Ground effect Formula 1 cars to be celebrated at Goodwood


mclaren cosworth mp4/1b, 1982

Ground effect Formula 1 cars from the late 1970s and early ’80s will be celebrated in style at Goodwood for the 74 Members’ Meeting on 19-20 March.

More than 30 ground effect F1 cars will take part in a high-speed demonstration at the Goodwood Motor Circuit, giving visitors an insight into this era of Formula 1. The likes of Ferrari 312T5, Williams FW07 and FW08, Brabham BT49C and McLaren MP4 are just some of the cars participating.

Lotus dominated the 1978 championship with the first F1 car to take full advantage of ground effects aerodynamics, the Lotus 79. The other teams soon followed with the results being the iconic cars like the Williams FW07, Brabham BT49 and McLaren MP4, featuring aerodynamics which suck them to the track.

With unimaginable G-Forces, the cars were physically demanding on drivers, leading to rock hard suspension to cope with the downforce. Drivers sat as far forward as they could to balance the centre of pressure. The safety regarding escalating cornering speeds led to the governing body making ground effect cars illegal in 1983.

The 74 Members’ Meeting was created by Goodwood owner Lord March to recreate the atmosphere of the original BARC Members’ Meeting from 1949-66 at Goodwood Motor Circuit. Conjuring up some of the sights and sounds from the golden era of motor racing.

The packed two-day event will feature 12 races with vehicles ranging from Edwardian leviathans to 1970s Grand Prix motorcycles. Past and present racing driver will battle it out on track. Scoring points for four ‘houses’ captained by former Super Touring ace Anthony Reid, Le Mans legend Emanuele Pirro, ex-Formula 3000 race-winner Nicolas Minassian and ex-Formula 1 race winner Jochen Mass.