How do you distill the essence of driving? Although spectacular, you’re probably not best starting with the 917s, the 512s, or the ground-effect F1 cars. They’re not so much ‘relish the weight transfer’, as they are ‘hold on for dear life’. No, the essence of driving is at its purist or most evident in the most basic of machines. For this, the Whitmore Cup is your best port of call at the 74th Members’ Meeting.
The Whitmore Cup consists of Minis, Lotus Cortinas, Alfa Romeo GTAs and other such grassroots beasties. The soundtrack is of twin-cam individual throttle-bodied four-cylinders being rung for all the pull they can muster, and the sights are of ‘60s saloon cars all-wheel drifting over crests, trading paint and nose-diving under brave heavy braking. The cars react to every input of the drivers and those inputs are expressed in the cars’ body movements beautifully. They’re mouldable like putty in the palm while being as expertly set up as the most aggressive of Super Tourers.
The better you know your car in the Whitmore Cup, then the higher chance you have of claiming glory. In the penultimate race of the Members’ Meeting, Richard Meaden demonstrated that he knew his Lotus Cortina inside out. After earning himself pole position in qualifying, his only real rival, Steve Soper, bowed out early due to mechanical issues. From then on it wasn’t if for Meaden, but by how far. In the concluding corners he threw the Cortina in with a gorgeous gratuitous slide before his charge down the start/finish straight to victory. Outstanding driving from all in some back-to-basics, honest-to-goodness driving machines. See for yourself the shapes they pull in the video above.