Hands up. Who’s ever seen a Porsche 917 in the flesh?
If you’re lucky, you might have seen one at the Festival of Speed, flying up Lord March / Duke of Richmond’s driveway. If you’re one of many, you’ve seen on locked up in a museum. If you were at the 77th Goodwood Members’ Meeting, then you saw five variations, from the 001 all the way to the all-dominant 1580hp CanAm 917/30, parked next to five BMW M1 Procars, and a couple of McLaren F1 treats. And then again when they all hit the track with F1 racer winner Mark Webber, Top Gear’s Chris Harris, Derek Bell and LeMans winner Richard Attwood behind the wheels of the various flat-12 treasures.
The Members Meeting is just like the Revival, only better in every way. It’s the lesser known Goodwood event, but for me it’s the absolute best. The car list is always exceptional, it’s quieter, the access better, and it’s a great excuse to drive five hours to the South Coast.
So back to my original question; who has seen a 917 in the flesh? How about 60 Minis (coincidently it’s that British Marques 60th Anniversary this year) battle around the track, four wheel sliding, door banging, and bouncing over curbs. How about a demonstration of 13 (14 in you count the static 2015 LeMans wining Porsche 919) ex-LeMans prototypes thundering around the track at dusk? Or Edwardian machinery burbling along the straights?
‘No Compromise’ is at the heart of motor-racing, and it’s at the heart of everything that Goodwood do. The Members Meeting is no exception. It’s something special. It’s the purest embodiment of period correct racing in the UK – and something I can’t sum up in words right now. So I’ll let the images do the talking.