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Goodwood to debut John Duff Trophy

7 November 2018

Goodwood has annoucned it will debut the John Duff Trophy, an new race for pre-1930 vintage racing cars at the 77th Members’ Meeting, taking place on the 6/7 April, 2019.

The 77th Members’ Meeting will pay tribute to Duff, with a selection of vintage machinery from the late 1920s. Bentleys will be out in force to honour the man responsible for bringing Bentley to Le Mans, with challengers from Alfa Romeo, Bugatti and Mercedes-Benz also racing.

Duff was one of the first ‘Bentley Boys’. He was not only the first Canadian to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, but the only Canadian to take overall victory there in 1924 racing for Bentley alongside Frank Clement. As well as his Le Mans triumph, he held over 50 World Records in both speed and endurance.

In 1920, Duff made his racing debut at Brooklands. He was known for his determination and famously drove a 3-litre Bentley for two consecutive days averaging almost 90mph at Brooklands to take the Double 12 record.

When Duff learned of plans for a new 24-hour race, taking place in Le Mans in 1923, he was absolutely determined to race his own Bentley there. So much so, he convinced W.O. Bentley to let factory test driver Frank Clement join him. Together they came fourth, despite having to carry out repairs to the car mid race. W.O. Bentley witnessed the race and said it was then that Le Mans got into his blood. The following year, Duff and Clement returned to Le Mans and won the race; a full 10 minutes ahead of the competition. Following this success, W.O. Bentley entered a factory team into the 1925 Le Mans 24 Hours and raced there every year until 1930.

After retiring from racing, Duff was able to indulge in his other passion – horses. He was a horse-riding stuntman for several years in America, but later returned to England. Sadly, he was killed in a tragic riding accident in 1958 in Epping Forest.

Last month, Goodwood announced Edwardian aero-engined monsters that make up the S.F. Edge Trophy, a firm fan-favourite of previous Members’ Meetings, will return to the Goodwood Motor Circuit as the first race confirmed for the 77th Members’ Meeting.

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