JD Classics has kicked off the racing season in style, with two wins and a podium finish at the 75th Goodwood Members Meeting, held 18-19 March at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in England.
After last racing season’s tally of 14 wins for JD Classics, the Maldon-based team was in fine form once again at the 2017 Goodwood Members Meeting. From a total of seven cars campaigned, JD Classics picked up victories in two races and one podium finish.
The team’s first victory of the weekend came in the Gerry Marshall Trophy with the team’s Patrick Motorsport Rover SD1. Following a slippery qualifying session on Saturday morning, the team’s drivers, Chris Ward and Gordon Shedden, were tasked with starting the race from 8th position on the grid.
With track conditions improved for the race, the Rover could make full use of its power as the flag fell and the race got underway. In fact, only a few corners in Chris Ward had managed to overtake most of the pack, to slot into 3rd position. By the time the lap was done, Chris had threaded his way into the lead.
The Rover was closely followed by a Camaro in 2nd, which finally made its move on lap 8 to snatch the lead. The two continued to tussle, but a quick pit-stop for the JD car and a slow stop for the Camaro saw the Rover regain the lead. A safety car bunched up the pack in the last 20 minutes, but the JD Classics Rover continued to surge ahead to finish the race 13 seconds clear.
Chris Ward also took the win driving the Rover SD1 in Sunday’s 15-minute Gerry Marshall Trophy sprint race, too, which sees the cars start in reverse order. Starting from 19th position, Chris made it to 9th within the first lap, 5th by lap 3 and was in the lead shortly after that, to take JD Classics’ second win of the weekend.
It was in the new Scott Brown Trophy that JD Classics picked up its podium finish in the team’s Costin Lister, in a race made up entirely of V8-powered Listers. It was Chris Ward behind the wheel once more for qualifying, sitting in 2nd for most of the session, before just being pipped into third place.
As the Scott Brown Trophy race began on Sunday, Ward got off to another great start, securing 2nd place by the end of the lap. In keeping up with the leading Lister Knobbly, Chris lapped the circuit in 1:24.6 — the quickest this car has ever been around Goodwood. Despite Chris’ pace, he couldn’t catch the lead Knobbly, and finished the race in 2nd.
The team’s final race of the weekend was the Surtees Trophy, introduced with a tribute to the race’s namesake, John Surtees, which saw Lord March lead a lap of honour in a Lola T70 as the cars in the paddock revved their engines.
The JD Classics Ford GT40 lined up for the Surtees Trophy in 8th position, after a qualifying session that was dominated by Lola T70s. The GT40 got away cleanly and began making up places, but in the fading light of Sunday evening two cars crashed, leading to a call-out for the safety car. With 15 minutes of the race remaining, the safety car pulled in and the JD Classics GT40 was free to race to the finish, crossing the line in 6th.
JD Classics also had two debut appearances at Members Meeting, with a single-seater Cooper T45 and an Alfa Romeo 8C 2600 Monza both competing for the first time. The Cooper put in a fantastic performance with John Young at the wheel, finishing a nail-biting race in 4th, just 0.1 seconds shy of the podium.
The Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, put in a solid qualifying session after a slight misfire was quickly rectified. Racing in the Varzi Trophy on Sunday, the 8C 2600 Monza piloted by JD Classics MD, Derek Hood, showed pace to make up one position in a competitive class of French and Italian pre-war grand prix cars.
Completing the JD Classics line-up for the weekend was the team’s Jaguar XJS TWR with Steve Soper at the wheel, which took part in the Group A demonstrations across both days of the 2017 Goodwood Members Meeting.
JD Classics Managing Director, Derek Hood, said: “This was the perfect way to follow up our incredible season of classic motorsport last year. The expert mechanics in our Competition Department have done a brilliant job of preparing and maintaining these cars, including some new arrivals that have already shown their pace during Members’ Meeting. We’ve got plenty more racing ahead, but with the world-class team we have here, I’m certain we’ll also have plenty more successes.”