With 26 cars ranging from the early 1950s to a four wheel drive Mercedes 140 that appeared to be locked to the surface of the track by vacuum, variety was never going to be an issue!
We were, as usual, looked after by the Goodwood circuit staff with, as we have come to find on previous days, great enthusiasm and every problem or hitch smoothed out so as to ensure maximum enjoyment for all participants and spectators. It is always difficult singling out those for particular praise, the marshals at Woodcote and Madgewick, John and Alan the instructors who worked tirelessly to assist on track and off, the good humour of Kirk (nee Kyle!) acting Clerk of the Course and the behind the scene support from Ian Stevens and Sandra.
Jan Harding led the way with her (press ganged)impressive bunch of volunteer paddock marshals, the Winston’s Wish crew led by Leigh Beth and the Cruse contingent under the direction of our own pipes and U bends man, Michael (Spike) Milligan.
Most impressive drive has to go to William Metcalfe in his Nick Swift Mini, leaving V12 Astons howling in the slipstream and most of us agog at the pace being set.
Driving standards were good and the courtesy exhibited by so many to each other when things did get difficult was nothing short of wonderful.
Sadly Andy Shepherd of Le Mans fame suffered a broken hub at Madgewick and hence recovery from the undamaged banking, sadly not the same to be said of his lovely AC.
Andrew Sharp had his ‘chariots of fire’ moment and all of us on track or spectating with hearts in mouths as—coming into Woodcote in his beautifully prepared Aston 2/4 the drive shaft broke, in doing so the fuel tank was ruptured, the car became a total loss engulfed by flames and a towering pyre of smoke, the marshals were quickly on scene and the fire extinguished. We were all pleased to see Andrew back in the paddock unscathed from what must have been quite a shock.
An early lunch ensued, Lady March, president of Winston’s Wish paid a visit to chat to the drivers and thank them personally for their contributions to the charity day.
Our French contingent who drove across with 3 cars all magnificently prepared and well driven were introduced to Lady March and were particularly delighted that The President engaged them in conversation. Post fixture they are keen to return and do it again and we are delighted that they made such a herculean effort to join us.
We were fortunate to be able to field 4 fast passenger ride cars all piloted by race licenced drivers, the HWM Jaguar of Revival fame driven by our own Spike Milligan, the Southern GT 40 a regular at Goodwood events driven by Glenn Mason currently on his way up the HRDC A30 leader board. Andy Shepherd in his AC, sadly retired due to a mechanical issue after a few trips out. The lovely D type Jaguar driven by Neilsen and yours truly in the David Smithies prepared Austin Healey 3000.
Over 30 of us gathered at The Earl of March the night before, the food and service were, as we have come to expect, first class in every respect, over one third of the “golden” envelopes were sold on the evening alone. The generous contribution from Goodwood and Lady March in providing a number of highly sought after and serious “goodies” ranging from apparel to Ultimate Driving Experiences was a fantastic boost and for which we are very grateful.
In the end we succeeded in raising a significant sum for the 2 charities, this could not have happened without the generous support of our sponsors and Lady March, so really warm thanks of appreciation to, Checkmate Flexible Engineering, Strabens Hall,Equimedia and Goodwood.
The accounts have been completed and all participants have paid up, the headline sum is a stunning £9743.40.
So many thanks to all of you for making the day such an enjoyable experience and your efforts have resulted in a significant boost to two important charities, Winston’s Wish and Cruse West Sussex.
The day at Goodwood will be circulated to all on the database and will go on the website as soon as it is confirmed.
Paul Auston and Michael (Spike) Milligan