GRR

Video: 2024 Parnell Cup highlights | 81MM

14th April 2024
Ethan Jupp

What an unbelievable start to Day 2 of the 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport, as the Grand Prix, Formula 2 and voiturette cars from 1935-1953 got track action underway on Sunday morning with an epic tussle for victory.

John Ure took the early lead, but William Nuthall was hot on his heels, keeping up relentless pressure during the opening laps as the pair, both racing Cooper-Bristols, spent lap after lap dicing side-by-side through Madgwick, Fordwater, Lavant and Woodcote. It was breathtaking stuff, and certainly got us into the swing of things on the final day of Members’ Meeting.

The action wasn’t limited to the front two, though, there was plenty on going behind them as Julian Wilton completed a full 360-degree pirouette as he got on the grass down the start-finish straight.

Even the speed differential between the faster 1950s racers and the more primitive ‘30s machines played a part towards the end as Nuthall and Ure got engulfed in the melee of the midfield, which made for a thrilling final lap as these two fought tooth and nail for the win.

Photography by Jochen Van Cauwenberge
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The race is named after Reg Parnell, who earned the affectionate nickname “Emperor of Goodwood”, after his exploits on track at the dawn of the circuit’s golden era. He won the 1953 Goodwood 9 Hours at the wheel of the famous Aston Martin DB3S, but it’s his single-seater exploits that make him the perfect title driver for this race.

He won the Goodwood Trophy a full three times, for the first time in 1948 at the first ever race meeting at the Goodwood motor Circuit. He followed that up 1949 – in the same Maserati 4CLT/48 he used to triumph in 1948, no less – and 1950 for a hat trick of Goodwood Trophy wins.

The third running of the Parnell Cup will see a cohort of front-engined single-seat machinery battle it out in a 20-minute sprint around our Motor Circuit at 81MM.

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81MM race list

24th October 2023

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Which cars race in the Parnell Cup?

It should come as no surprise then that Grand Prix and voiturette machinery wearing the Maserati trident should be no stranger to a Parnell Cup grid. Maserati 4CMs, 6CMs and 8CMs will all be in action, alongside open-wheel racers from Connaught, Cooper, ERA, Delage and more.

Why, you might be wondering, does the Parnell Cup encompass such a wide variety of cars in terms of age? The grid for the race at the 81st Members' Meeting features machines spanning 1933-1954, that’s like pitting Lewis Hamilton’s hybrid Mercedes W12 against Michael Schumacher’s V10-engined Ferrari F1-2000.

Put simply, cars and preparers were scarce in the years immediately post-war, with a number of racers exhuming and upgrading cars from before hostilities began. So yes, you’ll see some cars Parnell spent earlier years building himself, like Parnell MGs and Challengers mixing it with early Ferrari chassis.

Which drivers race in the Parnell Cup?

The Parnell Cup is one of a few races we feature across the Members’ Meeting and Revival events catering to this unique period in Goodwood’s and indeed motor racing’s history, and the drivers that take part are among the most skillful of them all in cars that are incredibly complicated and challenging to drive.

Drivers set to compete in the Parnell Cup this weekend include regular Goodwood ace Will Nuthall – the winner of both prior runnings – Nigel Batchelor and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards.

It’s always a grid of impassioned owners and drivers alike. The question is, can someone top Nuthall for the Parnell Cup when the race gets underway for the third time at the 81st Members’ Meeting.

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81MM entry list

04th April

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When is the Parnell Cup?

The 81st Members' Meeting's race for voiturette and grand prix cars from the '30s, '40s and '50s will take to the Goodwood Motor Circuit for the first time on Saturday at 12:10 for Official Practice. These beautiful open-wheel racing cars will then return to kick off the racing action on Sunday at 09:00.

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81MM timetable

02nd April

Previous winners of the Parnell Cup

Year

Event

Drivers(s)

Car

2019

77MM Parnell Cup

William Nuthall

Alta F2

2014

74MM Parnell Cup

William Nuthall

Cooper-Bristol Mk2 T23

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

  • 81MM

  • Members' Meeting

  • Parnell Cup

  • Event Coverage

  • Race Coverage

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