Attendees at the recent Group 5 Sports Cars speed event held at Goodwood were relieved of insipid commentary when an errant Kraken, who obviously also had just enough of the announcers mispronouncing the word “Porsche”, slammed the announcer’s podium with a giant tentacle and wiped it out. At this point even Basil Fawlty stood up in the crowd, clenched his fists, and cheered “Yes! Yes” to this development. Needless to say, the speed trials continued on unabated, and the crowd could finally focus on the music of classic flat-12 917 Porsches in full song as seen in the accompanying video.
Well, all of that ain’t quite true. But after watching classic Group 5 steeds flash about on the Goodwood course, and vainly listening for the sounds of the Porsche 917 flat-12s mixing it up with the Ferrari V-12s and the Lola-Chevy V-8s, one does get a bit miffed being repeatedly interrupted by three British announcers, all droning on as if they were calling a PGA tournament. You almost wish a Kraken would’ve flattened ‘em!
I mean, like how’s this for jejune:
- Announcer #1: “It’s funny how under heavy acceleration the nose lifts.”
- Announcer #2: “Good to see race cars with proper ride height as well.”
- Announcer #3: “I’m afraid you’d probably think I’m very odd, but it’s just a little lumpy at midriff.” (referring to a Ferrari 512)
Well, I say, Roger: chip chip…
A little history on Group 5
Group 5 came about when the CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale) limited racing prototypes to 3-liters for 1968-1971, eliminating the Group 6 supercars like the 7-liter Ford GT40. The affected manufacturers, including Porsche and Ferrari, lobbied for a class in which to run their big iron, and thus a “Sports Cars“ class was created that allowed engine capacities up to 5-litres. Although this class spanned a period of four years, the magical season for Group 5 was 1970, as by 1972 the sunset requirements for Group 5 had killed this gold-producing goose. For those of us who were not yet fans in 1970, contemporary events such as Goodwood bring these monsters out of hiding so that people might once again witness cars that dominated the golden years of sports car racing. Like the 917!
Well, maybe a Kraken won’t appear, but when Group 5 cars show up, that’s an event worth watching!