By booking his 72nd Members’ Meeting tickets early, Lesley Baker won the chance to shadow the JD Classics team during the Marshall Trophy. “I didn’t even know I had entered a competition until I received a call to say I’d won,” he says. “I always buy my tickets to Goodwood events early.”
It wasn’t the first time he has stepped behind the scenes at a Members’ Meeting; back in the late 1950s he was one of three mechanics at the Fitzwilliam Racing Team, which ran MGAs and attended every Members’ Meeting from 1958 to 1960.
It was a step back in time for him, therefore, when he met the JD Classics team in the holding area prior to today’s race. While there, it was a chance to meet and chat to drivers Chris Ward and Andy Smith. Before long, an eruption of engines signalled that the cars were about to go on track, and the team made a hasty dash to the pit garage.
The JD Classics Rover started on pole, but a hot Ford Capri shared the front row of the grid and a fire-spitting Chevrolet Camaro was in hot pursuit behind. During the race, the team was focused on the big screen race coverage and concentrating on what proved a super-efficient driver change. The lead changed several times throughout the two-driver, 45-minute fixture but Lesley’s cheering on seemed to do the trick: when the chequered flag dropped, the Rover crossed the line in P1 to take victory.
The team then went off to parc fermé for interviews, before Lesley was able to rejoin them for scrutineering. There were smiles all round after a well-fought race, and the last word goes to Lesley: “I really enjoyed being part of the team and it was a great race to watch.”