What suprise is it that the first race was spectacular? Tiff Needell in a Jowett Javelin. Jimmie Johnson in an Austin A40. Tom Kristensen aboard an Austin A90 Westminster. Jenson Button pedalling an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti. It can only be the St. Mary’s Trophy presented by Motul. After qualifying, it seemed a Jaguar Mk1 was the car to have – Rob Huff claiming pole position in Part One and Chris Ward staking his claim in Part Two.
With the mercury rising, Saturday’s Part 1 delivered hot and heavy action from the off. Staking an early claim as the day’s most entertaining spectacle, the race developed into an exceptional display of wheel-to-wheel skill and commitment throughout the ranks of professional drivers.
Alternating each year between saloon cars of the 1950s and 1960s, with the earlier machines having their outing in 2023, this year’s Part 1 grid includes a fitting roll-call of touring car stars such as Gordon Shedden (Austin A40), Matt Neal (Ford Prefect), Anthony Reid and Rob Huff (Jaguar Mk1s), Colin Turkington (BMW 700), plus Andrew Jordan and Max Chilston (Alfa Romeo Giullietta). All taking on a wider field of NASCAR and F1 legends.
Deserving of particular mentions in dispatches are Benoit Treluyer, Jenson Button and Jimmie Johnson. All were witnessed taking West Sussex grass samples more than once as they tested the outer limits of the fast and flowing Goodwood Circuit. Watching their blistering ballet take place was exciting enough, just imagine how it felt in the cabin!
Upfront, Romain Dumas avoided the high-jinks behaviour and sailed the enormous 1959 Ford Thunderbird to a comfortable win, with Rob Huff showing his usual consistency to bring the 1957 Jaguar Mk1 into second place. Rounding out the podium was Tom Kristensen, who sawed his way through the pack, momentarily joining the Treluyer, Button and Johnson joyride, before claiming an impressive third.