Coachlines - November 2020

05.11.20 Liveryman Simon Diffey

News from Goodwood Speedweek: A report from historic racer, Master’s Consort and Liveryman Simon Diffey

Pictured above: Paying homage to Sir Stirling Moss OBE


Vintage paddock car line up

I was delighted to be invited to the closed Speedweek at Goodwood by the Duke of Richmond who demonstrated exactly how it is possible to put on a superb live stream and TV only outdoor event with masks and social distancing.

The weather was on our side and the racing as competitive as ever.

For me it was a rare opportunity to take my father’s burgundy 8 Hp Humber, built in 1923, as a tender to the paddock. This enabled me to convey the new Master to and from the caravan in the campsite situated across the road from the race circuit where on this occasion she was in a supporting role on the pit board to the usually downtrodden Consort.

The event was supported by all the modern motor manufacturers who sent their full range of sports models to compete in the shoot out which involved a sprint event where the drivers attempted a hot lap against the clock.

Liveryman Tim Dutton in his Type 51 ‘Bonneville’ Grand Prix Bugatti’

The compulsory with no exceptions wearing of masks or face coverings make recognising chums harder than I thought, but there was no mistaking the rugby forward Liveryman Christopher Mann as he strolled across the paddock to get in his Targa Florio Alfa Romeo for qualifying, likewise Tim Dutton in his Grand Prix Bugatti Type 51, dapper John Clark in the Cooper Climax, gentleman Jim Morris with the VW Scirocco GTi his father drove in period along with last of the Liverymen, but by no means least Goodwood Governor – Martin Overington who brought along his Mini Cooper S and a Triumph Dolomite for the Touring Car races.

On Saturday I drove the grubby green Brooklands’ Special called The Monarch. This is fitted with an enormous 8-litre V8 aero engine from the First World War Curtis Jenny bi-plane with double chain drive and a top speed of 120mph. This grabs your attention somewhat as being from 1918 it has rear wheel brakes only which are operated by the big outside handle and so it’s advisable to start pulling this on as hard as you possibly can on the approach to the 150-yard marker board along the Lavant straight as you hurtle towards Woodcote corner.

The V8 Monarch, Brooklands special – an aero engined monster

On Sunday I drove the Italian red 1955 Formula One Maserati 250F in the Richmond and Gordon Trophy as well as teaming up with Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE and Damon Hill OBE for the F1 parade later in the afternoon which rather turned into a little race all of its own.

Let’s hope this sets the scene for future events that are broadcast online and ITV4 so that they can still be enjoyed from home despite the restrictions.