Members' Meeting History – Lotus' domination of the original 71 events

15th March 2017
Marcus Pye

March 19th is immortalised in Goodwood history. Sunday’s climax to this year’s 75th Members’ Meeting is the 57th anniversary of Jim Clark’s maiden single-seater race victory – in a Formula Junior Lotus 18 powered by a 997cc Cosworth Engineering-tuned Ford Anglia 105E engine – at the 39th MM, 1960’s season-opener.


On that auspicious afternoon Scotland’s 24-year-old rising star narrowly defeated then-five-time World Motorcycle Champion John Surtees, two years his senior, who started Ken Tyrrell’s Cooper-BMC T52 from pole position. As the Union Flag fell and ‘Big John’ side-stepped the clutch, the first four-wheeled race he’d seen unfolded as the field screamed towards Madgwick Corner!

Two months later it was Surtees, not Clark, who made his Formula 1 debut for Lotus founder Colin Chapman at the Monaco GP. Indeed, by year’s end John had come close to winning the Portuguese GP at Oporto, his third F1 race. The poleman crashed while leading in a powerful 2.5-litre Coventry-Climax FPF-engined 18, when leaking fuel caused his foot to slip from the brake pedal. Clark became Great Britain’s third World Champion in ’63 – after Ferrari’s Mike Hawthorn (an MM winner in ’51 and ’52 with pre-war Rileys) and BRM’s Graham Hill. Surtees landed the ’64 crown in a dramatic finale for Enzo Ferrari.

As it was across motorsport’s higher echelons, the influence of Chapman’s cars on the British Automobile Racing Club’s Private Members’ Meetings at Goodwood – basic non-promoted events for the enjoyment of subscribers – was profound. The potent lightweights from Hornsey, Cheshunt and Hethel won 129 of the 590 races within them, a strike rate of 22 per cent. More than closest rivals MG (45), Jaguar (35), Austin-Healey/Austin (23) and Triumph (22) combined…

A more remarkable statistic, perhaps, is that 75 Lotus drivers passed the chequered flag victorious at the former RAF Westhampnett aerodrome, 23 in Type Eleven sportscars! Like the Members’ Meetings, the wide range of zippy models powered in the main by Ford or Ford-derived engines enabled the man or woman in the street to go racing. The more pecunious among them admittedly. Over the 71 period events run initially for sports and saloon cars, the majority were driven to the meetings. Single-seaters joined in from the 32nd MM in September 1958, by which time 500cc motorcycle-engined Formula 3 was fading, to be succeeded by Italian Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani’s 1,100cc Formula Junior initiative.   


MG drivers got the drop on Lotus, Dick Jacobs opening its account at the inaugural Members’ Meeting of August 13th, 1949, driving a supercharged TA Special. Lord Nuffield’s progeny – not including specials powered by MG engines – had notched 17 wins before its rival was off the mark. Chapman led his ‘retaliation’ from the front, landing Lotus’ first win at the 13th MM on July 25th, 1953, in a Ford-motivated Mark VI.

That opened the floodgates and the swashbuckling moustachioed genius became a regular winner. Backed up by drivers of the calibre of Peter Gammon (MG-powered VI), John Coombs (1,500cc Connaught-engined VIII) and one-legged Alan Stacey, Innes Ireland and Michael Taylor (11s), Lotus topped the table by April ’58, then streaked ahead. The balance of power had irrevocably changed.

Having previously triumphed in an elderly Riley Brooklands, Ireland bagged braces with his 1,100cc Climax FWA-engined 11 at the 25th and 26th MMs in ’57, by which time the marque’s tally was clicking along nicely. Taylor’s run of six wins in an 11 in ’58 pushed it on. Although 1948 opening-day 500cc winner Stirling Moss – whose Goodwood record in major events was unparalleled – scored Lotus’ first GP win at Monaco in ’60 in Rob Walker’s 18, Ireland would secure Team Lotus’ breakthrough victory driving a Type 21 in the ’61 season finale at Watkins Glen, New York.

Goodwood was a wonderful training ground, a high-speed challenge par excellence that rewarded driver talent. Future Formula Junior king Peter Arundell, Stacey and Trevor Taylor all won here before graduating to the works F1 team. Another victorious MM alumnus was John Miles, who contested 12 GPs for Team Lotus in F1’s 3-litre era, which began at Monaco five weeks before Goodwood closed in July ’66. John subsequently became a factory road-car suspension guru.


Five-time Le Mans vainqueur Derek Bell and double Formula 5000 champion Peter Gethin, local men both, won races at the 60th MM on March 14th, 1964, in 7 and 23B respectively. Derek, whose debut that was, added 1000cc F3 successes in Ford MAE-powered Type 31 and 41 ‘screamers’ in subsequent seasons.

Regular Lotus winners in the ’60s included Chris Andrews (FJunior 18) – who later sponsored 1973 BARC F3 champion Ian Taylor – and the promising Chris Williams (23). The bravest victors of their era, though, were Percival and Vickers aircraft test pilot Desmond ‘Dizzy’ Addicott in his rumbustious 3.5-litre Buick V8-propelled 15 and Simon de Lautour who tamed a thuggish 4.7-litre Ford V8-engined Type 30 powersledge in July 1965’s Autosport Sports Car Championship round. He later managed the Knight family’s celebrated French-based Winfield Racing Drivers’ Schools, which also operated at Goodwood in the ’70s. 

Established aces scored freely in well set-up Lotuses, yet so did weekend warriors. On June 10th, 1961, clubmen Peter Dodd and Peter Dickinson (11s), local man Jon Derisley – whose racer daughter Judi is a stalwart of the Goodwood track team – and Mike Sumner in 7s and Ken Lyon in a Formula Junior 20 won five of the eight races. That record was unparalleled across the 28-season history of the Members’ Meetings, and truly reflects the spirit of the second-tier events.

The honour of being the marque’s last winner in Goodwood’s first heyday, though, fell to Peter Pollard in an Elan at the final MM on July 2nd, 1966. A golden era was over. While Lord March triumphantly returned racing to the motor circuit in September ’98, almost 48 years would elapse before the 72nd Members’ Meeting, at which Oliver Bryant hounded the winning Aston Martin DB4GT in the opening Stirling Moss Trophy race in the little Lotus 11 GT ‘Breadvan’ started by Joe Twyman!   


Lotus winners at Goodwood

Members' Meetings 1949-1966

Listed in chronological order, those who went on to start a World Championship Formula 1 race in bold




David PIPER (VI)


Peter LUMSDEN (IX, Elite)



MJ CLAY (VI)              


Bill FROST (11)

Alan STACEY (11)

Len GIBBS (11)

Innes IRELAND (11)

Tony PAGE (IX)

Keith GREENE (11)

Claude RYE (VI)

Michael TAYLOR (11)

John FRIEDMAN (11)

David SHALE (11)

Dick PRIOR (11) 

Derek HOWARD (11)

Peter RILEY (11)

Tony MAGGS (11)

Alan REES (11)

Bill de SELINCOURT (11, 19)

Jack WESTCOTT (11)

Peter ARUNDELL (11)

James van SICKLE (11)

Jim CLARK (18)

Ken LYON (11, 20) 


Chris ANDREWS (18)

Anthony BULLEN (7)

Trevor TAYLOR (18)


Terry WILSON (18)

Dizzy ADDICOTT (11, 15-Buick)

Peter DODD (11)

Peter DICKINSON (11)

Mike SUMNER (7)

Charles HODGSON (11)

David COLE (7)

Mike BECKWITH (23)

Joe HICKS (11)



Rodney BANTING (20, 31)

David PORTER (7)

Roger NATHAN (Elite)

Mark KONIG (Elite)

Mike JOHNSON (Elite)

Eddie FLETCHER (20)

Rodney BLOOR (23B)

Chris WILLIAMS (23, Brabham-BMW)

Kevin KEEGAN (Elan)

Bob DUGGAN (Elite)

Doc MERFIELD (Cortina)

Mike WARNER (23B)

James MANFIELD (23)

Richard BURTON (31 

Peter GETHIN (23)

Derek BELL (7, 31, 41)

Valerie PIRIE (Elan)

Roger SWANTON (Cortina)

David PRESTON (7)

Keith BURNAND (Elan)

Mike CRABTREE (7, Elan)

Chris ROSE-GOLD (7)

Charles SAWYER-HOARE (23)

Simon de LAUTOUR (30)

John MILES (Elan)

Tommy WEBER (23)

Eric OLIVER (Elan)

Clarke STURDGESS (7)

Peter POLLARD (Elan)

Photography by Tom Shaxson

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