The annual Goodwood Revival celebrates the best in vintage racing, and the most prestigious race of the Revival, held at the historic 2.4-mile Goodwood circuit in Southern England, is the one-hour, two-driver Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration. Open to closed-cockpit 1960-’64 GT cars similar to those that raced in the original RAC TT, the 2010 grid was comprised of six AC Cobras, seven Jaguar E-Types, a Lister Jaguar Coupe, the Aston Martin Project 212 and three DB4 GTs and a Sunbeam Lister Tiger. Plus of course, a number of Ferraris: two 250 GTOs, a 250 GTO/64, five 250 GT SWBs (one wearing distinctive Drogo bodywork), the 330 GTO and a 330 LMB.
These machines are amongst the most valuable racing cars in the world, and it is a credit to their owners that they are raced at all, let alone in such a gladiatorial arena as this. You see, the competition is as close and as hard as modern touring-car racing—contact, scrapes and bangs, as well as offs into Goodwood’s unforgiving dirt banks, are not exactly uncommon—and most of the pilots are current or retired professional racing drivers who want to win. Make no mistake, the RAC TT is not about gentlemen racers pottering around in their priceless toys!
The list of celebrity drivers was as impressive as the list of cars, and included Bobby Rahal, Derek Bell, David Hobbs, Jochen Mass, Jackie Oliver, Emanuele Pirro, Oliver Gavin, Martin Brundle, Richard Attwood, Brian Redman, Desire Wilson, Anthony Reid and Red Bull F1’s Adrian Newey and Christian Horner. Many of these pilots were new to their mounts, but most were sharing the cars with highly experienced drivers who had raced them regularly and knew them inside out.
One such man was Peter Hardman, an historic-racing specialist with 29 seasons under his belt. Hardman (could there be a better name for a racing driver?) was charged with giving Sir Anthony Bamford’s glorious 250 GTO/64 (s/n 4399GT) its first Revival TT win, something Bamford had been trying to achieve since 1998. The Ferrari was certainly on familiar ground, having won the original TT at Goodwood in 1963, driven by Graham Hill. It was rebodied by Scaglietti in its current guise at the end of that season, whereupon Innes Ireland and Tony Maggs drove it to sixth overall at Le Mans in ’64.
Hardman had already worn Goodwood’s victor’s laurels: In 2008, he and Bobby Verdon-Roe won the TT in Harry Leventis’ 330 LMB (s/n 4381SA). Then in 2009, after Hardman switched to the Bamford camp, he was leading the race in the GTO/64 when an original electrical switch failed, cutting the engine and handing victory to Bobby Rahal and Adrian Newey in their highly developed lightweight Jaguar E-Type.
Could Hardman win in 2010 and, in doing so, become the first driver to win the TT in two different Ferraris? “After leading last year, there was an expectation that we could do quite well,” he said, so the pressure was on. Hardman was again sharing the GTO/64 with ex-Formula 1 driver Jean-Marc Gounon, a man he describes as “phenomenally quick,” but they would still have to beat the 330 LMB, now driven by Verdon-Roe and eight-time Le Mans-winner Tom Christensen, not to mention the Rahal/Newey E-Type and some very fast Cobras. This would be no cake walk.