The Whitsun Trophy race at the 2011 Goodwood Revival was held 16-18 September at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex, England.
The 2011 Whitsun Trophy was the weekend’s fastest race, with a wonderful selection of ‘big banger’ sports prototypes that unleashed upwards of 10,000bhp between them. The legendary Ford GT40 featured strongly, with several taking part in the race, including a rare 1964 model. Providing stiff opposition were legions of Ferrari prototypes, Lotus 30s, Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyders and McLaren-Chevrolet M1s.
Goodwood rookie Jay Esterer emerged the winner of a physical Whitsun Trophy race at the 2011 Goodwood Revival. But the result wasn’t certain until the Canadian steered his Chinook-Chevrolet across the line – sideways. Pole-sitter Gary Pearson got off to a flier aboard Marshall Bailey’s Cambridge Cigarettes-liveried Lola T70 Spider only to be punted off at Madgwick corner by fellow Lola pilot Paul Knapfield. Red Bull designer Adrian Newey got caught up in the ensuing melee in his Ford GT40, miraculously avoiding Pearson’s rotating car as Knapfield pulled out several car lengths on Esterer who was now in second place aboard his Canadian-made Chinook.
The race was neutralised five minutes into its 25-minute running time after Mark Hales crashed Windham Davies’ Crosslé Mk7S at the chicane while trying to slice inside Joaquin Folch’s GT40. The safety car was deployed for almost ten minutes as the track was cleared.
Once racing resumed, Esterer and Knapfield swapped paint on the run up to Madgwick, Esterer making it stick at the same point a lap later. Knapfield briefly took back the lead on lap 12, only to lose it again at the kink on the Lavant straight. Pearson, meanwhile, caught the warring lead duo and once again he and Knapfield touched. Pearson made a bold bid for the lead at Woodcote corner which resulted him running wide at the exit. Esterer now led from Knapfield and it all appeared settled until the final lap when they came up to lap Jeremy Cottingham’s Ferrari 250LM at Woodcote. Both made it past but immediately got bunched up behind the other Chinook of Ray Boissoneau as they headed into the chicane for the last time. Esterer had to scrub off speed in a hurry to avoid hitting his slower team-mate and slid all the way to the line. Knapfield, meanwhile, spun off into the tyre wall, fortunately without injury.
Following the race a remarkably cool and collected Esterer praised Anthony Taylor’s Autotune team for its efforts in restoring the car, before adding: “It was a lot of fun and this is an amazing event. On these tyres it’s like driving on a gravel road: the Chinook is quite well mannered and very softly suspended. It’s an enjoyable car to race.”
Similar to our Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 coverage, photographer Tim Scott of Fluid Images also documented this year’s Goodwood Revival, including the following 173 pictures from the Whitsun Trophy race. To see more from Tim, visit fluidimages.co.uk.
Goodwood Revival 2011 – Whitsun Trophy Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)