GLORIOUS GOODWOOD: James Wood pictured after finishing third in Goodwood' s Earl Howe Trophy driving Nick Mason's Bugatti Type 35B and also seen on-track in the car (Photos courtesy of Philip Harbord)
James Wood has spoken of his delight at competing in the recent 78th Members' Meeting at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex write Colin and James Beckett.
The Vale-based racer, well-known for driving cars at the venue's annual Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed, was asked to drive three exotic racing machines at the Members' event - scoring a superb third place podium finish in the Earl Howe Trophy at the wheel of a Bugatti Type 35B.
Speaking this week, Wood says, "It was such a privilege to be asked to drive just one car at Goodwood, let alone three. Spanning seven decades of design and engineering, from the wooden steering wheel and cable brakes of the Bugatti to the carbon-fibre of a Jaguar XJR15."
Adding, "It took a few laps to get used to driving the Bugatti, with its powerful engine and back-to-front gearbox. Controlling the wheelspin in the corners was the main issue, even on the crest at Fordwater when at a speed of over 100mph!"
Wood's performance in the Earl Howe Trophy at the wheel of the Bugatti, owned by Nick Mason - the drummer of the rock band Pink Floyd - caught the eye, as did his participation in the Gerry Marshall Trophy at the wheel of a mighty 3.5-litre Rover 3500. Wood said of his Rover experience, "The car's owner Robert Brooks sadly passed away in August, and so this event was very much contested in his memory. It was fantastic to be back in the Rover, which I love driving. It was a shame I had to start seventeenth in the Final, but I charged up to sixth in a shortened race which was great fun."
Being a driver asked to help celebrate the history of the Jaguar XJR15, Wood says, "It was great to be part of the Jaguar celebrations, and be asked to drive alongside original series racers such as David Brabham, Armin Hahne, John Watson and Ian Flux. I really enjoyed it, and would like to thank John Ogilvie for handing me such an opportunity. I am already looking forward to next year's event!"
* Tom Ingram scored a third place finish in the final Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race of the season at Brands Hatch on Sunday, a result good enough to allow him to claim fourth position in the final points standings. The Vale-based racer arrived at the Kent track with an outside chance of lifting the coveted 2021 BTCC crown, but a thirteenth place finish in the meeting's first race ended his slim title aspirations.
Twelve in race two, Ingram was able to bounce back in race three, to cross the line in fading autumnal light to round out his season for the EXCELR8 with Ginsters and TradePrice Cars Hyundai team. Ingram said, "Arriving at Brands I had the chance, if results went my way, of winning but sadly that option quickly disappeared. It was good to finish on the podium in the last race, and I would like to thank everyone who helped make my season a success."
Adding, "We are all looking towards next season now, and I hope we will be able to come back to the BTCC and race for victories and challenge for the overall championship title."
Ash Sutton ended the year as the champion, retaining the crown he won in 2020. The Laser Tools Infiniti racer, scored a total of 357 points across the thirty-race BTCC season, defeating Colin Turkington (BMW) 306 and Josh Cook (Honda) 303. Ingram's tally in fourth being 300.
* A number of Vale-based Formula Ford teams and drivers will be in action at Brands Hatch this weekend, when the 50th Formula Ford Festival is set to take place. The race meeting is is one of Britain's leading club events, and takes place just one week prior to Silverstone's annual Walter Hayes Trophy for Formula Ford 1600 cars.