Goodwood does it again: Impressions of this year’s Revival
Twenty-one years young, the brainchild of the Duke of Richmond is in full swing. We spent a couple of days at the rolling West Sussex circuit and bring you our memories of, and thoughts on, the best historic motor racing in the world.
Things have moved on since 1998, and for those lamenting the absence of a row of 250 GTOs in the TT Celebration and the great DBR1 vs. D-type vs. Ferrari 246S Dino battles of the past, well, that’s historic motor racing at the turn of another decade. The racing on the track is certainly far faster, if not closer than ever and the spectacle – which is what it’s all about – as good as it’s always been.
For the second year running there are no Ferraris in the headline TT, for Maranello fans the focus was on Friday evening’s Kinrara Trophy, a one-hour race finishing at dusk. Nine 250 GTs made the running, only challenged by Aston factory driver Darren Turner sharing Wolfgang Friedrich’s DB4 GT with Simon Hadfield. Held at a blistering pace, the race evoked memories of TTs past. After 60 minutes, Gary Pearson’s grey Ferrari (in Goodwood tradition a ‘celebration’ of the immortal 250 GTO, perhaps) came out a comfortable winner.
The action continued first thing on Saturday when Porsche and Lotus specialist Robert Barrie kept ‘Mr Mini’ Nick Swift in his Mini Marcos at bay after 16 nail-biting laps racing for the Fordwater Trophy. Later that day, the Lotterer/Wilson AC Cobra took pole position for the TT.
The pre-War event is an all-Bentley affair, with drivers given the extra challenge of starting – as they did at Le Mans in period – with fabric roofs erected before heading into the pits for a compulsory stop to stow them…
That’s enough ‘Autosport’: we suggest you head to Goodwood’s excellent YouTube channel to watch the live action today or highlights later.
Away from the track, after previous years’ period Tesco store, Avro Vulcan flying display and live steam train, the sensation of 2019 was the ‘Italian Job’ tableau in the Earl’s Court Studios (formerly half the Earl’s Court Motor Show). Featuring live action – incredibly including the Turin arcade scene when the Minis drive through and one of the gang snatches a roast chicken from a diner’s table – the Goodwood set designers and actors surpassed themselves. Worth the price of entry on its own.
Sadly, due to draconian new rules on flying displays in the UK, the popular aeronautical side of the Revival is limited to a simple fly-in and out and the static Freddie March Spirit of Aviation display.
Six decades have passed since Aston Martin won the World Championship at the Goodwood Tourist Trophy and the event was marked by a track display and, Goodwood at its finest, a smoky recreation of the famous pits fire which had spectators running for cover, unaware of the lark the organisers had arranged.
What japes! Which sums up the ethos of the event, still THE place to be every September. Here are some of our memories of two footsore days in the sun.