There's just something special about Goodwood that always leaves me impressed beyond words.
Back in 2019, I purchased tickets to the 78th Goodwood Members Meeting, scheduled for early April the following year. A few weeks later, a neatly curated cardboard box landed in the postbox and inside lay all the information needed for a weekend at Goodwoods most exclusive race meeting, along with the ticket, a small metal lapel badge. I was immediately impressed.
Almost two years later, on a cold autumnal morning in October, I’m standing at the entrance gate to the circuit, lapel badge firmly in place and excited for a weekend shooting this special event. Men and woman dressed in period attire, tweed caps and wax coats, stood waiting too, and through the morning air, the distinct rasp of high-strung seventies engines could be heard.
Sadly, Saturday morning was pretty gloomy and by 10AM relentless rain was battering the airfield causing havoc on track. Not wanting to risk my equipment, I took shelter hoping it would pass over quickly.
Thankfully it did, just as the thundering V8 saloon cars of the Pierpoint Cup got their practice session underway. Richard Woolmer, who I met briefly at Rollhard Show, had his big Ford Falcon on full lock exiting the chicane much to the delight of everyone, setting the tone for the weekend.
One of the special aspects of Members Meeting is the unique multi-driver format that allows owners share their period vehicles with the whose-who of motor racing. Names like Tom Kristensen, Steve Soper, Karun Chandhok and Stig Blomqvist scattered the entry list creating a buzz throughout the paddocks that I have never experienced before at a race meeting.
Or perhaps it was the fact that it almost felt as if I had stepped back in time. Everything, and I mean absolutely everything, is period correct. Right down to the random props and apparatus that celebrate sixties life. Even the spectators buy into this too, wearing period attire and adding to the atmosphere.
Unfortunately for me, I woke on Sunday morning absolutely dying and feeling like I'd been hit by a freight train. Looking back, I am almost certain this was the Chinese flu but at the time, I just remember necking a few panadols and battling on.
A major goal from a photography point of view was to capture as much of the atmosphere as possible. Rarely have I shot people and their surroundings before at a race meeting but it's an aspect of automotive photography I really enjoy.
If you've been following the nonsense I post online, you'll know I'm a massive rally fan so naturally, the addition of a super special stage held on the Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning was right up my street. Although these demonstration stages never show what a rally car is truly capable of, it's still great to see rare Group 4 and Group B era machines still in use.
It's hard to describe an event like this without simply booking tickets and experiencing it in person. So when 79MM tickets went on sale before Christmas, I did just that. It's just four weeks away and I cannot wait.
I'll leave you with an extensive gallery of some of my favourite images (which I am quite proud of) from 78MM. Enjoy.
Cutting Room Floor
Event: The 78th Goodwood Members Meeting
Location: Goodwood Motor Circuit