The Whitsun Trophy race at the Goodwood Revival 2016 was held September 9-11 at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex, England.
Former World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff took advantage of the wet conditions of the Whitsun Trophy to win in his Lotus-Oldsmobile 19 replica, a car which, in the dry, might have been less competitive than the mighty Lola T70s. It was, though, one of Eric Broadley’s designs, a former Team Surtees factory car, that led for most of the race. For its driver Mike Whitaker, the contest was a tale of two ‘offs’. The first was simply unfortunate, the second cost him victory.
Whitaker had set the pole winning time in practice but his team had never run the Lola T70 in the wet and he spun on the out lap before the race for unlimited sports racers had started. Once the flag had fallen, Huff edged the T70 Spyders of Whitaker and Tony Sinclair off the line while former Ensign Grand Prix driver Tiff Needell heroically blasted his Lotus 30 around the outside going from seventh to second and then back to seventh even before the second bend. As the pack settled down, Whitaker moved into the lead with Huff in pursuit.
With 16 of the 25 minutes still left to run, a mere five seconds covered the first five cars with Ford GT40 pilot, Chris Ward appearing menacingly quicker than his rivals and moving through the field. With 11 minutes remaining, Huff tried a brave move at the chicane in Chris Toleman’s copy of a Team Mecom Lotus. The leading pair was almost side-by-side through the chicane with Ward now on their tail. The Lola came out still in first and the Ford now dropped back. For a short while it appeared as if Whitaker had pulled out something of a gap.
The rain was now abating, which perversely seemed a cue for a number of competitors to spin or run off the road. Unfortunately, one of these was Whitaker who took to the grass at Lavant, allowing Huff past and into a two second lead in the older specification Lotus. With traffic impeding the leader, the gap came down to a second. However, Whitaker had run out of time and Huff was about to almost slide into the chicane before heading for the chequered flag and victory.
Goodwood Revival 2016 – Whitsun Trophy Race Results
1. Rob Huff, 1962 Lotus-Oldsmobile 19
2. Mike Whitaker, 1966 Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyder
3. Tiff Needell, 1965 Lotus-Ford 30
Goodwood Revival 2016 – Whitsun Trophy Video
[Source: Goodwood; photo: Drew Gibson]