Goodwood Results 170911

Goodwood Revival 17th September 2011

The Earl of March Trophy invitation brought together a novel mix of cars, including just seven Coopers plus the Flash Special and several either making their race debut or close to. Expected star was Richard Bishop-Miller finally getting the Revis back on track. It may have taken a few years, but it must be remembered that the car was a complete wreck when received, and the Bishop-Millers have had to recreate much of the car, including that aero nose) from a limited selection of photos. The finished car is pretty and with a realistic (not concours) finish, and proved to have significant potential. Non-Cooper builders would be wise to beg drawings for the driver’s seat he has made, which was drawing a lot of praise for fit and comfort.

The Revis, though, was trumped by the remarkable McCandless. This second chassis (originally built for Laurie McGladdery) had been loaned by the Ulster Craft & Transport Museum, and would be driven by Arnie Black, MD of Crosslé Cars, who had been charged with recommissioning her. Contemporary reports described the car as innovative, but it went way beyond that – four wheel drive, Chapman struts (a couple of years before Chapman invented them), and a box-section backbone chassis (about a decade before Chapman invented that, as well). More, the box section contained the drive chains for the rear axle (and acting as an oil bath), and hung off a mid-ships sprocket were a pair of hub brakes acting as a transmission brake. It should be hoped that having come this far the Museum follow through to establish more reliability and let the car run occasionally at similar events. Somewhat obscured by these two was a third new and celebrated car. After another slow and extremely faithful restoration, Charlie Banyard-Smith was able to debut the Don Parker Kieft CK52, as used by Don in 1952 and 1953 with Sam Wilson to driving.

Shirley leads Nigel, Rod and JB through the chicane in practice. Photo Kitty Chisholm

These would be matched by a brace of late-model Martins, Simon Frost’s car now sporting a Speedwell Blue paint job. The contingent of eighteen British non-Coopers was completed by a range of cars seen at least occasionally on course over the last couple of years, led by Darrell Woods’ Staride. Marek and Jules Reichman had completely refettled the Emeryson and were hoping the engine problems were cleared.

A smaller than normal Swedish group compromised a pair of Effyhs – Peter Kumlin’s TT and Per Hågeman driving Rickard With’s blue & yellow Sprinter. They were joined by Häkan Sandberg with his JBS (back on a Triumph motor) and honorary Swede Olle Linde with his ex-Nellemann Cooper Mk X. Amongst the Coopers, we had Shirley Monro’s and Gilbert Lenoir’s Mk IVs side-by-side in the Paddock, these two cars finishing first and second at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1950, in the hands of Stirling Moss and Harry Schell respectively.

Last, but by no means least was German Rudi Ernst with the Californian Whitfill Special. The car’s discovery in the attic space at All-American Racers is well-documented, and although only recently arrived, the car was tidy, well-presented and reliable. It is quite short-wheelbased, and perhaps better suited to hills and tighter circuits for now. Quite what Rudi, more used to the posher end of the Revival Paddock, made of the 500 crowd is not known.

Also present were a selection of other 500 pilots, not least due to a display of five vehicles in the GRRC marquee on the far side of the Paddock. These would come into play later, but for now everyone was appreciating the traditional Swedish Aqua-Vit and pickled herring (thank you Hakan) and off to the cricket match.

Flaky weather forecasts proved to be false, and Friday would be warm and sunny with a stiff breeze from the West. All thirty cars took to the track, but only just, as Roy Hunt’s Martin had proven extremely reluctant to fire in the Paddock earlier. This proved to be early symptoms, and whilst she fired fine in Assembly, it failed totally after a few laps. This was more than David Lecoq’s Petty, which failed to complete a lap before his “Old Nail” Norton went bang. There were several more early baths – Nigel Challis (snapped head bolts), the Revis (magneto, although Richard clocked a handy sub-2 minute on his sole lap), both Effyhs, Paul Hewes (gearbox), Kerry Horan (holed piston on a new engine) and Vernon Williamson.

Of those that got meaningful laps, conditions were fine. Nineteen cars managed to crack the 2-minute barrier, five of these getting down towards the period record in the 1’ 40”s. Simon Frost was first to show his hand, with Neil Hodges, then Gordon Russell briefly completing the front row. Sam ‘Ringer’ Wilson drove very professionally in his first run in a 500, starting carefully but then consistently shaving a quarter of a second, lap-by-lap. He would take pole, but it was quite close as Nigel Ashman picked up the pace, ending second, and splitting Sam and Simon on the three-car front row. Only one Cooper made the top five. Neil might have found a bit more time, but pulled off hen the engine died with a rattle. Initially diagnosed as a loose timing chain cover, it was then spotted that the JAP crankcase had been ripped apart.

It has long been clear that whilst a JAP engine can be quite effective, the Goodwood track suits the later, stiffer chassis. So Mike Fowler, demoted back to his Cooper Mk V, really wasn’t expecting too much. So sixth and in touch was a pleasant surprise, and if he would not be able to keep up he would still have Darrell (Staride) JB (Cousy) and Rodney Delves (the third Kieft) on his tail.

Other worthy performances included Shirley (well under two minutes, for the first time) and Duncan Rabagliati doing the same. Better yet, Duncan completed the session, thanks to some extensive pre-event fettling by Charlie Smith. Even at a cautious pace, Arnie Black also cracked the 120” in the McCandless. And John Chisholm did likewise as he really starts to progress with the Arnott.

After the worries about unproven cars before the meeting, there was a certain irony that the worst reliability came from the reliable old hands. Team Hodges soon set to swapping out the JAP motor, after a pint of Speckled Hen, of course. The Revis’ problems were traced to a loose screw in the magneto and quickly fixed. But poor Kerry was out, with no spare motor on hand – doubly frustrating as he seemed to have finally solved a spate of piston issues, and had fitted a new engine specifically for Goodwood. Ditto David Lecoq, a late attempt to obtain a donor from David Whiteside’s Cooper (back home) was stymied when it was realised that David (on site) had the special tools his son (on the other end of the phone) needed.

Hakan, John, Arnie and Duncan. Photo Kitty Chisholm

Roy Hunt was also resigned to scratching, and had even settled back with a cup of tea. But Nigel Challis most generously donated his spare Norton. Given that Nigel had the head off his own Norton, diagnosing fractured bolts, it was left to Equipe Smith to arrange an emergency dash from his Northampton workshop. More than this, Nigel also had to get involved in efforts to get reserve cars to fill the (potentially) two empty places. With help from Gordon and Vernon, great efforts were made to gain permission from the CoC and from Lord March – Martin Sheppard being very close by, and of course there were those cars in the GRRC marquee. Sadly, and after much waiting, permission was refused. Not for the want of trying, and Nigel deserves a lot of credit for all the work he did when quite frankly a;; he wanted to do was find those head bolts.

Most other cars were in decent fettle. Only the Emeryson was a problem with a snapped driveshaft caused by some dodgy welding. Jules Reichman (muttering that it was the one part he had contracted out) had a welding man lined up off-site, and the car would be ready for race day. The car was also dropping off cam, spluttering badly if Marek failed to get the perfect exit from the Chicane.

Saturday dawned darker, cooler and with the threat of rain. A squall ran through ninety minutes before race start, causing some to lower tyre pressures. That seemed pretty pessimistic – there was surely enough time and ambient heat to dry the track, and there was another race first – but it turned out to be the correct choice. It didn’t rain again before the start and the track looked dry, but something happened (perhaps the pre-War cars had dropped more oil), and the keyword was ‘slippery’. Remarkably, lap times would be a full twenty seconds slower than practice on what looked like a pretty dry strip of tarmac.

The first clue was on the parade lap. All twenty eight cars got going fine, but heading to Woodcote corner Gilbert Lenoir spun – fortunately he kept the engine running and rejoined. Twenty two cars exited the chicane in three-two-three formation, and what a sight they made past the pits as they burbled up to the grid waiting on the (not quite as quick as promised) flag. Three (Hewes, Hageman & Wright) hung off the back, mindful of clutches whilst three more (Lenoir, Ernst & Linde) were considerably further back.

Moments after the flag. Photo Robin Shackleton

Someone always loses out on Goodwood starts, caught out of gear as the flag suddenly rises and falls, and this year it was Nigel Ashman, swamped and about 20th at Madgwick. Simon reacted quite well, but the Martin just had no grip in the odd conditions and he drooped to sixth. Sam, no doubt with a lecture about starting on Norton clutches still ringing in his ears, made the best start from the front row, reasonably cautious but still effective. But still he was blown away by Neil and Mike. Neil (no stranger to miserable starts at Goodwood) had a nose ahead on the inside into Madgwick. Mike ran around the outside where he found enough grip to move ahead on the run to Fordwater. Neil returned the favour and re-took the lead. But he was just too fast for St Mary’s and spun around. He had to wait for the pack to pass, but at least got going again in 22nd place.

Through Madgewick for the first time; Hodges from Fowler and Wilson

So Mike led Lap 1, but not from Sam. Taking the time to settle, he had been passed by Gordon Russell and Peter Kumlin (back on his 2005 form), these four eking out a 3” gap from the chasers. Who, most impressively, were led by James Gray. – fourteenth on the grid, tenth into the first corner, he passed several bigger names for fifth. On his tail were Darrell, a recovering Nigel Ashman (a phenomenal second half of the lap), Simon, John Jones and again impressively, Richard in the Revis for tenth. In close formation were Nigel challis, Roy Hunt, John Chisholm, Shirley, Rodney and Richard Utley, Duncan hanging off, then a gap to Hakan, Marek, Per and Paul Hewes. Roy and Olle followed at some distance, but Olle spun round out of the Chicane, being passed by a recovering Neil and, just past the line, Gilbert Lenoir. The Whitfill was being driven cautiously, but pottered on.

JB gets the Cousy out of shape on his way to a superb fourth. Photo Kitty Chisholm

We had already lost Vernon’s JP with magneto troubles. The McCandless (with such potential in the wet) seemed similarly afflicted, losing its spark just as the flag fell. It was pushed into pit exit where the spark plug was changed (partly in hope, partly as it was the only relevant spare in pocket). She fired and went away, but failed to complete the lap, the problem in fact being down to a the battery for the fuel pump.

Lap 2, and Sam moved ahead of Peter Kumlin, the former apparently following the same controlled approach as in practice and building his speed carefully. Third was soon second as Mike span out of the lead at St. Mary’s. Unlike Neil a lap earlier, Mike lost the engine and there was no chance of getting her going again on the wet grass.

Gordon still led over the line, but Sam was closing and Peter Kumlin still in contact. James had held off Nigel, who were being chased by JB and Darrell, the latter getting very lairy out of the Chicane, as he would on almost every lap. Simon was struggling in the Martin, he had not been particularly happy with the handling on its debut at Mallory Park, and the odd conditions here seemed to be exacerbating that problem. There was a certain irony that he was passed by the inferior Arnott of John Chisholm, the handling of which had been transformed by his own input. It wasn’t to be Simon’s day. Gone on this lap was the Revis, which went bang in a big way. Richard could at least take some solace from the speed the car had shown in the handful of laps and partial laps it started. It will soon be competitive if it can actually finish the laps. Also parking up at the end of the lap was Roy in the Flash.

Roy and Rodney meet at the exit of the chicane. Photo Mike Wood.

Lap 3 was a lap for the Kiefts. Sam found a way past Gordon and opened up a 2-second lead. Peter Kumlin was a couple of lengths behind, but quickly under pressure from Nigel Ashman, who had passed the Comet, who had JB in his mirrors. Notably, these top five were covered by just six seconds. Darrell was sixth and now chased by John Chisholm, whilst further back Simon was under a lot of pressure from Nigel Challis.

Behind these two was a nasty little incident. Roy was struggling with the Martin, and out of the Chicane it let go. A 270˚ left the car facing the infield and Roy booted it to get headed in the right direction. Poor old Rodney had chosen that side (and the racing line), factoring that the Martin would continue rolling backwards out of his way. The cars hit nose to nose, the Kieft taking the greater damage and jumping over the lower, pointier nose of the Martin. With the forward driver position of the Kieft, the fear was that Rodney may have been injured. He wasn’t but whilst the dent hadn’t quite encroached into the footwell it was preventing more than half an inch of clutch pedal travel. Rodney soldiered on without a clutch – not such a problem whilst racing, more so when trying to find neutral entering parc ferme at the end of the race…

Roy also would continue, but his handling problems were worsening with increasing understeer. At Woodcote he needed to get more and more aggressive on turn-in. On the eighth attempt the car baulked and chose snap over steer. This chucked him across the gravel into the barrier backwards, de-wiring the wire wheel.

Back to the race, and Nigel passed Peter and Gordon for second and notably was barely a second behind Sam. James had also jumped Peter for fourth whilst JB was still close behind, now barely four seconds from the lead – not bad after four laps.

Darrell was some fifteen seconds behind, still wagging the tail out of the Chicane, but now with John right on his tail. A thirty second gap had opened to the rest of the field, partly as a result of the accident. Rodney led this group followed by Shirley (running at a reasonable pace by historic standards, but not this year’s form; a post-race strip down found a broken valve spring costing some power but fortunately not detonating the engine). Richard Utley chased, followed by the struggling Roy Hunt.

Per Hageman's Effyh leads Paul Hewes' Cooper

Meanwhile, Neil Hodges was in (nearly) full flight. Like Shirley, he had some vague engine troubles not totally obvious in the strange conditions and only clear on viewing lap times. Stuck in no man’s land he could have cruised to the finish, until his “pit crew” (a fairly generous description) gave him a five-letter incentive: “MAREK”.

The off-cam problem of practice was for Marek was amplified in these conditions and he was further back than he would have hoped. Suitably charged, Neil had chased onto his tail (there being a healthily unhealthy rivalry between the two) and passing the pits he pulled up alongside the misfiring Emeryson. Neil offered a cheery wave – exact number of fingers and configuration uncertain – and was past for fifteenth. This was like a red rag to a bull, and Marek threw caution to the wind to return the favour. Pushing closer to the limit he was just about holding on, but seventh time through Madgwick he was spat off the track and spun into retirement.

Nigel Ashman was gathering himself for a late push (no one had expected the track to be so much slower and plans were for 10-12 laps, not just nine that were completed in the allotted twenty minutes). He looked to have the measure of the maroon car and it would make a remarkable comeback if he could win after that start. But on the fifth time out the back at Levant he put a wheel on the grass and around went the white Kieft. He kept the engine running, but it seemed to take an age to get back on track. He completed the lap back down in sixth off the back of the lead group. JB was now coming into his own, passing James, who was starting to fade as the track dried, and monstering the Effyh.

Hodges' Cooper leads Utley's JBS out of the chicane. Photo Kitty Chisholm

At this stage, it looked to be settled. Sam now led Gordon by two seconds, JB was right on Peter’s tail and would probably find a way through. James had fallen back to five seconds behind these two and Nigel, whilst faster than James, looked unlikely to bridge that gap. Further back, Darrell had been passed by John Chisholm and didn’t look to have an answer, and a few more seconds behind, Nigel Challis had the measure of Simon Frost. The thick end of a minute behind were the walking wounded. Rodney led, but was losing time to Roy (still running at this stage) and the rest. Neil had now passed Richard Utley, but the weak engine meant Richard would repeatedly re-pass. Marek was about to depart, and Shirley was slowing. Duncan was somewhat on his own, but the Trimax had gone further than it has since it’s return and he was really enjoying himself. Häkan and Per were having their own private Swedish battle completing the cars on the lead lap. And the Whitfill and Gilbert’s Cooper Mk IV were in formation a lap down, the former ahead after another embarrassing moment for Gilbert.

There was still three laps to go, and much would change. For one, the track was finally drying, altering the balance again. For another, some who perhaps thought it was over hadn’t accounted for a driver behind with much more optimistic ambitions.

Gordon Russell leads Sam Wilson through the chicane. Photo Kitty Chisholm

JB did quickly dispose of the Effyh which, like James, was struggling as more grip became available. Nigel Ashman really had the red misties, he cleared the Comet and passed the Effyh on lap 8. He started the final lap a second and a half behind the Cousy but a couple of seconds faster. In pursuit he would set the fastest lap and surged past along the Lavant Straight to take the final place on the podium. It was a superb chase back, but you had to feel for JB, who had again out-driven himself.

Fifth and sixth would be Peter and James, both having driven very well when conditions allowed them to punch above their weight. Another to benefit from the drying conditions was Darrell, who realised he could now match and then catch the Arnott of John Chisholm. It wasn’t an easy pass as they were setting very similar lap times, but he got back on the Arnott’s tail and passed him for seventh on Lap 8. But Darrell hadn’t spotted that their battling had allowed Nigel Challis to latch onto their tails and a great final lap had Nigel mugging both of them. Simon Frost completed the top ten, never finding the confidence in the car to show his proper form.

Fifty seconds later, Richard Utley crossed the line just ahead of Neil Hodges after three laps of to-ing and fro-ing, both passing Rodney Delves. Shirley was distant and slowing, but Duncan managed to just remain unlapped. Häkan, Per, Paul, Olle and Rudi all finished one lap down.

But that wasn’t the end of it. There was still a race for the win. Sam had appeared to have it sewn up, but a wheel on the grass at Woodcote dropped him back to Gordon (and it could have been much worse) who in turn was setting what was to that point fastest lap. Sam led by a second over the line, but Gordon had the momentum. Exiting Madgwick for the last time the Mackson was through! Sam recovered and in turn gathered momentum on the green car. On the final pass of the Lavant Straight the maroon Kieft retook the lead. It looked cut and dried, but between him and the Chicane was Gilbert Lenoir’s Cooper, up to be lapped for the second time. Sam, though, timed it perfectly to avoid being baulked and held out for the win by four tenths, with the lapped Cooper sandwiched between them.


Sam Wilson, Gordon Russell and Nigel Ashman receive their Laurels. Photo Carol Woods

 Classified Finishers

Pos Name Car Time Laps Best

Fastest Lap

Nigel Ashman - Kieft CK52-Norton


DNF: Roy Hunt - Martin-Norton, Marek Reichman - Emeryson-JAP, Roy Wright - Flash-Norton, Mike Fowler - Cooper Mk V-Norton, Richard Bishop-Miller - Revis-Norton, Vernon Williamson - JP-Vincent, Arnie Black - McCandless-Norton


DNS: Dave Lecoq - Petty-Norton, Kerry Horan - Trenberth-Vincent


Our thanks to the Earl of March and his team.


Report by Richard Hodges.


1 Sam Wilson Kieft CK52-Norton 20:05 9 2:10.953
2 Gordon Russell Mackson-Norton 20:06 9 2:09.813
3 Nigel Ashman Kieft CK52-Norton 20:12 9 2:08.048
4 JB Jones Cousy-Triumph 20:14 9 2:11.313
5 Peter Kumlin Effyh-JAP 20:22 9 2:13.492
6 James Gray Comet-JAP 20:32 9 2:11.933
7 Nigel Challis Cooper Mk VIII-Norton 20:43 9 2:11.484
8 Darrell Woods Staride-Norton 20:43 9 2:14.800
9 John Chisholm Arnott-JAP 20:45 9 2:15.381
10 Simon Frost Martin-Norton 20:49 9 2:14.333
11 Richard Utley JBS-Norton 21:39 9 2:16.381
12 Neil Hodges Cooper Mk VIII-JAP 21:40 9 2:17.662
13 Rodney Delves Kieft CK52-Norton 21:42 9 2:16.955
14 Shirley Monro Cooper Mk IV-JAP 22:02 9 2:20.387
15 Duncan Rabagliati Trimax-JAP 22:36 9 2:27.940
16 Hakan Sandberg JBS-Norton 20:18 8 2:28.572
17 Per Hageman Effyh-JAP 20:21 8 2:28.365
18 Paul Hewes Cooper Mk XI-JAP 21:03 8 2:30.881
19 Olle Linde Cooper Mk X-JAP 21:44 8 2:32.925
20 Rudolf Ernst Whitfill-Triumph 22:24 8 2:37.647
21 Gilbert Lenoir Cooper Mk IV-JAP 20:05 7 2:43.896

If the Revival races are supposed to be a show, the 500s certainly set the standard for the rest of the meeting. There was fine (and fair) battling through the field, with the lead six, the middle group, and the rest of the unlapped cars all creating great racing. Sam was a fair winner, but had been given a good run by the old guns. James Gray drove superbly, and JB was so unlucky not to grab a podium. Better yet, there was a camera on Gordon’s car, so perhaps we’ll get to see Hodges & Fowler spinning away the lead – a definite YouTube favourite.

Peter Kumlin struggles to keep the Effyh in line. Photo Kitty Chisholm

Sam Wilson in the Don Parker Kieft CK52. Photo Kitty Chisholm