Video: Classic GT40s Battle At Goodwood!

When given lots of room to play, the big GT40s can really play. To really exploit them, they take a lot of manhandling, and respect for that high center of gravity as well as the cross-ply tires. There’s little left on the table between these two, who dice and duel for six laps at the Alan Mann Trophy event at Goodwood. Their driving puts the spectators on their toes, and shows how subtle differences in style can change the battle’s ebb and flow.

Mike Jordan, who follows in the silver Ford, uses a little more of the track on exit and seems to throw the car around more often. His lines aren’t quite as neat as Rob Hall, who occasionally runs off-line—just towards the end of this duel—but that’s possibly a feint; opening the door to lure Jordan into hammering the throttle and spinning his wheels. There’s no sun warming the surface of the track, and putting the power down is always difficult.

Rob Hall, in the dark blue GT40, holds his position cleanly and elegantly—rarely does he make any abrupt steering movements. He runs a tidy line, and gives Jordan room, but rolls slightly more speed into and through the corner. Yet, it looks more composed, and even a touch slower at first glance. With Jordan throwing the car and stamping on the throttle, his silver Ford never traces a constant arc. Jordan’s the showman with a heavy foot, and when he roasts his tires at 2:07, he’s left behind by a few car lengths.

Photo credit: Goodwood

Watch the way Hall cajoles the car into the chicane leading onto the start-finish straight, and the way Jordan follows. Jordan’s silver machine rolls and pitches more noticeably, and the transitions look sluggish. That way, Hall keeps extending the gap. Plus—he crosses the full width of the track and uses wider, more clever lines to keep Jordan guessing. Sometimes he turns in early and makes his GT40 wide to fool Jordan into compromising his mid-corner speed, sometimes he doesn’t. Watching these two fight, you get a masterclass in racecraft, and never does a winner seem certain.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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