text and Photography By Jayson Fong
I meet Craig in a room that features a fully-operational red telephone box, a Spitfire prop turning slowly overhead as a fan, and pictures of Winston Churchill on nearly every wall. A self-confessed lover of all things British, he definitely has no problem with sharing his passion.
Meanwhile, sitting in a garage next door, is his Alan Mann Racing GT40—the car he will be driving with Henry Mann at one of the most iconic British motor circuits for the 74th Goodwood Member’s Meeting in the Alan Mann Trophy.
Named in honour of Ford legend Alan Mann, the trophy is a tribute to both his work and that of his Byfleet-based team. In the 1960s, they helped take the blue oval’s racing endeavours to the world stage and played a substantial part in the development of the Ferrari-killing GT40 for Le Mans. For Craig, this unique opportunity to race with Henry in an event that represents Britain at its finest—and a tribute to one of his idols to boot—is a dream come true.
I was invited along to see what goes into the preparation of a historic racing machine. Pictured here is the special car I was recently able to take a closer look at in its pre-race form. With a 4.7-litre V8 taking centre stage in its barely-there bodywork, it is a stunning piece of machinery. Although not one of the original lightweights, Chassis #003 is a more recent Alan Mann-made creation that continues the legacy. Started by Mann, the vision for a ‘new’ GT40 was completed from a combined team including Craig, Henry Mann, Tom Mann and original members of the AMR team, and can be regularly seen racing on circuits around the world.
Fresh from an extensive winter restoration, it is as ready as can be for its first outing of the year at Goodwood, taking the team from AMR and Sub Zero Motorsport on the race of a lifetime. With its striking trademark red and gold livery, it will be a car not to be missed during the Alan Mann Trophy.
Fear not: if you won’t be at the daffodil-filled Goodwood next weekend,Petrolicious readers will be able to share this experience during every step of the way as I follow the team to the chequered flag this weekend at the Goodwood Circuit.