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Author Topic: The Times: Dire Straits on Classic Goodwood Curves  (Read 3654 times)

OfflineHoops McCann

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The Times: Dire Straits on Classic Goodwood Curves
« on: December 20, 2008, 12:24:03 am »
Dire Straits on Classic Goodwood Curves

Taken from The Times, September 2, 2000. Written by John Naish.

Racing circuits may often have tight corners and tricky chicanes, but only at something as special as the Goodwood Revival meeting do you see Dire Straits as well, writes John Naish.

The annual event celebrates a golden era of postwar racing when the Goodwood circuit hosted stars such as Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn and Graham Hill driving British machines such as the BRM and Cooper-Climax.

The circuit closed in the late 1960s amid fears that it was becoming too dangerous for the ever-faster emerging generations of race cars.

But two years ago, Lord March, owner of stately Goodwood House, reopened the legendary circuit to host a weekend of races featuring the classic cars of that bygone age.

The event became an annual fixture and this year the line up will feature living legends such as Australian Formula One champion Alan Jones and British motorcycling world champion, Barry Sheene.

But driving at a somewhat slower pace will be another star in his own right - the Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler in his beloved red 1957 Maserati 300S.

"I'm very supportive of Goodwood and have been since Lord March revived the motoring events here," he says. "I always make sure I'm always at the track no matter what else is happening."

This year, that has meant some frantic juggling because Knopfler is busy promoting a new album. He will fly in from in from Vienna on Thursday night and dash off on Sunday evening to appear on the Parkinson show.

It's a hectic existence, but Knopfler says: "One of the ways I like to relax is to drive cars and ride motorbikes around racetracks - I'm completely absorbed by it. You realise at the end of the day that you are really exhausted, though."

Knopfler bought his Maserati six years ago and, like any classic car owner, is happy to eulogise his vehicle at length. "The Maserati is the most beautiful of all the great front-engined racing cars," he says. "It was originally sold to a South American racer and I have had the privilege to be involved in restoring the car to its original condition."

"The only problem is that I am just too big for it. They were made for smaller, Italian-framed men so I have had to learn to like the seating position."

Knopfler was aged nine when he fell in love with motor racing, having seen Moss on television driving a frontengined BRM against Jack Brabham. "It's always a great feeling to see cars like that again now and at Goodwood you get really close to them.

"When I first started driving classic racers around tracks I was taught in Australia by Frank Gardiner - a man who has won just about everything.

"I don't have a clue how much the Maserati is worth and I do worry about damaging such a precious vehicle when I drive it at events such as Goodwood.

"But I'm no Moss or Fangio. I'm happy just to give the car a run and let people see the car. I'm more interested in driving against myself than racing others."


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Re: The Times: Dire Straits on Classic Goodwood Curves
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 03:16:20 pm »
Thanks Dan, that was very enjoyable!  :)
Goin' into Tow Law....


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