A decade after a similar race at the Goodwood Revival Meeting, the programme for the 77th Members’ Meeting (April 6/7) will include the Betty Richmond Trophy.
The race will feature a 30-car field of Minis in period trim and Mini aces such as Nick Swift, Nick Padmore and Jonathan Lewis are likely contenders.
The option for Mini variants opens the race to Wolseley Hornets and in 2009 it was the pairing of Oliver Gavin and Swift that took victory when the St Mary’s Trophy was run as a two-part race for pre-1966 Minis.
That event was the catalyst for a race series for Minis run by Masters Historic Racing in 2010, but it was soon dropped due to a lack of regular support.
The Goodwood race is named after the current Duke’s grandmother, Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Richmond. Her husband ‘Freddie’ Gordon-Lennox, the 9th Duke of Richmond was a successful racing driver and, in 1948, turned the perimeter road around RAF Westhampnett into the Goodwood Circuit.
Freddie was on good terms with Alec Issigonis, the designer of the Mini, and in 1959 took delivery of one of the first Minis produced. The present Duke remembers the car well: “It was a bright-red Austin Seven with a steering wheel as big as the car!
“My grandfather loved it, he was fascinated by clever, light, small-engined cars.
“But Betty loved the Mini even more and used to go hurtling around the estate in it, to the extent that my grandfather wouldn’t let her venture outside the park.
“It is, therefore, entirely fitting to name this new race at the 77th Members’ Meeting after my grandmother who is really the person, more than anyone, who got me hooked on cars, bikes and racing.”