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Jake Hill from Goudhurst wins Gerry Marshall Trophy at Goodwood


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By Simon Hildrew

A ‘beyond delighted’ Jake Hill celebrated a magnificent win last weekend, during the 78th Member’s Meeting at Goodwood.

The Goudhurst racer fought a titanic lead battle, with rival Craig Davies, to win the event’s feature race, the final of the Gerry Marshall Trophy.

Jake Hill, from Goudhurst, on his way to victory in the Gerry Marshall Trophy final. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52525000)
Jake Hill, from Goudhurst, on his way to victory in the Gerry Marshall Trophy final. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52525000)

The race, for saloon cars from the 1970s and early 80s, saw Hill driving a 1978 Ford Capri 3.0, on his race debut at the Goodwood Circuit. Experiencing the car for the first time, in a wet and slippery qualifying session on Saturday morning, Hill had claimed a brilliant pole position for the start of his heat.

That afternoon, and run in dry conditions, he made a flying start to lead the pack on the opening laps. Hill managed to keep a healthy lead for several laps until the more powerful American muscle cars caught up, using their sheer power advantage.

Despite Hill’s best defensive efforts to keep them at bay, Jack Tetley, in his 5-litre Chevrolet Camaro, swept by to take the lead, with Hill still in hot pursuit. The eventual loss of second gear, though, dropped him back to finish second. The result placed him in third spot on the grid, for the Grand Final on Sunday afternoon.

Goudhurst's Jake Hill celebrates his the Gerry Marshall Trophy final success in a 1978 Ford Capri Mk3 3.0S. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52525016)
Goudhurst's Jake Hill celebrates his the Gerry Marshall Trophy final success in a 1978 Ford Capri Mk3 3.0S. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52525016)

Making a storming get-away at the start, Hill again led the rest on the opening laps. Four laps in, the fast charging Craig Davies, in his Ford Mustang, caught up and tried several times to pass but Hill, using all his skill, kept him at bay until the Mustang’s power advantage enabled Davies to pass on lap seven.

With Hill refusing to give up lightly, he kept the pressure up and dived back past Davies, only to run wide across the grass and take the pair of them off. Luckily they managed to keep going and continued with Davies this time back in front.

Hill managed to close the gap again and with just a few minutes of the race left to run, Davies, suffering with brake problems, ran off the road and hit the tyre wall, leaving Hill to continue unchallenged to the chequered flag. Davies did get going again and was eventually classified fourth at the finish.

Rob Fenn, from West Kingsdown, retired ater five laps, in his 1965 Ford Mustang, in the Pierpoint Cup race. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524996)
Rob Fenn, from West Kingsdown, retired ater five laps, in his 1965 Ford Mustang, in the Pierpoint Cup race. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524996)

Hill was due to race again the previous day, sharing a Mustang, with owner, West Kingsdown’s Rob Fenn, in the Pierpoint Cup, a 45-minute race for pre-66 V8 saloon cars. The duo had qualified the car in 13th place, during a very wet session, with Fenn to start the race. However, after just five laps, the car ground to a halt, with a rota arm failure, denying Hill the chance to take over and race it.

Nick Swift (60), from Tenterden, had to retire after two laps in the lead, in heat one of the Gerry Marshall Trophy race, in his Mini 1275 GT. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524991)
Nick Swift (60), from Tenterden, had to retire after two laps in the lead, in heat one of the Gerry Marshall Trophy race, in his Mini 1275 GT. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524991)

Other Kent racers didn’t fare so well over the weekend. Nick Swift, from Tenterden, put his Mini 1275 GT on pole, for his heat in the Gerry Marshall Trophy but retired after just two laps. Having quickly built up a substantial lead, he had to retire the car with front suspension and steering failure.

Ollie Streek, from Goudhurst, retired with two laps to go, from heat one of the Gerry Marshall Trophy race in his 1982 Austin Metro 1300. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524995)
Ollie Streek, from Goudhurst, retired with two laps to go, from heat one of the Gerry Marshall Trophy race in his 1982 Austin Metro 1300. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524995)

Also retiring later from the same race was Goudhurst’s Ollie Streek, racing a 1982 Austin Metro 1300. From 11th spot on the grid, he made his way through the field to run in eighth place, until a mechanical failure stopped him two laps from the end.

Chris Goodwin, from Sevenoaks, crashed out on the opening lap of the Gurney Cup, in his 1963 Lotus 23B. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524990)
Chris Goodwin, from Sevenoaks, crashed out on the opening lap of the Gurney Cup, in his 1963 Lotus 23B. Picture: Simon Hildrew (52524990)

Chris Goodwin, from Sevenoaks, suffered the worst luck. Sharing his 1963 Lotus 23B sports car, with Andrew Kirkaldy, in the two driver, Gurney Cup race. Goodwin started from 13th place and made a sensational start to run in fourth by the first corner. Further round the lap though, Goodwin had just taken third place and going into the approach for St Mary’s Corner, he lost the back end and slid off backwards into the tyre wall, causing some badly damaged rear bodywork.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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