By Simon Hildrew
Platt’s Heath racing driver Jake Hill was thrilled to get the opportunity to drive a 1990s Grand Prix car during last weekend’s 79th Members’ Meeting at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex.
The car was a 1993 Footwork Mugen-Honda FA14, painted in 1994 livery. Britain’s Derek Warwick raced it during the 1993 season, scoring a best position of fourth at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Ironically, Hill won that race - Damon, not Jake! It was six months before the latter was born!
Jake’s drive formed part of a series of high-speed demonstration laps, celebrating the V10 powered engine era of the 1990s.
Two demo's were held, one on each day of the event, with over a dozen cars participating.
Disappointment came, though, when the car refused to fire up for the first run and Hill wasn’t able to take part. Thankfully the team got the car running on Sunday and Hill roared around the track, blasting out an ear-splitting sound from the fabulous V10 engine.
Hill was also in action competing in the Gerry Marshall Trophy, a race he won last year, in Ric Wood’s 1980 Ford Capri Mk3. Once again sharing the same car with Wood, in the two-driver, 45-minute event, they had qualified in a creditable fifth place, with the more powerful American Muscle cars filling the top four places.
Wood started the race with the Mustangs and Camaros flying off into a healthy lead over the rest. Wood slowly slid down the order and by lap nine he was in 13th place.
Two laps later he made his pit-stop, where Hill took over the car. Other cars also pitting over the next few laps and a lengthy safety car period, after David Brabham was punted into the tyre wall on his entry to the pit lane, closed-up the field.
Hill managed to power his way back up the order and after a great dice with Sam Hancock, in another Capri, passed him in the final minutes, while lapping a back-marker and finished in an excellent fourth place.
Tenterden racer Nick Swift was also competing in the Gerry Marshall Trophy, pairing with regular team-mate, Andrew Jordan. Driving his 1978 Mini 1275 GT, Swift started the race from 16th on the grid.
He gradually made his way up to 13th before having to pit with engine problems. They managed to get the car out again with Jordan at the wheel but the lengthy pit-stop meant they were now nine laps down and were unclassified at the finish.
Swift had much better luck on Sunday though, during the 15-minute Sprint race. Starting from a lowly 20th on the grid he drove at a magnificent pace to finish ninth.
Swift also took part in the all Frazer Nash, AFP Fane Trophy, a race in celebration of Frazer Nash’s Centenary, once again driving the unique 1928 Saloon 'The Owlett'.
Starting from ninth, he dropped down to 11th but before he could make up any ground the race was red flagged after six laps.
Paul Waine had a serious accident in his 1935 car and had to be airlifted to hospital with chest injuries.
Marden’s Patrick Watts had a rather lonely race in the Robert Brooks Trophy for 1950’s Sports Cars, driving Malcolm Harrison’s 1959 Rejo-Ford Mk 3, a car both he and Harrison regularly compete in.
Watts had qualified an impressive sixth but gradually dropped down the field, racing against the more competitive Lotus and Lola cars and finished 11th.
The next Motor Sport event at Goodwood is the annual Festival of Speed, held in the grounds of Goodwood House, over four days from June 23 to 26. Tickets are on sale at www.goodwood.com.