Peter Thompson bought his TVR Griffith 400 so recently that it had already been entered into the Graham Hill Trophy when he took ownership, so he came to Goodwood for a test day a couple of weeks before Members’ Meeting to familiarise himself with his new steed. ‘It was terrifying,’ he says. ‘It’s so much more powerful than anything else I’ve raced.’ Peter is also campaigning his Brabham BT21 Formula 3 car this weekend, which despite being down on the TVR by about 30 to 40mph on top speed is faster over a complete lap.
‘The TVR is fantastic, we’ve put a new Warrior Motorsport engine in, and the rest of the car has been prepared by Nigel Reuben who seems to be the best guy you can get do these.” There’s no doubting that the car is beautifully prepared. The gleaming bodywork is immaculate, and it’s just as well presented when under the bonnet and in the cockpit. You’d be forgiven for believing it belongs in a showroom rather than on the grid.
Peter reports that it drives just as well. ‘It’s very well set up, very balanced. I wasn’t that quick in it, but I put Mark Hales in it for a few laps and he was extremely quick. I think it will be fantastic, I just need a season to settle into it.’
To dovetail meetings where both the Brabham and TVR can be driven, Peter will attend HSCC meetings, along with some European fixtures. ‘Members’ Meeting is great, because it gets us out early and ready for the season.’
For this morning’s qualifying, Peter was aiming to dip below the 1-minute 30-second mark, which he did. The biggest challenge? Switching immediately from the Brabham to the TVR, and making the necessary change to driving style.
Photography by Pete Summers