THE sun shone on Goodwood this weekend, as motor sport enthusiasts flocked to the circuit for an exclusive and intimate new event.
With the familiar roar of race cars revving up their engines, and the aroma of fuel in the air, you would be forgiven for thinking you had arrived at the Festival of Speed or Revival. But this event was quite different.
The 72nd Members’ Meeting was a rebirth of an old Goodwood members’ club tradition, and Lord March decided to bring it back after a 48-year break.
It continues on from the 71 club meetings held at Goodwood in the 1950s and 1960, and is largely restricted to for Goodwood Road Racing Members and their guests.
He called the weekend ‘the luxury experience’ and said it’s ‘as much social gathering as motor sport’.
Club members, racing drivers and celebrities mingled, and the circuit had few restrictions, allowing visitors to access all areas.
The event attracted celebrities such as Radio DJ and motor sport enthusiast Chris Evans, model David Gandy and chef James Martin.
There was the usual Goodwood crowd, including racing legend Sir Stirling Moss - who was honoured with a race in his name.
However, it wasn’t just racing greats who turned up, but the car enthusiasts of the future.
Freddie Louwman, two, was at the event with his 1952 Frazer Nash car all the way from Oxfordshire.
Mum Queenie Louman said: “It’s the first time he said ‘mine’, when he sat in it. It’s Freddie’s car.”
And he certainly seemed at home in the drivers seat - when it was stationary of course.
Elizabeth Taylor from Buckinghamshire, was a Goodwood motor sport fan, and she brought along her 1933 MG K3, which was on show.
“I love Goodwood,” she said. “Through my father I always had cars.”
Ron Gammons, 75, from Hertfordshire brought along his 1955 Lotus with an MG engine.
He said: “It’s one of the greatest honours to come to Goodwood, it’s such a lovely place and it’s organised so well by Lord March and all of his people.”
Many of the cars which were displayed or on the track were selected especially for the event - reinforcing the exclusivity of the weekend.
Several guests commented on the Bugattis on display - and which went head-to-head on Sunday, in a race for the Grover-Wiliiams Trophy.
Duncan Dale, 48, from London, said he was impressed with the range of cars on show, and gave the new event his seal of approval.
When asked how the event matched up to Revival and Festival of Speed, he said: “It has got a special character, each of them have got their own character. It’s just a little bit of fun and it’s a bit more intimate.”
The event had real character from ‘the running of the hounds’ which opened the event, to the Hogwarts-like dining hall, which doubled up as a bar with entertainment when the sun went down.
Saturday night’s festivities were described by Lord March as ‘the biggest party Goodwood has ever seen’, with a fairground, fireworks and carnival-like performers.
Lord March said: “What a fantastic way to kick off this new event. The sensational selection of cars and drivers is just about the most diverse we’ve ever had at Goodwood Motor Circuit. From some of the most beautiful 1960s sportscars ever designed to the quite incredible noise of the turbo Formula 1 machines... And all in an intimate environment that allowed everyone to become a part of it themselves. Our challenge now is to make the 73rd Members’ Meeting even better!”