Goodwood will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the mighty Mini’s launch with a new race in next April's Members' Meeting.
Called The Betty Richmond Trophy, it’s the second new contest revealed for the 2019 meeting and is for pre-1966 Mini saloons and variants.
Expect close battles in this evocative competition, if previous single-marque races at the West Sussex circuit are anything to go by – it’s certainly an exciting addition to the line-up.
Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Richmond was the current Duke’s grandmother and it was her husband, Frederick ‘Freddie’ Gordon-Lennox, the 9th Duke of Richmond, who turned RAF Westhampnett’s perimeter road into the Goodwood Motor Circuit.
The family has a long connection with Minis – indeed, Freddie knew Alec Issigonis and, in 1959, became the owner of one of the first Minis.
“It was a bright-red Austin Seven with a steering wheel as big as the car!” remembers the current Duke of Richmond.
“My grandfather loved it, he was fascinated by clever, light, small-engined cars. It’s where his love for Lancia came from.”
“But Betty loved the Mini even more,” he continues, “and used to go hurtling around the Estate in it, to the extent that my grandfather wouldn’t let her venture outside the park.
“Thinking back, Betty was really the one responsible for my love of motorsport. She used to buy books on cars, which she then got my grandfather to give me.
“She also encouraged my grandfather to spend time with me at the circuit, taking me round to see the cars and meet the drivers. It was an eight-year-old’s dream.
“It is, therefore, entirely fitting to name this new race at the 77th Members’ Meeting after my grandmother who is really the person, more than anyone, who got me hooked on cars, bikes and racing.”