Video: Chaotic racing in an Austin A35 at Goodwood

27th March 2024
Simon Ostler

The St. Mary’s Trophy presented by Motul is always brilliant fun, it’s taken on various forms over the years, and in 2016 it incorporated a grid of 30 excitable Austin A30s and A35s for what was a delightfully action-packed melee.

With nary an inside rear wheel on the tarmac, as these cars tumble into each corner, drivers are desperate to cling onto momentum in a bid to reduce reliance on the tiny four-cylinder engine. The drama only heightened at the 2016 Revival as the rain came down in sheets, which turned these cars into treacherous little monsters.

In this video, we ride on board with Oliver Gavin for the start of Part 1 of the 2016 St. Mary’s Trophy. Note the little sponge he has to clear a misted windscreen, which he nestles neatly between his legs for the duration of the race. The cute windscreen wiper appears to offer little in the visibility stakes, but he makes a good start all the same and sweeps down to the inside in a very brave move to make some early progress.

The spray is pretty dramatic, we’re pretty sure we’d be hesitant on the throttle, too. Even so he’s quickly out into some clear air, seemingly with the Motor Circuit to himself, that is until a spinning A35 comes out of nowhere into Madgwick, it would be unexpected if it weren’t for the conditions, which are utterly appalling.

Videos like this prove that power is not the be-all and end-all of racing enjoyment. Even in something so diminutive as an Austin A35 can be an absolute thrill to drive at speed around a race track. We’d certainly like to have a go.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Kei Car racing around a sopping wet Fuji is the best

  • Goodwood Revival

  • Revival 2016

  • St Mary's Trophy

  • Video

  • Elevenses


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