Over its 22 editions the Goodwood Revival has built the reputation of a “bucket list” event for motorsport fans and they’re right, if you’re going to historic events don’t miss this one.
During its early editions the Revival was able to attract not only the cars, but the great personalities associated with them, sadly most of these icons are no longer with us but their cars still are. Consequentially, things have changed at Goodwood and younger, but not always much younger, “hotshoes” are to be found behind the wheel of the pre-1966 machinery.
Multi Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti chose this Revival to make his return to racing after his career-ending crash six years ago. Dario was joined by nine time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, F1 driver Karun Chandhok, Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner, LMP2 racer Alex Brundle and five time Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro.
Flying the flag for the 1960s and ’70s were former Grand Prix drivers Richard Attwood, Jochen Mass, Derek Bell and Henri Pescarolo with “Flying Finn” rally star Rauno Aaltonen helping them out.
But there can be no doubt that the cars remain at the heart of the Revival. 2019’s Kinrara Trophy race attracted nine Ferrari GTOs and the same number of Jaguar E-Types all doing battle with Aston Martins and Austin-Healeys into the setting sun on Friday evening. Victory eventual going to the Pearson/Smith Ferrari GTO.
There have been many centenary celebrations for Bentley cars this year but none can rival the grid of 29 pre-1930 cars that assembled for the Brooklands Trophy on Sunday afternoon. This extraordinary collection raced over 10 laps using a handicap system that required all the cars to make a pit stop in accordance with their grid position to have their hood lowered before racing on to the finish. Martin Overington took the honours in this most unusual of races driving a 1929 4½ Litre ‘Blower’.
Goodwood’s RAC TT Celebration, 1 hour-2 driver race, has always attracted a multi-million-pound field and this year was no exception, perhaps not as varied as in the past with Cobras and E-Types dominating. With similar cars providing close racing there was plenty of drifting action, eventually the AC Cobra of Wilson/Lotterer came out on top.
Away from the racing action, but still parading on track each day, were no less than 150 examples of the Mini celebrating 60 years of this iconic car. Created in response to the 1956 Suez oil crisis, Alec Issigonis’ transverse front-engined “box on wheels” took the motoring world by storm and became a ’60s icon. Over the weekend the Mini took Goodwood by storm too.
Engineer and car designer John Cooper who is forever linked with the Mini through his successful racing minis and production models was also commemorated during the weekend with track parades comprising of many of his cars. Pride of place went to Sir Jackie Stewart who paraded the Cooper T72 that launched his F1 career when testing the car for entrant Ken Tyrrell at Goodwood in 1964.
Linked with the Revival from its beginning and also to Goodwood throughout his career, where it ended with a crash in 1962, Sir Stirling Moss’ 90th birthday was marked with a moving tribute by the Duke of Richmond on Saturday afternoon; unfortunately, Stirling was not well enough to attend in person. A participant in every Revival until 2017, Stirling was very much missed for this celebration of his 90 years. The Duke recounting that remarkable career, both on and off the circuit, made mention of Stirling’s many victories at Goodwood.
Goodwood’s sweeping circuit is the ideal track for racing historic cars and each year visitors have been entertained by motor racing “as it used to be” and they now come in the tens-of-thousands. Having developed into a celebration of times past the Revival now has Rock’n’Roll music, jiving, bi-planes, warm ale in the pub, retro fashion, swing bands, champagne and more. None of this was there at the beginning, what there was, and still is, were beautiful and historic cars being raced around a classic circuit the “way they should be.” If the Revival is not on your Bucket List then reach for your pen right now and add it!