Duel at Goodwood
In the months
after the Eleven was introduced the cars were so dominant in their class that the
excitement was to see the Eleven
pilots fight it out amongst themselves.
In the UK the duel was often between Colin Chapman in the team
Lotus entry and Mike Hawthorn in the Ecurie Demi Litre Eleven owned
by Ivor Bueb. One
well-publicized battle was the 1500cc race at the Whit Monday meet at
Goodwood, in May 1956. Autosport
said this about it:
“The result was
racing at its best. Mike Hawthorn and Reg Bicknell (Lotus) were quickest
away at the start, but
Bicknell on the inside at St Mary's to lead, while Chapman lay third for a
Then he got going, caught Bicknell on lap two, then whipped past
Hawthorn on lap three. Mike tried one
side, he tried the other, and on lap four, in the rush down
Straight to Woodcote, he took Chapman on the inside, the pair now
tail-enders in the race.
“Lap five, and
they whistled past ‘Pathfinder’ Bennett's neat white Fairthorpe-Climax,
one to the left, the other to his right, at Fordwater. And at Woodcote Chapman
turned the tables on Hawthorn by taking him on the inside.
Lap six and Mike repassed ‘outback’ but Chapman swiftly
retaliated, and this time his opponent
tried to pass on the outside at Woodcote.
Lap eight and Hawthorn led. Lap
nine and it
was Chapman. Lap eleven, Hawthorn, and on lap twelve Chapman again.
Reg Bicknell, who had been holding third, dropped out, letting Brabham's
up, followed by Cliff Allison's Lotus, the leading ‘1,100’. And just
Chapman and Hawthorn executed a joint waltz [they both spun- Ed.]
at Madgwick with military
contacted briefly, and shot off again.
and Chapman led, and Hawthorn slowed, stopped at the pits for a
examination of his car, then tore away again. . .
Hawthorn/Chapman pas de deux at Madgwick broke up the magnificent
from then on Chapman was unchallenged, winning at 85.88 mph from Hawthorn, Brabham and Allison, who won the 1,100 cc class.
To drive home just
in performance the duelists were, both shared fastest lap at 88.71 mph—a