Goodwood has become synominous with the Festival of Speed and the Revival, but being my local circuit, it's always good to visit on quitter days for smaller, but no less enthusiastic events. Now that we are properly into autumn a cold day at Goodwood for the VSCC Sprint in the perfect excuse for a day out to extend the season a little further.
The Club has a number of classifications for membership: owners of cars built before 1931 and a Driving Membership for cars registered pre 1940. It is also possible to join as an Associate, for those who have an interest in cars of the period. The Club has a strong membership of some 7 500 and have some 35 events across the season; including hill climbs, trials and autotests. There are also some 600 pub meets during the course of the year. The cars of the period are very much of a by-gone age, when motoring was a pleasure, before motorways and heavy traffic.
The features of the cars are fascinating. Cable brakes, centre throttle with advance and retard on the steering wheel. Free from modern aides, such as ABS and traction control, motoring must have been a far more pleasurable than it is today. Instrumentation and dials were there to inform the driver and assist in making decisions. Whereas, cars of today, almost make those decisions for you. It must have been a far more pleasurable and involving experience?
The Autumn Sprint consists of a standing start from the pit-lane, plus one flying, timed lap. A field of 114 competitors were divided over 12 classes. Overall Fastest Time went to Ben Fidler in an ERA of 104:45sec. Tony Lees picked up the fastest time of 107.12 for the Vintage prize with his A.C./ G.N. Cognac and Ewan Getley was timed at 113.94 in his Bentley 3 41/2.
There is a very much a "run what you brung" enthusiasm for the event as a number of competitors drove their steeds to the event. One car of note, being Kenneth Pritchard-Jones' 1907 Wolseley Wolsit Coppa-Florio, a proper Edwardian Racer was competed in the Targa Florio in period, is used on the road occasionally.
The final photograph of my series is that of The Kennels, which is the members club for the Goodwood Road Racing Club, and where my pals David and Barry finished a rather chilly but fun day at good for a refreshing pint before the journey home.