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Charity Track day June 7th 2017

After the impressive total raised at our last 2016 charity track day, Classics on Track for Children were determined to beat that by far, so heads together, and the team committed to make the 2017 day even better! In order to achieve that we decided to spread it over two days!

After Jan and Paul hurriedly stuffed the 100 prize draw golden envelopes in secret (prizes kindly gifted by Lady March), the evening of Tuesday 6th June saw 32 drivers, partners and friends gather at the Star and Garter, East Dean for a fabulous supper and Motorsport Quiz compiled by John Standerwick. Dastardly and fiendish questions had us all scratching our heads and flexing the grey matter… some competitive banter and much laughter ensued, lubricated by the odd beverage, and the evening saw Spike’s team beat Paul’s team (only Paul’s team could be called the Rubber Johnny’s) by just 1/8th of a point… over a question regarding a corner called Goodwood (but don’t mention this to Paul). Many thanks to John, Paula and the S&G team for a superb dinner and stimulating quiz. A great evening was had by all, with folks heading off that night in smiles and good spirits and looking forward to seeing everyone again at what promised to be a fabulous track day.

Wednesday dawned bright, warm and dry, with the Classics on Track for Children team and helpers arriving at Goodwood bright and early. Aided by the trusty Goodwood staff and marshals (many thanks to all involved) we were soon set up and a host of glorious vehicles started to arrive and assemble in Paddock 1.

We had a paddock line-up to die for. From a 1948 Bentley Le Mans, through a pack of Porsches, a nest of Cobras, an Elva, a Gt40, Ferrari, Jensen, Lotus and a host of beautiful British classics, right through to a sparkling array of Astons, old and new.

8.30am saw Spike, Paul and John Powis deliver the drivers briefing before everyone headed out on track. John, the Goodwood chief driving instructor was much in demand all day, inspiring confidence in those that were newcomers to Goodwood and as a direct result we know that several of his pupils will be returning next year – in fact they can’t wait! The day ran like a dream, with everyone getting a fabulous amount of time on track, no stoppages at all and run smoothly by Gabriel and the team from the track office at Goodwood. Plus, I’m pleased to say Classics on Track for Children were again joined by our French colleagues who made the trip over, albeit with a few car mishaps.

We broke for lunch with a delicious buffet served upstairs in the Jackie Stewart pavilion,. This was accompanied by an entertaining chat given by CoT4C friend and supporter Gordon Spice, who was interviewed by Spike as to his life, times and interesting moments on tracks around Europe. We had the benefit of two of Gordon’s Ford Capri’s in team racing colours on display. We would like to thank Gordon and Paul Chase Gardner for their Capri support on the day.

After lunch the cars assembled on the grid for a team photo before heading off on a parade lap. (photo)

The afternoon saw everyone head out on track in good spirits with the sun shining, and Goodwood resonated, as it was designed to do, with the fabulous sounds of classic and gt cars being well exercised. From the sonorous bellow of the Bentley, to the bark of the Ferrari… it was a petrol head’s dream.

Our very popular golden envelope draw offered a better than 1 in 20 chance of winning some superb prizes donated by Lord and Lady March, owners of Goodwood. This generosity was additionally supported by Omologato with a beautiful watch, and Hepworth Brewery in Petworth, most generous supporters of Classics on Track for Children. We had CoT4C logo patches produced, which proved very popular, as did the Classics on Track for Children sock monkeys (which sold out with orders for more taken on the day). I am pleased to say that same as last year, every single one of the 100 envelopes sold! Thank you to you all for your generosity!

Following the days proceedings on track (which were fabulously good humoured and successful in simply the most glorious weather), the 2017 CoT4C charity track day participants, after a quick turnaround and change of clothes, repaired to The Earl of March at Lavant for our traditional drivers dinner. Tales of daring do, and much story telling nonsense ensued, accompanied a superb dinner which drew our 2017 track day to a close. Many thanks to Giles and the staff at the Earl of March for once again looking after us all so well.

The day could not have taken place without the significantly generous support of our lead sponsors. We are indebted to Andrew Sharp and his company eSpares, and to the Checkmate Group for enabling this day to take place. During the day, we were approached by Ian Hall, who has been a great Cot4C supporter, and who presented us with cheques for £2000, these cheques going directly to the charitable beneficiaries. It was a very kind gesture for which we are hugely grateful. We would also like to thank CDK Global for their generous donation too.

Paddock organisation is everything to an event like this, and big thank you’s go out to Martin, Andy, Matt, Gilly and Alison. We really couldn’t have done this without your patience during the day and your generous help.

Our thanks, of course, also extend to all of the Goodwood staff and Marshals, in particular Kirk Elleker whose sense of humour, patience, fortitude, flexibility and determination that our day would raise as much as possible, he was our hidden star – maintaining a constant vigil from his office, and resulting in a well marshalled and enjoyable day for everyone… thank you so much.

Last year your generosity raised just under £10,000. This year the total raised for the charities was an amazing £15,250.25.

We had the most fabulous day, and trust you all did too. Many of you have asked if we will be running another charity track day. We are in discussions at the moment and will be back at Goodwood next year, however, we are also exploring running other days in addition at other circuits and we’ll be in touch shortly to get your feedback on a couple of ideas we have.

Once again thank you all so very much for your attendance, support and generosity. What we have raised by your efforts really will make a difference to the lives of bereaved children and young people, so can we just say thank you so very, very much.

We’ll be in touch very soon with news about the next Classics on Track for Children charity track day/s and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and keep an eye on our website for news and updates.

Thank you all once again and hopefully we’ll see many of you at Revival.

Paul, Spike and Jan