If you’re a member of the Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) or have joined the GRRC Fellowship, you may very well have attended the recent 77th Goodwood Member’s Meeting.
This stellar annual event is exclusive to GRRC members, and so it differs significantly from other Goodwood motor racing events. Compared to the Festival of Speed and Revival, I always find it more relaxed in atmosphere. It feels more personal, and importantly you can always find a good view of the action on the track. This event starts the Goodwood motor racing year in style. Many members will claim the Member’s Meeting is their favourite event.
The GRRC – A short history
The GRRC was formed and launched in 1998 when the circuit was re-opened. The club has grown to around 7000 GRRC members with an astonishing 10,000 GRRC Fellows. Once a full member you really do feel part of something special. It’s not just the membership package, the newsletter or list of member’s benefits, but the welcome you receive from everyone at Goodwood and all the existing members.
GRRC – Competing houses
There’s a fantastically competitive spirit within the GRRC. Once you are invited to become a full member you are (in true Harry Potter style) assigned a House, I’m a proud member of House Aubingy.
There are four GRRC Houses in total.
- House Aubigny – House captain Nicolas Minassian. The Duke of Richmond is Duke of Aubigny in France. This title descends from Louise de Keroualle, a young French aristocrat who became the mistress of Charles II and the mother of the 1st Duke of Richmond.
- House Darnley – House captain Jochen Mass. One of the titles of the Duke of Richmond is ‘Earl of Darnley’, a Scottish title.
- House Methuen – House captain Anthony Reid. Another of the titles of the Duke of Richmond is ‘Baron Methuen of Torbolton’, a Scottish title.
- House Torbolton – House captain Emanuele Pirro. This House name also derives from ‘Baron Methuen of Torbolton’, a Scottish title.
The Member’s Meeting encourages the competitive spirit to flourish. The ‘clubhouse’ house points are proudly displayed across the site, regularly changing throughout the day as members compete in house games and race points are awarded to each racing driver and their house for finished race positions. This creates a wonderfully competitive environment compounded by the roars from the members as the drivers battle it out on the racetrack.
More than motor racing…
The Member’s Meeting is an entire weekend event with non-stop action and activities. The list of house games is vast from axe throwing and laser clay shooting, chainsaw wood carving, duck herding and ferret racing right through to lacrosse shoot outs and tug of war. Then on Saturday once qualifying and race action has concluded the evening festivities begin, with a stunning opening carnival display leading the Members through a brand new light tunnel and laser show into the evening’s entertainment. Once you’ve had your dinner from the Member’s Market, you are surrounded by a carnival atmosphere with live street performers, the wall of death show, live music in the big top and fairground rides. Then to close the evening a fantastic firework display.
Highlights from the GRRC 77th Member’s Meeting
For me, the Minis racing in the Betty Richmond Trophy, was a stand out highlight. The non-stop action on the track was outstanding. Positions changed with nearly every lap, and the racing was exhilarating especially the intense battle for first place between Nick Swift and Nick Padmore. I also loved the BMW M1 Procars that took to the track for a high-speed demo. It was just a rare opportunity to see these incredible machines with a great history, and the noise as they thundered past the pit lane was phenomenal.
Didn’t make it this year? How to join GRRC
Firstly, you have to apply to become a Fellow (£39 per year). Once you are a Fellow, you can apply to be a GRRC Member in waiting. This means you are placed on a waiting list, which currently sits at about 4-5 years. It’s well worth the wait to be a member of this exclusive club. As a GRRC Fellow, you can still attend the Member’s Meeting If you’re not a Fellow or a Member you’ll need some friends in the right places, so you can attend as a guest!
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