The Sebring received the surprise invitation to the 76 th Goodwood Members Meeting just before Christmas,
and no time was lost in accepting this exciting overture. However, there was much that was not known about
the obligations that came with it, and it was on and off several times before we got 100% confirmation at 48
hours notice on the Monday evening prior to leaving for the event – which promoted unique levels of stress!
Shortly after the completion of the now well-known and successful 1959 Riley 1.5 race car by OUMF students in 2014, they appealed for a new project on their stand at the NEC Classic Motor Show later that year. Several interesting classics in various states were offered by visitors, and amongst these kind folk was long-time OUMF supporter Bob Kemp of the Austin Healey Club, who suggested his early Sprite 838 BWT as a candidate. It was in a bad state, and well beyond his means or capabilities to restore - but it was complete, and he was happy to donate it to a good cause. OUMF members were excited both by the idea of an 'A' series-engined race car project, and by Bob's photos, and so despite the clear challenges posed by its advanced delapidation (due to long storage in the open) Bob's offer was quickly accepted.
It was a dry and fair Sunday as the OUMF crew congregated early at the HQ ready for the off to HRDC Castle Combe. After finishing the usual rigmarole of prepping the car ready for race day, and of course hours of intense van packing, the car was loaded and great haste was made so as to not miss…our reservation at the pub later that evening
Having completed all the various improvements the team had decided to make to the Riley racer after Thruxton on June 13th, and ‘fixed’ the Sprinter race van’s vast thirst for coolant, the OUMF team was eager to get back out on track at the ‘Home of Rallycross’ at Lydden Hill on 4th July 2021. This small, twisting and undulating race circuit is the polar opposite of Thruxton with it high speeds, and long fast corners, but both are notoriously hard on tyres, and we were immensely grateful to Phillips Tyres for supporting the team with a fresh set.
After an unavoidable 9 month hiatus from racing, the weekend of the 12th and 13th of June 2021 saw the OUMF team finally make its long awaited return to the track; with a bustling, atmospheric and extremely warm Thruxton circuit being the venue, with two HRDC races as part of the Thruxton Historic Race meeting....
On Friday 4th October, the largest OUMF team ever to journey to a race meeting set off. With two races at Castle Combe in the Riley 1.5 racer at the last HRDC races of the year, and a bodyshell to pick up from nearby, there was lots of excitement and anticipation from new and old members alike; what a weekend this was about to be! The Riley had been set up on Phillips Tyres superb laser alignment rig earlier in the day, and was ready to go. But first we had to get there…
It was an early (-ish) Wednesday morning as the OUMF student race team pulled away from our shed in Oxford and set off for Chichester, with rising excitement. The team had been spending every spare moment there in the previous 4 weeks following the arrival of the unexpected 11th hour invitation from the Goodwood Revival selection committee to race the 1959 Riley 1.5 in the two part St Mary’s Trophy race.