Goodwood Revival
11th - 13th September 2015

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This year was based on the 1962 period, a great opportunity for the Ripley land Team as we were going to use Millie and Mork the G50s I've been racing for the last two years, we felt as we knew the bikes so well we had our best chance yet of a good result with the only changes were the addition of a full fairing to help the top speed. My teammate was James Haydon again and he'd already had a run out on a G50 at Castle Combe earlier and finished a creditable 4th place in strong company.

Arriving Thursday mid day at the campsite we met up with Ian and the boys who had saved us a space next to their campers, we hired a caravan to save the hassle of commuting from a hotel as the roads get clogged for the Revival.

Signing on at the drivers lounge, then dropping some gear off at the garages the bike was scrutineered, clothing done so nothing to do other than go to the cricket match. Lord March delivered his welcome speech and all the drivers and riders had their final instructions and safety meeting.

As part of the package we were invited to go up to the house for a Champagne reception where we stayed until late into the evening sampling Verve Clicquot Champagne, well someone had to do it!

Friday brought great weather and a packed paddock. The atmosphere was fabulous with most people dressing up in period gear and generally having a great time.

The practice / qualifying was set for 12:30, with a 30 minute session for both James and me to get to grips with the bike and circuit it was going to be a busy session.

I was out first on Mork and she was flying and I quickly got down to a great pace lapping over 3 seconds quicker than anyone else but as I started lap 4 the engine seized!

There was nothing I could do other than sit out the remainder of the session sat on the banking at the far side of the circuit. James managed to get out on the spare bike for a few laps but I had the transponder so his times were not recorded so my lap 3 time had to be used as our qualifying time.

The pace quickened up by the end of the session as expected and we dropped to 5th place on the grid, however as it was a Le Mans style start it was a bit academic anyway.

Getting back to the paddock it was clear there was nothing that could be done with Mork's engine so Rob and Steve quickly swapped the fairing over to Millie ready for Saturday's race one.

Once all the work was completed on the bike we all retired back to the campsite and enjoyed a BBQ and few beers.


The weather remained good for Saturday and the crowds were even larger than Friday so we had time to enjoy the car racing and parades that were going on until our race just after lunch.

Both races were Le Mans start and you have to do a rider change during the race between 8 and 16 minutes so the pit lane was going to be busy creating a great spectacle.

Theoretically each team had to have a VIP rider normally retired etc and a regular clubman rider but over the years the differential between VIP and rider have become blurred. But James was declared as the VIP, meaning that for the first race James would start and over to me then on Sunday the order would reverse.

As the race drew closer the atmosphere became tense, James was suited and booted and eager to go racing, so after the warm up lap the bikes were lined up, the riders the other side of the track. Flag down and away they went. James came round in 5th place with the MV leading and pulling away, riding super hard he pulled up to 4th place battling with James Whitham.

Before I knew it the pit board brought him in and a quick rider swap, I was out and pushing hard. A few laps later after all the pit stops had been completed and the race settled down I was running in 3rd place with Steve Plater in close company. Then I saw the MV rolling on to the grass and out of the race that was us up to 2nd place and closing quickly on the leader.

Then when it seemed like we were going to make the rostrum with just 3 minutes to go, I crashed rounding the next to last corner.

We'd been suffering front end patter though out the race and it was a case of dealing with it and the corner I crashed at we were struggling at the most. The patter normally would ease off as you sat up coming out of the turn but this time I was pushing hard trying to get away from Steve and close in on Duncan. These things happen, but it's always a difficult pill to swallow having to walk back to the paddock after doing so well in the race.

Ian and the team were naturally disappointed but also glad to see I was okay. The bike was wrecked so the boys did a motor swop using Millie's engine in Mork's chassis. Full marks to Steve and Rob for turning the bike round in record time.

Sunday the weather had turned with heavy rain over night it was cool and overcast with a stronger wind,  without a fairing, this would hurt the bikes top speed.

I started this time and after a few laps settled down in third place a few seconds behind Mike Russell with Duncan leading, I was trying as hard as I could but in the back of my mind I wanted to finish more than pushing as hard as before, on the up side Mork's chassis was working really well and although the patter was still there, it was much better.

Then there was a crash on the far side of the circuit and the yellow flags came out, Duncan and Mike got through the crash area but I caught a slower rider and was unable to pass on the flag, what was worse he rode very slowly though the flag and I lost two or three seconds staying behind him!

The next thing was the change over, I knew we couldn't speed in the pit lane or we would get a time penalty but we had to make up some time. James was eager and waiting.

We did a fantastic swap in under two seconds which meant as he left the pit lane we were in fact leading the race because Duncan had pitted earlier and was behind on the track (just) and Mike was yet to pit, but we knew when he did we would still be in front.

The remaining laps were a two horse race between Jeremy and James, swapping places right up to the last corner with James diving under Jeremy to take the lead into the chicane for the last time.

Jeremy didn't want to give it up and they went through the chicane almost side by side, everyone in the pit lane roared as the pair went passed but James just out dragged Jeremy to the line winning by 0.101 of a second.


What a result, what a ride, what a team.


Thanks to everyone involved in creating a fabulous weekend's racing.

Thanks to everyone, Ian Garbutt, James Haydon, Steve and Rob. Cheers!



Upcoming Lansdowne Events:

October 2/3/4 Snetterton 300 4 races CRMC