Ecurie Ecosse

Alasdair McCaig and Andrew Smith beside the Cooper T53 "Lowline

Alasdair McCaig and Andrew Smith beside the Cooper T53 “Lowline

The Goodwood Revival race meeting is the showcase for all historic racing enthusiasts in Britain and for Alasdair McCaig and Andrew Smith, our regular Ecurie Ecosse drivers, it was something of a gala day crowned by Andrew Smith setting a new outright lap record for Goodwood in his father’s Lola T70 Spyder.

It was a steep learning curve for Alasdair McCaig who was not only racing a single-seater Grand Prix car for the first time but, as the “lowline” Cooper-Climax T53 had just been completed, he drove the car for the first time in first practice.

Eventually he lined up on the grid for the Gordon Trophy in 9th position which was quite remarkable. However more was to come in the race as he got used to the handling.” Not having driven a single-seater before I found the Cooper a lot more delicate compared to cars like the Lister-Jaguar”.

Alasdair quickly got into his stride and moved briskly up through the field finishing in 4th place ahead of such well seasoned historic racers as John Harper (Cooper T51), Rod Jolly (Cooper T45/51) and occasional Ecurie Ecosse driver, and fellow Scot, John Clark in the JBW-Maserati. Given another two laps and Alasdair might have taken third place as he was lapping a second and a half quicker than anyone else and set up fastest lap of the race. A good debut,now for Spa on the weekend of September 25/26.

Andrew Smith was out in two races at Goodwood, the Sussex Trophy and the Whitsun Trophy.

Andrew Smith holds off Roger Wills' McLaren M1B at Woodcote Corner to win the Whitsun Trophy.

Andrew Smith holds off Roger Wills’ McLaren M1B at Woodcote Corner to win the Whitsun Trophy.

It was in the Whitsun Trophy that Andrew really shone but also provided everyone with a little problem. There has been concern in recent years about the increasing speeds of cars at the Revival meeting. In the race his new official outright lap record for the Goodwood circuit was 1.18.95,or an average just short of 110 mph!

The lap record he broke had stood for forty five years and had been set up by another two Scots, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart ,during the 1966 racing season, Clark first with a Lotus 25 in 1.20.4 and the time was equalled by Jackie Stewart in the BRM P261 later in the season. The car Andrew was driving was one of two Lola T70’s owned by him and his father and was the spyder version.

This car was originally owned by American, John Mecom. for whom Jackie Stewart occasionally drove, and was originally fitted with a Ford V8 and Paxton supercharger. It was driven during the 1966 season by Indianapolis winner Parnelli Jones and Al Unser. The engine package proved unreliable and so it was exchanged for a Chevrolet engine.

Andrew did not have his own way in the Whitsun Trophy as he was initially led and then chased to the end by Roger Wills with his McLaren-Chevrolet M1B. It was a very satisfying win for Smith who had only run the car once before, in the Oulton Park Gold Cup when he had clutch trouble.

A delighted Andrew Smith heads for the winners rostrum.

A delighted Andrew Smith heads for the winners rostrum.

In his other race, for the Sussex Trophy, he switched to his Lister-Chevrolet “knobbly” which he bought last year from Bobby Bell who had imported it from the USA ten years ago. Despite being fourth on the grid his race was short lived because he had problems with oil pressure and oil was being sprayed on his visor and he retired.

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