Finally thawed out? Yep, Goodwood’s 76th Members’ Meeting was definitely a cold one but, with the feeling eventually returning to our fingertips, we have (at last) had a chance to sort through a mass of photos.
As our first Members’ Meeting experience, it certainly didn’t disappoint. Snow-covered daffodils might have been a strange sight in mid-March but, the paddocks full of automotive exotica more than made up for the mental meteorological conditions.
The racing was frantic (yet, on the whole, well behaved) and the two demonstration classes wowed the crowds with machines that don’t always get a chance to be let loose on the Goodwood tarmac.
In fact, these demo runs have quickly established themselves as a highlight of the various Members’ Meeting weekends and, for 2018, it was the turn of F5000 and Group 5 ‘special production’ cars to take to the West Sussex speedbowl.
The latter certainly proved popular with hardy spectators who braved the unseasonal blizzards to watch flame-spitting Porsche 935s, screaming BMW 320s and a roaring wide-body Chevrolet Corvette (among plenty of others) strut their stuff.
Introduced in 1976, this era of Group 5 machinery produced possibly the most hairy-chested, pumped up, attention-grabbing metal to ever roll out onto a racetrack.
Aided by some pretty laissez-faire regulations, manufacturers were able to take some fairly ordinary road cars and dose them up with weapons-grade amphetamines, resulting in ludicrous wings, snowplow-esque front splitters and huge box arches.
Coupled with some pretty iconic colour schemes (Gösser Beer BMW or Martini Lancia, anyone?) and Group 5 was always going to go down in the motorsport history books as a purple patch.
Even sitting still around the Goodwood paddocks, the cars looked fast and, once let loose on the track, the drivers didn’t hold back. This was definitely a high-speed demo to remember.
Of course, the 76th Members’ Meeting wasn’t all about these jaw-droppingly brutal Group 5 cars. But, you’ll just have to wait for part two of our mega gallery to drop later in the week to relive some of the other weird, wonderful and (sometimes) downright wacky automobiles that kept us thrilled during the 76MM chill…