I spent the weekend at the Goodwood Member’s Meeting, and after just a few hours at the historic motor circuit, I was already looking for ways to return next year.
For those of you who haven’t come across the Member’s Meeting before, it’s similar to Goodwood Revival, where classic race cars take to the tarmac, punters get dressed up, and there’s as much entertainment off track as there is on track.
Although the Member’s Meeting is a bit more exclusive, it’s less busy, and in the future, only Goodwood members will be able to attend (but for now, it’s open to everyone). It’s also all-access, anyone can walk around the paddock, chat to the drivers, and get up close and personal with the cars.
What’s difficult to get across in writing is how amazing the Member’s Meeting smelled. The paddocks had an aroma of fuel and oil, and dotted around the edges of the track there were fire pits and burger vans. Both of which also smelt amazing.
The next sense to get hit is your eardrums - these old machines sound monstrous. Particular highlights include 24 Ford GT40s in the Alan Mann Trophy race, Group 5 Sports Car Demo with eight Porsche 917s, and modern F1 pales in comparison to the ground effect Grand Prix cars from the 70s and 80s.
(image by Marcus Dodridge)
These drivers aren’t holding back either - they’re racing hard - as a few crashes over the weekend proved. A racing highlight for me was watching Nick Swift in a 1980 Mini 1275 GT doing battle against a 1981 Rover 3500 SD1, with the Mini able to overtake in the corners only to lose out against raw power on the high-speed straights.
And finally, if you’re not into racing and cars there’s plenty of other activities to keep you entertained throughout the weekend. As you enter the track you’re given a house (similar to a school house system), either Methuen (this year’s winner), Torbolton, Darnley or Aubigny. When you successfully complete an activity, such as tug of war, score a rugby field goal, hit a bullseye in darts, win a game of croquet, herd ducks or finish the miniature autosolo (that’s to name a few), you score points for your house.
In the evening on Saturday is a massive party, with live music, dancers, fire breathers, a wall of death, and possibly the best fireworks display you’ll ever see.
(image by Stephanie O Callaghan)
The whole event buzzes with an energetic vibe, there’s a lot of passion at the Member’s Meeting and you can really feel it. It’s also an amazingly stylish event, most people make an effort (although it’s not as classical as Goodwood Revival).
I’ll certainly be heading back to the Members Meeting next year. I think you should too (if you liked the sound of this write-up, that is).
Here are some more amazing pictures from the Goodwood's very talented photographers:
(above images by Adam Beresford)
(above images by Amy Shore)
(above image by Tim Brown)
(above images by Drew Gibson)
(above image taken by me! on a Samsung Galaxy S7)
(above image by Nicole Hains)
(image by Marcus Dodridge)
(image by Dominic James)
(above images by Stephanie O Callaghan)