It was another good year to be at the Goodwood Revival…sunshine for four days, some of the best racing in the Revival’s history, and a fantastic atmosphere. Although the event officially starts on Friday, Lord Charles March hosts a cricket match for competitors and celebrities on Thursday. While some people watch the match, there is more attention on who is there, and several famous drivers…Derek Bell, Jackie Oliver, Richard Attwood…were playing this year. Most of the crowd is already in period dress even before the racing starts, both at the cricket match and over in the paddock watching the teams get ready for the weekend.
Practice was hard fought as usual and Rupert Avon was seriously injured in practice on Friday for the Freddie March Memorial Trophy race when his 1952 Jaguar C-Type rolled at Madgewick Corner and he was trapped underneath.
The first race on Saturday, which saw a very large crowd, was won by historic veteran Barrie Williams in a Connaught A-Type, setting fastest lap, but only beating Irvine Laidlaw’s Maserati 6CM by half a second. Unfortunately the Grand Prix Alfetta 159 driven by Willie Green, which had been quick in practice, did not complete a lap when the differential broke, and Julian Majzub’s Alfa 308 also retired after five laps.
One of the best races of the Revival was the Freddie March Trophy race for 1952-1955 sports cars, in which Michael Steele’s HWM-Jaguar looked to have the victory until his brakes gave out and Martin Walford got the ex-General Curtiss Le Mat Allard-Cadillac back in front. Sir Stirling Moss drove an impressive race to 7th in an Aston-Martin DB3S, sliding through Madgewick Corner in a 4-wheel drift, but he would have been beaten by another great, Phil Hill, in the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000CM which passed Moss but soon fell into the gravel. Carlos Monteverde had led at the start but spun and fought back from last to 5th in the 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza ‘ice-racer’.
By far the most exciting race of the weekend was the one hour event for 1960 to 1964 closed GT cars. This two-driver race, the RAC TT, is always a big attraction, but this year the safety car came out at the wrong place in the field and made a totally new race in which former Grand Prix driver Richard Attwood and co-driver Mark Hales played a waiting game, gradually moving their Bizzarini A3C up behind the Juan Fangio II Jaguar E-Type, Flux and Hardman’s Ferrari 330GTO and the car heavily favored to win, the Jaguar E-Type Lightweight of Gregor Fisken/Emmanuele Pirro. Though the rear axle of the Bizzarini was smoking in the final laps, Hales got past with one lap to go to take the win.
Throughout the Revival weekend, demonstrations of important cars took place on the circuit, and there were thrilling flying displays from WW2 aircraft from the UK, Russia and the USA. 2003 saw probably the largest gathering of spectators in period costume ever seen at a race meeting, as rock & rollers, hippies, 1940s ‘country gentlemen’ all met in a huge colorful celebration. The show off the circuit was again as good as the one on it, thanks to Lord March.