal race, the RAC TT Celebration’s 29 car strong grid lined up ahead of the 60-minute session behind the JD Classics Jaguar E-Type of Chris Ward and Gordon Shedden. Driving the first stint, Chris Ward got off to a slow start slipping down to 5th with the AC Cobra of father-son duo David and Oliver Hart taking an early lead. Despite the initial mistake, by the end of Lap 3 the JD Classics E-Type had fought its way through the powerful gaggle of Cobra’s and now running in 2nd place. 10 minutes in and edging ever closer to the leading Cobra, the E-Type ran wide through St Mary’s which slipped the car back down into 4th place. With another lap and now up into 3rd, the advance towards the 2nd placed Cobra of Andrew Smith and Olly Bryant began as the two began to tussle for position. Running side by side through much of the next couple of laps eventually resulted in the two cars touching causing the Cobra to spin and lose position.
With a gap of just 1.6 seconds behind the front runner and with 40 minutes of the race remaining, the pit window opened and very quickly the team called in the E-Type for its mandatory driver changeover. A quick stop saw the car return to the race with Gordon Shedden behind the wheel and with the leading Cobra pitting a lap later, the race was on to try and complete a flying lap to steal the lead. An equally quick pit stop from the Hart duo however saw the Cobra rejoin to maintain the lead. Within a couple of laps of rejoining the grid, the front running Cobra began to experience problems dropping coolant on the track. As the race approached the halfway stage and despite instruction to return to the pits immediately, the AC Cobra of now Oliver Hart continued to race in an attempt to hold of the advances of the JD E-Type. With just 12 minutes remaining, the Cobra succumbed to the issue with the car and retired with a mechanical failure having already sustained a five second penalty for clipping the chicane a few laps previous. With Gordon and the JD Classics Jaguar now at the front of the field, the lead was extended over the following laps over the now 2nd placed sitting Cobra of Wolfe and Gans. Due to contact with the Cobra of Andrew Smith and Ollie Bryant in the early stages of the race, the front running JD car was awarded a 30 second penalty thus handing the victory to Michael Gans and Andy Wolfe with the E-Type completing the RAC TT Celebration in 2nd.