Thrilling second win for Peter Hardman in the Goodwood Revival RAC TT Celebration

September 19th 2010

Peter Hardman achieved his second win in the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration last weekend at the Goodwood Revival. It was his first victory in Sir Anthony Bamford's 1964 "low drag" Ferrari 250 GTO, which he piloted with fellow Goodwood veteran Jean-Marc Gounon.

Since the inception of the now-famous Goodwood Revival in 1998, Hardman has competed every year, achieving multiple wins over the years, including several 2nd and 3rd place finishes. However, it wasn't until 2008 that he took his first win in the RAC Tourist Trophy—the Revival's most celebrated race—in a 1963 Ferrari 330 LMB, and was awarded the Rolex Driver of the Meeting. In 2009, he was invited by Sir Anthony to race his 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO alongside Gounon, and though the two qualified second and eventually achieved a hard-won lead over the Bobby Rahal/Adrian Newey Jaguar "Lightweight" E-type, the GTO suffered a mechanical failure with just laps to go. Hardman rolled into the pit lane with a dead engine.

"It was an honour that Sir Anthony invited me back to drive this year," Peter said. "It was very satisfying for me to have the opportunity to achieve the result that eluded us last year."

After qualifying fourth, the team made a last minute change in strategy, electing Hardman to start the race. The GTO lined up fourth on the grid behind pole-sitter Bobby Verdon-Roe in the 330 LMB, Justin Law's Lister-Jaguar, and Rob Hall's AC Cobra. Alongside Hardman on the second row was Adrian Newey in the Jaguar "Lightweight" E-type. Hardman didn't get off the line as well as hoped, and slotted into fifth place behind Newey on the first lap. It wasn't long, however, before Hardman was on the move. "By the end of the first lap, I realized I had a good car, and wasn't going to have a problem with Adrian. So it was a question of not rushing it."

Within three laps, he had dispatched of Newey and was with Law. A lap later, he got past Law to move into third place. The two leaders, meanwhile, were battling it out well ahead of the pack.

"I knew it was just a question of getting on with it then," said Hardman. "The car was quick, so it was a matter of timing, and deciding what I wanted to do." Within two laps, he had caught up to the two frontrunners, setting a new lap record along the way (1:25.487). After engaging in a brief race with Verdon-Roe, Hardman found his way past and onto the back of Hall's AC Cobra. It was at 25 minutes into the race, with Hardman running second, that his pit board showed IN. But it was on this lap in that Hardman saw his opportunity to pass—and ended up running a little wide.

"I wanted to be leading when I pitted, and felt that I was much quicker than Rob" said Hardman. "So I tried to pass but got it slightly wrong and had a bit of a spin. It wasn't the best move I've ever made." Still, he was able to quickly rejoin the track with no damage done, pitted as scheduled and handed over to Gounon. Within a couple of laps, Gounon had an 8-second lead, eventually taking the chequered flag 20 seconds ahead of Oliver Bryant and Nicolas Minassian's AC Cobra. Law and Reid took third in the Lister-Jaguar Coupe.

"I had a brilliant race and thoroughly enjoyed driving the car and getting from fifth place to second at the pit stop," said Hardman. "Jean-Marc did a great job to bring the car home, and of course Andy and John and all the guys at Gelscoe produced a fantastic car. It was a fun team to be part of, and after last year's heartbreak, it was very satisfying to achieve a great result for everybody in the team and of course Sir Anthony. If I get invited back, I'll definitely go for the hat trick in 2011."

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Photo credits – Jeff Bloxham, Jeff Bloxham Ltd and Tim Scott – Fluid Images

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