Race report: 77MM – Betty Richmond Trophy heats 1 and 2

07th April 2019
Richard Heseltine

Ian Curley and Nick Swift starred in the two Betty Richmond Trophy races for Minis which kicked off the on-track action at the 2019 Goodwood Members’ Meeting. Curley dominated the opener, leading from pole position to the flag, but he was never more than three seconds up on his pursuers. 


At the start, Curley got the drop on fellow front row starters Darren Turner and Tom Blomqvist, with second row man Bill Sollis blasting his way into contention on the run to Madgwick for the first time, only to connect with Blomqvist. The latter pulled off a heroic save but was bundled down to sixth place. Sollis was eliminated shortly thereafter following an accident at St. Mary’s.

Curley was chased hard by Chris Middlehurst and Ben Hatton during the early running, the latter being lucky to survive a huge moment on the run to St. Mary’s as he attempting to wrestle second place from Middlehurst. He clouted a kerb on the third tour and connected with Middlehurst. The latter was able to continue but Hatton retired his car. Lars Ekorness then closed on Curley but wasn’t able to mount a serious challenge, with 0.78 seconds splitting them after 20 minutes of racing. Blomqvist recovered to claim a well-deserved third place.

First-time Goodwood racer Curley said later: “I had an awesome start and just got my head down. I settled into a good pace and am chuffed to bits to win first time out."


Nick Swift and pole man Nick Padmore starred in the second instalment, swapping the lead to the final corner of the last lap. Swift led into the first corner, with Padmore second. The two friends were rarely more than a car length apart from that moment on, soon dropping eventual third-place man Jonathan Lewis. Padmore was seemingly quickest on the Lavant Straight on the run to Woodcote, only to lose out on the last lap after a minor mistake. Less than half a second blanketed the top two, with Lewis twelve seconds further down the road after 20 enthralling minutes.

“It was very busy out there,” Swift said afterwards. “It was a great race. It will be slipstreaming heaven tomorrow.”

The top 15 finishers from both encounters will line-up on the grid for tomorrow’s final. It promises to be an epic race!

Photography by Pete Summers.

  • 77MM

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