An epic Whitsun Trophy provided a suitably dramatic dénouement to the 2008 Goodwood Revival race card. At the start, former BTTC champion Frank Sytner led from the outside of the front row in his Lola T70 Spider while last year’s winner – and pole sitter – Ray Bellm spun his Ford GT40 just two corners into the race before returning trackside. By the end of the first lap, Simon Hadfield had taken Sytner in Howard Jones’ Lola ‘Zerex Special’.
The historics superstar made amends for his poor start and proceeded to build a commanding lead only to see it disappear in an instant. On the third lap, Sytner spun at St. Mary’s, several other cars doing likewise on spilt fire extinguisher foam which prompted the deployment of the safety car.
At the restart, Hadfield was chased hard through Fordwater by Chris Jolley’s fearsome ex-Skip Hudson Cooper-Chevy. On lap nine, Moscow-based McLaren M1B driver ‘Russian’ Roger Wills attempted to take Jolley at Lavant – on the outside – but was rebuffed, while Hadfield ran wide at Woodcote but the veteran managed to catch the slide without losing a place. Wills made it stick at Madgwick on the following tour while hard-charging journalist Mark Hales kept a watching brief in the brutish Attila-Chevy only to get jumped by a recovering Bellm with six minutes to go. With just three minutes left to run, and thirteen laps in, Bellm outdragged Jolley for third on the approach to Woodcote. The positions remained static to the flag, Hadfield taking a thoroughly deserved win in tricky circumstances.