The racing at the 20th anniversary edition of the Goodwood Revival left the best to last with the final race of the weekend being the Sussex Trophy for 1955 – 1960 sports cars. It will surely go down as one of the greatest moments in motorsport history, leaving the Cambridge & Counties Bank team looking on in awe.
The race started as expected, the period dressed grid ladies escorted the cars out for their formation lap. As the grid formed up to start the race, drama unfolded for Phil Keen on the front row with the throttle jamming open on the John Minshaw owned Knobbly Lister Jaguar.
Spectators looked on to see Keen frantically waving at the race marshals from his place on pole position all while the countdown to the race’s start continued. The marshal promptly delayed the start whilst Keen’s Knobbly Lister Jaguar was pushed into the pitlane.
After qualifying at the head of the pack and sacrificing such a promising win, all the enthusiasts in attendance could sense the heartbreak of the modern GT ace Phil Keen.
The pit crew miraculously managed a speedy fix for the stuck throttle so as the race started, Phil Keen was pushed to the last spot of the grid. However, what unfolded next was a mesmerising display of guts, talent and determination. He fought his way through the field, scything past car after car, as if in some kind of game! Sam Hancock in third watched his Ferrari 246S mirrors as Keen reeled him in. Then, having despatched Hancock and the Lotus of Oliver Bryant he pushed on for the final attack. On the penultimate lap, Keen slid up the inside of race leader Roger Wills in his Lotus 15 as he went wide on the right-hander at Lavant. The Goodwood Motor Circuit erupted with rapturous applause.
From last position, Phil Keen took the chequered flag to win in a race that will go down in history as one of the finest Goodwood has ever seen. Keen’s team were justifiably dewy eyed in the pitlane afterwards and in the post – race interviews broadcast around the circuit, Phil Keen sounded cool, calm and collected – as if it had all been in a day’s work.
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