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Goodwood 76th Members’ Meeting report back

#58, Porsche 935 K3 (1980), confirmed driver: Urs Beck, Group 5 Special Production,at Goodwood 76th Members Meeting, Goodwood Motor Circuit, on 17.03.2018

#58 Porsche 935 K3 (1980)
Goodwood 76th Members’ Meeting, 17/18 March 2018: #58 Porsche 935 K3 (1980) driven by Urs Beck in the Group 5 ‘Special Production’ event over the weekend

I know that motor racing circuits around the UK are renowned for being cold places, and that’s because many of them were built around airfields following World War II. So, open and flat places they tend to be, and this of course offers zero protection from the elements. Activities surrounding this last weekend’s 76th Members’ Meeting at the Goodwood Motor Circuit certainly lived up to that open and exposed reputation, as the ‘Mini Beast from the East’ descended on the UK once again.

The Members’ Meeting has now become a favourite on the annual historic motorsport calendar, because this offers racing enthusiasts the opportunity to get up close and personal with some iconic race cars, drivers and other well-known personalities. Although there were many, varied and different race cars present over the weekend, we have, for obvious reasons, focussed our report around Porsche cars only.

Arriving at the circuit on Friday, you could have been forgiven for questioning the weather forecasters who told us that both Saturday and Sunday would bring snow. Friday afternoon was nippy (it is March after all) but clear with blue skies. That afternoon, the teams and drivers spent their time setting up their cars and laying out tool boxes and gear, and being a Friday, there weren’t that many spectators milling about.

A very pleasant surprise though, was witnessing the one and only street-legal 935 being discharged from its transporter, this being (originally) built for Mansour Ojjeh in 1983, whose company Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG), had entered into partnership with McLaren to develop a Formula 1 engine. This led Ojjeh to Porsche’s front door, and they were only too happy to make a one-off, street-legal 935 for this important customer. On Friday, this car was unloaded in the Goodwood paddock to serve as the course car to lead the Group 5 race cars out onto the track over the weekend.

 Porsche 935 Street (1983)
Goodwood 76th Members’ Meeting, 17/18 March 2018: Porsche 935 Street (1983) built for Mansour Ojjeh, Chief Executive of TAG

Race 1 – Ronnie Hoare Trophy

#35 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (1964)
Goodwood 76th Members’ Meeting, 17/18 March 2018: #35 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (1964) driven by Rainer Becker during practice for the Ronnie Hoare Trophy

Practice for the Ronnie Hoare Trophy commenced at 09h00 on Saturday morning, the first real action of the day. Running in this event were no fewer than fourteen Porsches, consisting of: a single 901, five 911s and eight 904s.

When the Porsche 904 (or Carrera GTS as it was officially known) was first produced in 1964, it was intended that the car would be powered by the all-new 2-litre, 6-cylinder engine that was fitted to the 911. However, the new production 6-cylinder engine was not yet ready for serious competition, and so an uprated version of the 4-cam, 4-cylinder Carrera engine (Type 587) was installed in the 904. In fact, in its lifetime, the 904 would be powered by three different engines, the 4-cylinder Carrera engine, the 2-litre 6-cylinder unit from the 911, and an 8-cylinder 2-litre engine as well. The 904 Carrera GTS would serve the company and its many customer teams very well, during the 1964 and 1965 seasons.

This 20-minute race catered for Sports and GT cars that raced internationally between 1963 and 1966, and for purposes of this event, were mostly around 2-litre capacity. The winning car in Race 1 was the #98 Porsche 904 driven by James Cottingham, although the spectators were just drinking in all the action, from the front to the back of the field.

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