Six demo cars not to miss at the 80th Members’ Meeting

11th April 2023
Ethan Jupp

Alongside our spectacular line-up of races at the 80th Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport containing types of cars familiar to attendees, we also have our incredible demos, which celebrate other high points in the history of motorsport. This year is sure to be a doozy for the Gran Turismo generation, as we gather 2000s GT1 cars for a celebration of one of the all-time great GT formulas. Joining them will be a demo dedicated to the Porsche 911 in this, its 60th year, while F1 fans will also get their fix with the Brabham BT52 taking to the track, 40 years on from its championship win.


1. Brabham BT52

It’s 40 years this year since Nelson Piquet secured his F1 world drivers’ title and while that’s quite the thing to celebrate, our connection to the Brabham BT52 in which he won, it goes a little deeper. See, one of the most fun legends here is that this car is unofficially the fastest car ever around the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Here for testing ahead of its debut, it’s thought the car managed a sub-minute time. Sounds wild, but given these things with their heavily turbocharged engines were good for 1,300PS (950kW) in maximum attack mode, and weighed just 540kg at their lightest, you do the maths…


2. Aston Martin DBR9 (Le Mans winner)

Of course the turbo whizzbangery and pyrotechnics of the Brabham might not be to all tastes. Indeed, given the BT52 looks as exotic and alien as it does, like a sophisticated ballistic weapon, the soundtrack is a bit more Monte Carlo Rally than Monaco Grand Prix. Fear not, for the Aston Martin DBR9 (several of them and we’re definitely counting) will be here to bring the V12 crescendo. The car that brought the famous marque back to sportscar racing in the mid-2000s, the DBR9 was Gaydon’s good green challenger to the GT1 Le Mans crown, developed by Prodrive. It was a steady march to the top, with Darren Turner and his co-drivers marching to third-in-class in 2005, second in 2006 and eventually class wins in 2007 and 2008.


4. Corvette C6 GT1

Noise. Pure noise. That’s what anyone who ever saw a GT1 Corvette race in period remembers. Yes the DBR9s, Ferraris and MC12s howled at high pitches but the Corvettes rippled your insides with a guttural roar and bass for days. This was a car whose soundtrack stimulated multiple senses and, honestly, was a bit of an assault on them. So naturally, we’re excited to see it – a C6 GT1 alongside a couple of C5Rs – alongside its kin here at Goodwood. It was also the true bane of the DBR9 on its arrival in the championship in the mid-2000s, with the Lamborghini not up to much and the Ferraris dropping off stream. Not to be missed.


5. Ferrari 550 GTS

Of course, a hero of slightly earlier years of this GT1 second wind was the 550 GTS, a car developed independently of the Scuderia by Prodrive, that both tempted Aston Martin into a collaboration for the DBR9 and tempted Ferrari into a (lacklustre) factory effort of its own. The 550 GTS was a genuinely excellent underdog, winning the GTS class at Le Mans in 2003 and scoring numerous wins in the FIA GT Championship. It’s also rather beautiful, which was sort of inevitable, being based on the stunning 550 Maranello grand tourer. Watch and listen out for that howling V12 in the GT1 demo at 80MM.


6. Porsche 911 GT1-98

Of course it’s not all about the GT1 demonstration, for we celebrate an incredibly important birthday at 80MM this year: 60 years of the Porsche 911. We’re doing so with a selection of incredible racing cars, spanning its history and indeed, myriad classes, in which it’s almost always flourished. Perhaps the most extreme and perhaps the crown jewel of its motorsport appearances, an outright Le Mans win in 1998, courtesy of this, the 911 GT1-98. Of course we don’t need to tell you how little this car actually shares with dealer-bought 911s of the time but nonetheless, it’s an incredible machine and exemplary of Porsche’s racing spirit and creativity, not to mention the versatility of the 911 name. This, the winning car, will be back at the circuit, following a static appearance during SpeedWeek presented by Mastercard and the GT1 demo of 75MM.


7. Porsche 935/78 Moby Dick

Another returning 911-based weapon is this, the Porsche 935/78, otherwise affectionately known as ‘Moby Dick’. This wild and wonderful machine like the GT1, is an extreme derivation of the 911 basis, even shedding those three numbers. Unlike the GT1, it is actually, under all that swooping bodywork, still a 911, albeit heavily turbocharged, lowered, widened and tautened, ready for battle in the Group 5 special production class at Le Mans. This 862PS 228mph monster was the beginning of the water-cooled story for the 911 too, starting the journey in 1978 that would lead to road-going 911s being water-cooled 20 years later. It was never a race contender in 1978 but from day one, it was an icon. See it in action alongside the GT1-98 and numerous other GT2s, RSRs and more, in the 911 demo at 80MM.

The 80th Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport takes place on the 15th and 16th April 2023, and you can watch every second of the action right here on GRR.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

  • List

  • Members Meeting

  • 80MM

  • Porsche

  • Ferrari

  • Aston Martin

  • GT1

  • Lamborghini

  • Corvette

  • Brabham

  • F1

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