One-Litre F3 Historic Racing Association


Historic Formula 3 Championship 2023 Provisional Points [pdf]


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13th - 14th April 2024 - Goodwood

O’Brien wins epic Derek Bell Cup

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The 60th Anniversary one-litre F3 race at the 81st Members meeting at Goodwood was a race of two parts in more ways than one with both heroes and upset.

Orchestrated by Association Chairman, Simon Etherington, Mike Cooper brought along the family’s ex Jackie Stewart T72 Cooper for Derek Bell to drive on the green flag lap of the race. Derek belied his years, looking as trim and healthy as he did in period. The svelte lines of the Cooper reminded everyone how pretty these cars are in comparison to the current rather ugly crop of F3 cars.

Whilst this was a chance for Derek to parade around Goodwood, having neither sat in or driven the car before going out on track, he eschewed a cruise round waving at the sell out crowd by getting stuck in and driving a sprint lap back to the pits.

Sadly, the race start with a capacity grid of 30 cars, was postponed due to Ian Bankhurst’s Alexis Mk 8 driven by Nick Padmore, grenading its engine at the exit of Lavant, forcing a track clean up. The sharp end of the grid was already missing Jon Milicevic (Brabham BT21B) due to a failed gearbox bearing.

At the flag drop pole sitter Michael O’Brien (Titan Mk 3) failed to convert his impressive qualifying pace into an immediate race lead. Instead fellow front row occupant Peter de la Roche in Ian Phillips’ ex Ken Sedgley Alexis Mk 17 took an initial lead with past winner Andrew Hibberd (Brabham BT18) in pursuit. This was a prelude to an epic three way scrap that had the TV coverage commentators as well trackside spectators on their feet. They were three abreast into Woodcote and numerous place changes each lap until Pro GT racer Michael O’Brien began to skilfully eke out his anticipated lead. 

Lap 1 was also fraught behind the leaders. Dan Eagling qualified well up in the ex Picko Troberg Brabham BT18 but the engine cut going into St Mary’s resulting in Dan disappearing into the long grass, almost lost to sight. Richard Trott (Brabham BT28) followed suit onto the wet grass as did Austin Widmer in Paul Waine’s de Sanctis.

At this stage Jeremy Timms was in fourth but ran onto the grass at Madgwick, the wet grass doing little to arrest the speed of his Chevron B15, which speared into the tyre wall with sickening force. The race was immediately red flagged and Jeremy extracted from the very bent Chevron and taken to the medical centre. Discharged later to much relief in the paddock he emerged shaken with severe bruising.

After a quick clean up operation, the race restarted and battle resumed again at the front with undiminished fervour. No quarter was given but just enough racing room was. A hard but clean battle. Again, Michael O’Brien pulled out a lead leaving de la Roche and Hibberd to undertake some spectacular moves. De la Roche twice drove round the outside of Hibberd at No Name and frequently kicked up the dust. As he said afterwards in parc ferme “I had a big grin all race long”.

Finally he clipped the chicane, pitching him off line and perhaps giving Hibberd an advantage which he maintained to the finish, the capacity crowd saluting such an epic contest.

Not only was this a race of two parts but similarly there was a mid field battle that formed the second part of this epic F3 encounter. Eventually, in typical F3 fashion Jason Timms (Brabham BT 18) just pipped Enrico Spaggiari to fourth by fractions, the urbane Italian driving his beautiful Lotus 41X which made the start thanks to the generosity of Andrew Tart lending him a cylinder head core plug. Steve Nichols (Chevron B17) in seventh headed a battling train comprising former champion Simon Armer (March 701), Ross Dryborough (Merlin Mk 14a, into which Jeremy Bennett and Neil Fowler fitted two new pistons after qualifying), Andrew Tart (Merlyn Mk 9), Ludovic Ingwiller (in his rare Pygmee MDB14), Peter Hamilton (Tecno), Austin Widmer (de Sanctis F3-69), Richard Trott (Brabham BT28) and Tomas Jamin (in his immaculately prepared March 701). 

The race featured a strong European contingent who populated the paddock with a close knit spirit helped by the intimacy of the covered shelters. In addition to the aforementioned results, Christoph Widmer (Brabham BT18) professed himself more than happy with sixth although sadly his long standing European compatriot and series stalwart, Francois Derossi, was unable to start due to a sequence of problems - engine, handling and clutch - the latter eventually consigning him to only enjoying his generous stock of good wine.

Of the other European contingent, Fritz Burkard was a welcome new addition to the race with his ex Jean Pierre Jaussaud Tecno whilst Werner Pircher in his immaculate Lotus 41 sadly failed on the green flag lap.

Goodwood-full-Race-Results.pdf [PDF]