The Paragon Porsche race season kicked off in style at Goodwood’s 73rd Member’s Meeting, with Mark Sumpter racing a Baylis & Harding-backed 1965 911 in the John Adlington Trophy – Mark coming home fourth after battling for the lead with eventual winner Andrew Jordan in the early stages of the race.
Having qualified second in the field of pre-1967 two-litre 911s, Mark was right with Jordan in the opening laps, the 911s providing dramatic action with their twitchy handling right on the limit round the famous Goodwood circuit’s fast sweeps. Seeing an opening, Mark looked to take the lead but ended up losing time with a spin, rejoining down the order but recovering to fourth at the end of the 20-minute race.
“This isn’t a championship so it was all about trying to win this race,” said Mark. “Andrew and I both had the same pace so I had to push that bit harder, but maybe I pushed just a little too hard! That corner is probably the most daunting one on the circuit so I am happy the car is in one piece.
“We were lapping at the same pace for the first half of the race and I was thinking that either his car has to go off and that didn’t seem to be happening, or I needed to get some backmarkers in to play. He got baulked just a little into the first corner and I was catching him on the back straight, and at the kink – which I decided would be flat out – the car oversteered and spun, which rooted the tyres.
“Adrian Slater, who owns the car, and I are hoping to do the Silverstone Classic two-driver race with this car in July and probably race at Spa as well. It’s a great car, it still has all its numbers matching with the original engine and we built it up for historic racing in 2006. To have a one-model race for these cars was just fantastic, I think a lot of the drivers in the paddock are hoping that maybe we could have more.”