Over the weekend, the traditional Members' Meeting was held in Goodwood, England (West Sussex) - two-day races closed to the public and a car show (from classic oldtimers to modern supercars). The Members' Meeting can only be attended by Goodwood Road Racing Club members who have been selected from the membership waiting list, or, if they are lucky enough, those who manage to buy one of the small number of non-member quota tickets.
For the third year already, IWC Schaffhausen watch manufactory became a partner of the event. And the history of this partnership is quite unique. At the Members' Meeting, in contrast to the much larger and more commercial events Goodwood - Festival of Speed and Revival, no other commercial partners and there never was. Here IWC was allowed to have its own lounge, to present new watches (this year they showed fresh Ingenieur models) and to present a personal prize for winning one of twelve races held over the weekend.
The organizer Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinara, the eldest son and heir of the Duke of Richmond, told about the most interesting past and present of this meeting “for its own people”.
I only have a few days a year when you can make the most of the noise!
Of all my businesses in Goodwood, the most profitable is event organization. And motorcycle racing is one of the most important of all. Our ancestral home has been in Goodwood for centuries. First, fox hunting and horse riding developed here, then cricket, then golf. And all this appeared because members of our family, my ancestors, were passionate about this or that sport. My grandfather was interested in motorcycle racing - it was he who created the race track here in the post-war years.
Members' Meeting is a very special event for us. When organizing it for the first time, we already had a clear plan of how it should be. Unlike the open to the public Festival of Speed, which we hold in the summer, or the fall Revival, this is a much more intimate race. We are very pleased with the number of participants and would not like to change anything in this regard. For comparison: Festival of Speed is attended by 150 thousand people a day, and Members' Meeting at the same time can accept no more than 25 thousand. Over the years, the number of cars and motorcycles that participate in races has not changed.
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Members' Meeting is two days long, and we cannot, for example, take and make it three days - or even longer. All because such are the agreements with the authorities. When in the early 1990s we decided to reopen the track - and my grandfather closed the track in 1966 (before that it was comparable in importance to Silverstone, various races were held here, including Formula 1 races - ed.) - it was not easy for us to obtain the necessary permits from the local authorities. In the end, we came to an agreement that I only have a few days a year when I can make all the noise! All these days have already been used up, so I cannot prolong any of the motorcycle racing events.
Watches from the new collection Ingénieur, IWC © press service
We can only improve from year to year - to try to make the event more and more interesting and rich. We change races and institute new trophies, change the composition of cars allowed to participate in races and the show … Different cars participate in the show every year, but they are always special - the most titled in the world, the fastest. In regards to this year's innovations, the Members' Meeting was the first to receive a special IWC Scott Brown Trophy.
The Revival held in the fall (the show and races that have existed since 1998, in which only cars and motorcycles produced during the existence of the historic Goodwood race track, from 1948 to 1966 - ed.) Are much tougher rules - both in dress code and in which cars can be allowed to participate - than Members' Meeting.
David Coulthard © press office
The world's best cars and racers are coming to Members' Meeting (David Coulthard was the guest star this year - ed.)! And we are trying to create the feeling of such a family event, where everyone communicates with everyone. Racers, car owners, club members, IWC guests. On Revival, everyone is divided into different zones, here they are not.
Over the years, I've seen so many great racers from different eras! It is difficult to say who made the greatest impression on me, it is not one, but several pilots, some of them participated this year as well. While this is unfair to the rest, I would single out one person especially. As a child, Jackie Stewart was my hero, and it took me a lot of effort to negotiate with him about participating in competitions in Goodwood. He is a great racer, a wonderful person and a good friend of mine!
Watches from the new collection Ingénieur, IWC © press service
The world is changing. I think driving in the future will be more of a leisure activity than a daily routine. It is already extremely difficult to enter a big city on Monday morning. Therefore, it is better to read the newspaper in the car while the driver is driving you! And leave your "leisure car" for holidays, weekends, or racing.
In general, it's curious how the attitude towards cars will change over time - I don't know if our grandchildren will approach them with the same interest as we do. In one of our races, there are two cars from a hundred years ago! I am sincerely delighted with this, but do the representatives of the younger generation understand and appreciate these machines, one of the first among all existing ones? Perhaps it's a matter of age.
Cars are like music - taste changes over the years. At 16-17 years old you listen to one thing, in maturity - another.
1 of 5 IWC CEO Christopher Granger and David Coulthard © press service © press service © press service © press service © press service
The most difficult question for me is: "What is your favorite car?" It is simply impossible to choose one! I was 11 years old when my grandfather closed the racetrack, so I guess among all the cars I especially like the cars of the mid-1960s that I saw as a little boy at the races. Big sports cars - Ferrari, Maserati … Cars from that era are now among the most expensive - although perhaps this is simply due to the fact that it is representatives of my age group who can pay this big money, and over time the situation will change! It's hard for a young man to shell out £ 50m for a car, and a Ferrari The 250 GTO I would have dreamed of owning costs almost that much (in 2013, a 1963 model was sold for $ 52 million - ed.) My sons, I think, have completely different dream cars.>