Over the past 20-odd years, the Goodwood estate in Sussex in the UK has developed into something of a global motor racing mecca.
In 1993, the Earl of March, who owns the estate, launched the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a hill climb event which sees cars racing up what is effectively the good Earl’s driveway.
Then in 1998, the Festival of Speed was joined by the Goodwood Revival, a vintage racing event which brought back to life the estate’s circuit that had stopped hosting races in 1966.
The more exclusive Goodwood Members’ Meeting was added to the roster in 2014, with this weekend seeing the 74th running of the event (71 Members’ Meetings were held between 1948 and 1966).
With some of the world’s most exotic racing machines set to do battle on Goodwood’s fast, flowing 3.8km circuit, here’s our pick of the five cars you should keep your eyes on this weekend.
1. ALFA ROMEO 155
This year’s Members’ Meeting will pay tribute to the mid-1990s Super Tourer-era of the British Touring Car Championship. This was a period where manufacturers were pouring money into their tin-top racing cars, which began to rival F1 machines in terms of technology. Totally unsustainable of course, but it gave us some cracking racing cars. The blood-red Alfa Romeo 155 is our favourite.
2. McLaren-Cosworth MP4
Also being celebrated at this year’s Members’ Meeting are cars from Formula One’s late ‘70s/early 80s ground effect era. These were machines that used clever under-the-car aerodynamic principles – that we won’t bore you with here – to suck themselves down onto the racetrack, providing unbelievable levels of grip. Look out for this McLaren MP4, as raced by Niki Lauda and John Watson in the 1982 season.
3. Ford GT40
If you’re a fan of Ford’s incredible GT40 – and you should be – you’ll be spoilt for choice at this year’s Members’ Meeting: there’ll be 28 of the suckers racing against one another in the Alan Mann Trophy. Look out for British Touring Car star Andrew Jordan in the silver and yellow car above, while racing icons including Kenny Bräck and Steve Soper will also be campaigning examples of the mid-60s racer.
4. Maserati 250F
Despite being one of the most important, and most expensive, racing cars of all time, a handful of madcap owners still love wheeling out their Maserati 250Fs for various Goodwood events. And with drivers including five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio and British hero Stirling Moss having driven these Mazzers back in the day, it doesn’t get much more evocative.
5. Rover SD1
We know, we know, it doesn’t look like much of a racing car… but in the early 1980s, the Rover SD1 was the car to have in the British Touring Car Championship. And with its thumping great V8 engine that makes a noise like you wouldn’t believe, the SD1 is always a fan favourite at Goodwood.