Not far from Chichester in West Sussex is the iconic Goodwood Circuit, the venue for round nine of the Championship.
With Historic Wartime aircraft being prepared for flights from the airstrip on the infield, the drivers lined up for practice runs starting from the pit lane exit and below the famous white painted grandstand.
In P4 Howard Cressey was driving a standard Boxster and circulated in a solid first lap time of 106.02 seconds. Steven Jory put his motorcycle racing experience to good use in his 3 Litre 944 to post a quick initial practice time of 97.29 seconds.
P3 was the most supported class with 4 drivers taking part. Wayne Eason was quickest in practice with his Boxster in 99.36 seconds with Graham Rose less than a second behind in his 3 Litre 924s.
There was just one P2 car at the event, Hannes Tanzer with his road going Cayman S. It’s not often you see a driver setting off on a timed run with classical music playing in the background but clearly it works! Hannes set a very decent practice time on road tyres of 97.91 seconds.
P1 had two drivers sharing the same car, a 996 GT3 on slick tyres. Shared drives are good fun and can add some interesting aspects to the sport.
Dave Hilton drove the quick 996 first and at 96.13 seconds (with slick tyre adjustment) was under 2 tenths of a second slower than the second driver Tim Barber who managed a very impressive practice time of 95.96 seconds (2% added for slick tyres).
The drivers were expecting three timed runs and so could perhaps have been forgiven for treating the first timed run as a second hopefully faster practice run.
Times did fall noticeably as the layout and braking points came back to those who had driven it before, and everyone's confidence grew enough to lean a little more on their tyres.
In P4 Steven Jory managed to shave off 1.38 seconds to another rapid time of 95.91 seconds. Howard Cressey found a significant improvement in his road going Boxster taking off no less than 3.58 seconds for a time of 102.44 seconds.
In P3, the order changed by the slightest of margins with Graham Rose now fastest with a time of 96.90 seconds, just 0.01 seconds quicker than Wayne Eason who also improved to record 96.91 seconds. Michael Brown took his 944 to a time of 98.24 seconds, a big improvement of 3.68 seconds.
Hannes Tanzer was clearly enjoying his driving in his P2 Cayman S taking off more than 2 seconds to show a time 95.19 seconds,
The two drivers of the 996 GT3 in P1 continued their close rivalry with Dave Hilton the better this run with a much-improved time of 93.70 seconds (2% added for slicks) for the lap and just under a second quicker than Tim Barber.
By the time the second runs were announced it was clear the very high temperatures were causing the organisers concern for the health of the Marshalls around the circuit. As a result, the decision was taken to limit the timed runs to 2 only. This added pressure to the drivers who had been analysing the first scoring timed run expecting 2 more to follow. The track was by now even hotter of course and this made quicker times harder to find.
In P4 Howard Cressey was not able to pilot the neat Boxster to a quicker time and ended the day in second place. Steven Jory also couldn't better his first scoring run however his earlier time of 95.91 gave him the P4 class win.
In P3 the close competition continued and although Michael Brown's time was slower than his first, that earlier time gave him and his 944 third in class. Runner up in the class was Wayne Eason who was also unable to squeeze a quicker time than his first scoring run. Winning the class with a great reduction of 1.68 seconds was Graham Rose and a time of 95.22 seconds.
Hannes Tanzer pushed hard in his Cayman S but couldn't improve his earlier respectable time in P2. In P1 Dave Hilton was just a small margin slower on his second run. Overcoming the track temperature Tim Barber found 3 seconds to take the P1 class 1 win in a great time of 91.42 seconds (2% added for slicks).
Well done to everyone for a great day on and off track. The next and final three events this year are Curborough Sprint Circuit on August 27th, Hethel circuit in Norfolk on September 4th and the last round of the year, the equally iconic Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb on September 17th.
Want to get involved? Previous Speed Driver?
If you fancy trying your hand at sprints or hillclimbs in your road or modified car, talk to the motorsport team either by contacting them at the club office or, if attending a club trackday, ask them to take a moment to explain how you could get involved.
Any past championship drivers out there? The championship has been running for many years now and numerous drivers have taken part during that time, some of whom have gone on to great success in other aspects of club racing.
Tentative Plans are being considered to put together a gathering at one of the 2023 season events were some of the drivers from the earlier days of the championship can come along and chat with the current entrants, perhaps share stories and experiences, and maybe if they have one available enter a car on the day. If you are one of those past drivers and would like to come along and chat or even drive, please do get in touch so that we can try and make the idea a reality.
Next round August 27th at Curborough Netherstowe Lane, Lichfield WS13 8EJ - all welcome to come along to spectate.