JAN 08th 2015

Video: How to Drive a Mini Cooper around Goodwood

One of the highlights of the Revival meeting is the St Mary’s Trophy race. It alternates each year between Fifties and Sixties saloons and this year we’re back to the Sixties. So, that’ll be a wide-ranging mix of Ford Galaxies, Alfa Romeo Giulias, BMW 1800Tis, Lotus Cortinas and of course Mini Coopers. Lovely.

The thing is though, for want of a more accurate scientific explanation Goodwood is known as a ‘power’ circuit. In the same way that venues like Cadwell Park and Knockhill will tend to favour a nimble, light weight car, at Goodwood these characteristics play second-fiddle to outright oomph. As a result, the 7.0-litre Ford Galaxies tend to be the cars to beat, with possible competition from the quicker Alfas, BMWs and Cortinas. To keep these cars within sight from the seat of a Mini Cooper is an astonishing feat, but that’s exactly what ace Mini racer Nick Swift managed in 2013.

This clip is exactly what ‘How to drive…’ is all about: Commitment, accuracy, determination and a healthy dollop of guts. The car is literally being thrown all over the track in an attempt to maximise cornering speeds, because the Mini is giving up time whenever its wheels are all pointing dead-ahead. Watch in particular Swifty’s move on a Lotus Cortina at St Mary’s corner on lap one. And as for what happens when he finds himself on the bootlid of the BMW and Galaxie under braking …

This is simply essential viewing if you’ve even the faintest interest in historic motor racing and it’s got the GRR office counting the days until the 73rd Member’s Meeting for our first racing fix of 2015. Here’s hoping the Group 1 Capris, Rovers and Camaros can serve up action anything like as good as this in the Gerry Marshall Trophy.

It’s going to be a great year …

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