CHICHESTER CUP 2018; The Goodwood Revival
This year it was the turn of the disc-braked cars to grace the Goodwood Revival. The entry list contained all the usual British based drivers, “down-under” visitors David Kent, Kim Shearn and Marty Bullock whilst from the USA came Joe Colasacco in Lawrence Auriana’s delightful Stanguellini Delfino, Tim de Silva in the red ex-Scuderia Venezia Gemini 4, Robert Hoemke (Lola 5A) and Sharon Adelman with her BT6. Only Philip Buhofer (Lola 5A) and Pietro Vergnano (BT6) represented the Continental entries. Richard Bradley was making his European debut in the ex-Mike Harrison/Bob Goeldner Brabham BT2. Richard is the son of Ed Bradley who raced Volpini 011 before Michael Ashley-Brown and Cooper 500 and Austin 7. Richard is a successful long-distance racer in LMP2, co-driving the class winning Oreca-Nissan in the Le Mans 24 hours in 2015 and has raced extensively in Japan, including a year in Super Formula cars which are only a notch below F1. He loved his FJ debut, and will be out again at Spa this weekend.
Qualifying was early afternoon on Friday and the sun shone and the temperature was very pleasant, as indeed it was for the whole weekend. The rather brief session had something of the character of a race with the invaluable live timing showing the progression of the quick runners. The first quick lap (1’24.501”) was set on the third tour by Cameron Jackson (BT2) who looked beautifully smooth and fast, drifting through the demanding Woodcote corner: this was his first race at Goodwood. Sam Wilson (Lotus 22) was second on 1’24.787” and Andrew Hibberd within a whisker on 1’24.815”. On his fifth lap Cameron improved to 1’24.354” but on the sixth Wilson did 1’23.886” and Hibberd 1’23.935. Whilst Cameron improved again on lap 9 to 1’24.065”, Andrew went even quicker (1’23.720”) – faster than David Methley’s lap record) to secure pole from Sam and Cameron with the second row made up of Michael O’Brien and Chris Goodwin (both 22s).
Westie Mitchell had a dramatic session with three spins, including a spectacular one caught on camera exiting the Chicane, said to be due to grabbing front brakes. David Innes did not set a time as the HT lead came off the Lotus 27 – out for the first time since its 2017 New Zealand shunt – and Steve Jones had driveshaft failure. Iain Rowley’s black Lotus 22 came back on the pick-up truck, also with driveshaft failure and, most seriously, Pete Morton’s Lightning/Envoyette was out for the rest of the weekend with engine trouble.
The race kicked off Sunday’s programme at 10 a.m.: Hibberd snatched the lead on lap one from Jackson, Wilson and O’Brien; these four already clear of Chris Goodwin and Simon Diffey. On lap 2, Jackson made a big challenge for the lead at Woodcote but Andrew held on whilst Wilson ran wide and let O’Brien past and then yellow flags and the safety car came out. Nick Fennell (Lotus 27) was stalled across the track after his engine seized. On the restart ex-Formula Renault driver Cameron Jackson got the better run in to the first corner and led from Hibberd, O’Brien and Wilson. Goodwin was fifth, but suffering from a top-end misfire, with Mark Shaw sixth although he was soon to plummet down the order after a spin with Westie Mitchell. On lap 7, O’Brien clipped the rear-end of Hibberd’s 22 as Hibberd ran wide when exiting the Chicane, happily with no damage to either and on the next lap Wilson claimed third. The decisive move of the race came on lap 14 when Hibberd sliced by Jackson on the inside at Woodcote having rather caught the Brabham driver by surprise. Then in traffic around St Marys/Lavant the black Brabham briefly snatched back the lead but was slightly baulked and within yards the Lotus was ahead again, holding on for a 0.522” win with Wilson, O’Brien, Goodwin and Richard Bradley (BT2) completing the top six.
Andrew was ecstatic over his win, 10 years after his father Michael won the Chichester Cup, and Cameron said how much he had enjoyed the race. Chris Goodwin too said how much he was enjoying his Formula Junior racing and that they were “almost there” with getting the car properly balanced.
The Cooper contingent was much reduced on the first lap; Anthony Binnington and Malcolm Wishart were out, both with gearbox problems, as was Jon Milicevic with engine failure. Tim De Silva retired near the end with the Gemini, which had been falling down the field after a good start, probably due to an electrical problem. However perhaps the saddest story was that of David Innes who, after not completing a lap in qualifying, failed on the green-flag lap when the engine was just spluttering, perhaps due to dirt in the fuel tank/pipes. On top of only getting four laps in his F3 Titan at the Members Meeting (persistent clutch trouble) and not being allowed to take part in a test day due to exceeding the noise limits, David rather felt that Goodwood was not his lucky circuit……
As always, FJ had provided the massive Goodwood crowd with a splendid race.