APR 14th 2015

73MM On Board: How to win from the back of the grid at Goodwood

So it’s the qualifying session for the Taylor Trophy race at the 73rd Members’ Meeting for 1000cc Formula Junior cars. Your car, a Lynx-Ford is in seemingly fine fettle having served you well last season and been readied for the meeting. However, within a lap it’s started jumping out of gear and shortly after its condition gets a lot worse. There is no spare except for the one you have in your garage two hours away, and it’ll take 45 minutes to fit. The race is due to start in around five hours …

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‘The problem was that I hadn’t set a timed lap’ says the pilot and hero of this remarkable footage, Andrew Wilkinson. ‘Luckily, the stewards provisionally allowed me to start from the back because I’ve raced at Goodwood before, so I jumped in my old Land Cruiser and headed over to Somerset!’

While he was away fetching his spare gearbox, Andrew’s team mates, Andy and Jamie, set about stripping the Lynx in readiness. ‘I did try to make good progress back to Somerset’ says Andrew in what we imagine to be something of an understatement. He made it back to Goodwood and the team fitted the replacement gearbox which, coincidentally, is from a Volkswagen Beetle. This meant that he could race, but from the back of the grid.

‘In all sincerity, I expected to get into the top ten. Maybe a little higher’ he confesses. ‘Then, by the time I got past Andrew Taylor I thought “hold on, I’m getting up there!” and that the win just might be possible, although I never expected it to happen. I have to say I benefited from the mechanical misfortunes of one or two others and owe great thanks to Andy and Jamie.’

Be that as it may, Andrew brought his fettled car home in first place and in his own words is ‘still glowing from the memory of it all.’ And so you should, sir!

So settle down and enjoy GRR’s first ever winning-from-the-back video.

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