Chichester, 9th - 10th of April, 2022
Until the closure of the circuit the GRRC held 71 members meetings and in 2014 the team of Lord March
revived the idea of a pure race meeting for their members as a third leg for the motor sport to stand on, the
72nd Members Meeting was held early in that year. Now, after a two-year break after being hit by the
pandemic it was finally time for the 79th edition this last weekend. In 11 different classes cars and bikes
were invited to Chichester on a two days meeting with some familiar classes from the Revival meeting but
also some different ones alternating through the years for variety.
This year’s feature was dedicated to the legendary Porsche 956/962 that should dominate the early Group C
era with no less than 6 successive victories at Le Mans between 1982 and 1987. It took the competitors all
those years to come up with an answer to the very fast and reliable 956 from Zuffenhausen that was
developed by the team of Norbert Singer. In its first outing at LM the works Porsche team with the famous
Rothmans livery took the entire podium with their three cars showing that they had speed and reliability. In
1983 Porsche might have seen its most dominant year in LM and the results list show no less than 9
Porsche 956 in the top ten resulting in the epic advertisement showing the winners list with the suffix
“Nobody´s perfect”. This also showed that Porsche was never purely a factory team but also supported
customer teams just like in the early days of the Porsche 550 or 718 RSK where privateers made Porsche
the most successful sports car marque with the most race victories worldwide. Those team included Joest
Racing but also the American Preston Henn T-Bird Swap Shop Racing that showed that one of the most
important markets was the American one. This resulted also in the development of the 956 successors, the
The problem of the 956 was that it did not match the regulations of the American IMSA series and so the car
was restricted to the world sports car championship, whereas the 962 with a longer wheelbase (to get the
drivers feet behind the front axle) met both regulations and therefore was eligible for both series, the engine
was used depending of the requirements. This resulted in the name 962 for the American series car and the
962C for Group C racing. About 20 examples of the turbocharger flat-6 were on display at the MM and most of
them were actually driven on the track making this a glorious sight, especially at Saturday evening when they
drove into the sunset after being displayed for the public grid walk on the main straight.
The second special demonstration was dedicated to F1 of the V8 era from 1989-2005. Originally planned as a
two-part demonstration a lot of cars did not run as they are extremely costly and difficult to maintain so at the
end it came down to a single demonstration of various cars. The Ferrari of the Schumacher era unfortunately
remained silent as they are extremely difficult to run without the guidance of the Ferrari F1 clienti team.
Overall, the demo was not as spectacular as expected but still with some highlights. From the factory at
Woking McLaren brought a MP4/5B as used by Senna in his championship winning 1990 season. No other
than his nephew Bruno Senna was piloting the MP4/5B around Goodwood and he certainly got most of the
media attention that day.
Which brings us to the actual racing. The Members Meeting featured very different classes ranging from a
single bike race over multiple saloon and formula races to the sports cars from the 1930s to the 1960s. Some
of these races are known from the Revival although the mostly carry different names and slightly modified
entry years. The main race of the Revival is usually the two-drivers GT race of the 1960s, the RAC Trophy. At
the MM this is the Graham Hill Trophy and consists of several Jaguar E-Type and AC Cobras. Although a few
big names like house captain Emanuele Pirro or the first Porsche Le Mans winner Richard Attwood were
entered in the race it certainly lacks the flood of celebrity racers of the Revival counterpart. At the end it was
the pole sitting Jaguar E-Type of Minshaw/Keen that took the chequered flag with a comfortable lead over the
Ferrari 250 GTO/64 rep of Franchitti and Pastorelli.
After the Hill Trophy the later sports cars took the track in the traditionally fastest race of the weekend, the
Surtees Trophy including the Lola T70 Spyders and the GT40s. This was also one of the closest races of the
weekend as the winner Oliver Bryant in the Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyder was only 4 tenths of a second ahead of
Rob Halls McLaren-Chevrolet M1A after 19 laps on the high-speed circuit.
In the afternoon of Sunday, the race classes got more and more exciting as our favorite pre-war and 1950s
sports car races were held at the end of the day. Goodwood always excites with a race nowhere else to be
seen. After GT40, Jaguar D-Type, Bentley or Single Ferrari races this time it was a single marque race for the
chain-driven Frazer Nash of the 1920s and 1930s. Probably never before have anybody seen 29 of them
coming down the straight at the start of the A.F.P Fane Trophy, named after the late British racing driver and
part owner of the Frazer Nash who entered a Frazer Nash TT in Le Mans and later drove the BMW 328
variation. The race was very entertaining and one might forget that immense power of these narrow track cars
and it was exciting to see the speed and drifts of these cars. Unfortunately, the AFP Fane Trophy also was
the stage for the low point of the weekend as a severe crash in the back straight towards Lavant corner
brought the racing to a halt for almost 1.5 hours. Reportingly one of the cars flipped throwing out the driver
who suffered from chest injuries. He was been taken care of track site by the medical staff and flown to the
hospital with some fractions but in stable condition. This was the minute the drivers again were reminded just
how dangerous this track can be, especially for the pre-war cars without any safety features.
This might have mostly affected the Varzi Trophy of pre-war racing cars like the Bugattis and Alfa Romeos
that had to wait in the assembly area for the longest time until the track was cleared again after the accident.
Nevertheless, they had a great race and it is always seen that the respect and the caution is more common
in these races where people know that accidents really hurt. The pre-war races also are the ones that usually
spread out quickly as the pace difference is bigger than in other classes. The winning Alfa Romeo 8C Monza
of Blakeney-Edwards crossed the line almost half a minute ahead of the following Delahaye despite the race
was shortened to 15 minutes to avoid them running into the night.
After the Varzi Trophy the sports cars of the 1950s hit the track, also in a slightly shorter race. Unlike the
other race groups the Peter Collins Trophy was not seen the day before as they had their qualifying session
that morning and the race in the evening. Soon the race became a fight between the Lister-Jaguar of James
Thorpe, the Maserati 300S of David Hart and the Jaguar D-Type of Garry Pearson, all three of them within 2
seconds on the finish line with the better end for the Lister.
Report & images ... Peter Singhof
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