In the normal mode of celebrating a heritage of motorcycle racing, the Goodwood Revival now in its twentieth year of running, features some of the worlds superstar champions who were invited by Lord Marsh to contest the two-leg race on machines that pre-dated the 1954 cut off for these antique grand prix racers this year.
The race consists of some two legs run over the weekends packed race schedule. Each leg is contested by two riders who get around fifteen minutes of track time to strut their stuff before a crowd of over 50 000 race watchers all seemingly dressed up to the nines in 1950 period party type clothing. All this for the seasonal sporting occasion and a theatre for some of the most amazing cut and thrust racing to be seen in the UK on the a track with flowing layout and brisk corners. That always seems to provide dices in many of the races all day long from the first running of the track with its main focus on cars.
The Barry Sheen races are a highly prized event for two-wheel petrol heads. The addition to the mix of Freddie Spencer, John McGuiness, Jeremy McWilliams and Troy Corser, soon showed who was up for it. With Glen English and riding partner, John McGuinness setting pole position time. Second place went to an 85-year-old supercharged BMW with Troy Bayliss and this rigid framed machine, owned by Herbert Schibe was packing an extra 30 horse power over the rest of the fields Manx Norton’s, Matchless and Velocette racers. In fact, Corser set a speed trap time of over 130mph, while the machine handled like a pogo stick in the corners where the wheel jumped around like crazy, said Corser.
The 1929 BMW Compressor of Bayliss refused to start at the Le Mans race and he got away last, way behind Glen English who opened up a huge lead advantage over James Hillier and Ian Bain’s other Manx Norton. At the time, Jeremey McWilliams was out in front in the early laps but sadly the previous winning combination of himself and Duncan Fitchett were side lined as the long stroke Manx expired with a puff of blue smoke to end their charge. Meanwhile, Corser was turbocharged as he and Schwab sliced through the field to claim the third place behind Hillier and a steady riding John McGuiness who was fresh from his win at the Isle of Man Classic race.
The 500cc racers were all lined up for the second day’s events in stunning weather but this day was to belong to Troy Corser who was due to ride the second-leg of the race at the rider change, after which the fast riding of multiple classic racing world champion, Glen English and McGuiness held over 16 seconds advantage on the Manx Norton at the rider change.
The enduro riding style of Corser cut the advantage down by 12 seconds on the first lap and he was soon among the top riders like Charlie Williams, Adam Child and Ian Bain, gobbling them up at an alarming rate.
With the favourites of McWilliams and Fitchett once again side-lined with mechanical gremlins on their weekend to forget, Troy gave a brilliant riding display when passing the Norton, he gave a pat on the back to John McGuiness as he shot by on the main straight with three laps to go. In a demonstration of sheer brilliance to give BMW their first win in the Memorial Race in the 20 year drought of competing in the slipstream of the 20th year of the event which can only be described as thrilling to behold for any spectator parked on the embankments at this star studded event.