There has been lots of debate on the Independent Goodwood Photographers Guild Facebook page in recent days about what would happen if it snowed this weekend. I think we all worried about the track being covered in snow, leaving us with no racing to watch. As it happened, our worst fears weren’t realised and, snow or no snow, the racing went ahead as planned. The motorbike practice planned for today didn’t go ahead but I guess only having two wheels on the tarmac is somewhat scarier when you’re faced with falling snow!
The day started fairly snow-free, although the biting easterly wind sent temperatures well below zero once you’d taken the windchill in account. Most of the day was taken up with practice and qualifying for the races tomorrow, although that didn’t stop the drivers from pushing the limits at times. By mid-morning snow was beginning to fall quite heavily and we enjoyed the rather bizarre sight of formula 5000 cars driving demonstration laps around the circuit on slick tyres in decidedly slippery conditions. One can only imagine the chaos there would have been if they’d been racing!
Unlike the Racing Revival, which also takes place on the circuit in September, there is much greater public access for the Members Meeting and you can go almost anywhere to watch the action. During a particularly cold and snowy period I spent some time observing the relative quiet of the pitlane while the cars were out on track. There was plenty of racing detritus around to photograph, such as pit boards and spare wheels.
After lunch I took a fairly brisk stroll (so as to keep warm) down to Madgwick, the first corner of the circuit. It’s always a good spot to photograph from as drivers hustle their cars around this tricky double apex corner. I stayed here for three practice sessions, covering a pretty long period of motor racing history. While I was there I also tried shooting through the fence to capture a lower viewpoint and made an attempt to include some of the millions of daffodils in the frame.
The day ended with the first race of the meeting, the Gerry Marshall Trophy. These were all touring cars from the 1970s and 80s and, no matter what the weather threw at them, the drivers were really pushing the limits. I chose to shoot from inside the chicane which gave me a close up view of the action and scope for some dramatic shots as day turned into night.
17 March 2018