There is probably no other country in the world other than England that is able to combine class, camaraderie and community in one event with a relaxed and friendly setting. From 1949 to 1966, Goodwood Members’ Meetings were run more than once a year over the 3.8km circuit at Goodwood House, the estate of Lord March, near the south coast of England. Lord March revived the event in 2014 to celebrate the atmosphere and sense of community of the historic Members’ Meetings once more. It is an event exclusively for insiders, who gather in intimate, relaxed surroundings and have access to all areas. IWC Schaffhausen has been the Official Timing Partner of the event since 2015. IWC has launched three special editions of the new Ingenieur Chronograph at this event. You will read more about these watches in coming article.
Mika Hakkinen, the “Flying Finn”, driving the Silver Arrow W196 Monoposto – made possible by sponsor IWC
Passion for Historic Motorsports
Imagine that you are driving in the beautiful countryside around Chichester in West Sussex, passing towns like Tangmere, East Hampnett, and Boxgrove in your classic Mercedes 300SL. You park your car in the parking area near the Goodwood racetrack and walk through the gate. You find an open spot near the track after picking up a cup of coffee or tea. And then you hear two Silver Arrows’ engines starting. You don’t see them yet but you will, shortly. And then they pass in front of you with a roaring sound that makes you put your hands on your ear.
IWC and Mercedes made it possible for attendees to see a clash of titans of the past: the Mercedes Silver Arrow W196 Monoposto and the W196 Streamliner. See this link for our earlier report:
Mika Hakinnen in the Mercedes W196 Monoposto
Jochen Mass in the Mercedes W196 Streamliner, a car that does not show a number because it has only been used for testing.
Driving in a car with engines up to 650hp and speeds well over 300km can easily be called “a dangerous living”. In the past, racing was not as regulated and safe as nowadays. Perhaps, as a result, many friendships were formed. The drivers shook each other’s hand before the race because they never knew if they would see each other again after the race. Bernd Schneider and Karl Wendlinger told this story during a breakfast meeting. They also said that friendships are less common nowadays among drivers, because everyone is fully booked from the day they arrive to the race, until they leave. There is a lot of respect, but hardly any friendships. Bonding occurs within teams because everyone has to work closely together to make a difference of tens of seconds in a race.
Two generations of famous race car drivers interacting: Jochen Mass and Allen Markelson
How different is historic motor sports from modern motor sports! There is an open, relaxed atmosphere, a sense of community, chatting with peers and openness. Although the race between Hakinnen and Mass in their Silver Arrows probably was the highlight of the event, there were twelve races in total, varying from the classics of 1905 to the ground effect F1 cars of late 1970s and early 1980s. Herewith an impression with some photos:
Between the races
When the thrill of the race is gone, you smile to your friends and wait for the next round. Between the races, you mingle, talk, sit and chat. With family, friends… or strangers. It happened several times that people approached me to start a chat and vice versa. You meet people in classic dress and contemporary casual dress.
And more photos behind the scenes:
Of course, as a watch connoisseur, you admire your watch and those of others. After all, time is important in motor sports. IWC sponsors the event. So, obviously, you do some IWC watch-spotting during the event.
Back home in your classic car in the English country
When the races and festivities are over, you finally walk to your car again, this time with some friends and you decide to take another ride… Just some driving through the hills of England, with the occasional stop at a cottage for a cup of tea with some cake, if you left earlier. When doing that, you forget about your “to-do lists”, deadlines, and worries. It is definitely good for the brain! Impressions, illustrated in photos: