DARKNESS FALLS OVER THE RECREATION OF THE 9 HOUR
During the early post war years motor racing in Britain was
reaching new highs, with the closing of Brooklands, motor
racing circuits using abandoned Second World War air fields
such as Silverstone and Goodwood perimeter roads began to appear.
We were in an age when driving cars at 40 miles an hour was fast
and brakes, well did they exist? As lads, our heroes were Moss,
Hawthorn, Clark, Hill, Brabham, Brookes, Salvadori etc. A time
when Autographs were easily obtained mixing with our heroes in
the pits. When smoking was hip and we did not worry about what
Europe did unless the Alfa, Ferrari or Mercedes Benz racing
teams were involved.
Throughout the 1950's and 60's Goodwood was one of the Britain's
centre pieces of this golden age. Those halcyon days of racing
came from the perimeter road that surrounded the RAF airfield
Tangmere, made famous when Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader
flew his last Wartime sortie, and led to his mid air collision
and four years of captivity.
Freddie March, the Duke Of Richmond's passion for motor sport
distracted our attention from the past difficult years and
offered those of us lucky enough to be able to visit and enjoy
the development of the British motor racing at Goodwood.
BRM, Vanwall, Cooper were begining to make an impact on the
mighty of Europe and Goodwood was at the fore front.
For 4 years,from 1952-55 Goodwood held a 9 hour open sport cars
race, commencing at 3 pm and finishing in the dark at the stroke
of midnight. Le mans starts and finishes in the light of day,
but the 9 hour finished in the darkness.
With the 50 Th. anniversary of that first nine hour, Freddie
March's grandson, Charles inherited passion for motor sport
resulted in the recreated nine hour race, won by Aston
Martin at the 2002 Revival meeting on September 7Th..
The ninety minute, two driver race "for cars in the spirit
of the nine hour", would commence at dusk and finish just
as the headlights of the cars took effect, due to the age
of the machinery and resdient interference.
HAVOC AT WOODCOTE
Dean Bulter caused all sorts of havoc within the first 30
minutes of the flag falling when he parked his 7 Litre Allard
J2R in the sand trap at Woodcote Corner, resulting in the
safety car leading the pack for 10 minutes and upsetting the
race leader as they were 3 rd last in the train and not behind
the safety car.
Once sorted the Frank Sytner /Willie Green Aston Martin DB3
raced off into the distance covering over 45 laps as the sun
set and darkness took over Goodwood, once again lit only
by race car lights for the first time in almost 50 years.
The fastest lap recorded by Desire Wilson in a Cooper-Jaguar
T33 failed on the Lavant Straight being over looked by the
GRRC Lavant Bank pre 1966 car park.
The sights and sounds of Jaguars, Lotus, Ferrari, Aston Martins
racing on Lavant Straight, with a collective value of £30 million
in the twilight with lights blazing were the highlight, with
Spitfires and Mustangs overhead, evoking the atmosphere of those
nine hour races once enjoyed many years ago.
1...Sytner /Green, Aston Martin DB3
3...Draper Fabri, Aston Martin DB3
Under 2L class
1...Hall/Heynes, Lotus_Bristol MkX.