The two letters in your December issue commenting on the Goodwood Revival Meeting struck a chord about how easy it is for us all to lose a grip on reality.
The first letter concerning the apparent ‘invisibility’ of the black. flag seems only too well to sum up what is wrong with the attitude and ethics of many of today’s competitors, and perhaps could give an insight to your second correspondent into what could be wrong with our sport today.
However, John Aston’s apparent view that Goodwood was all hype and no substance could not, in my opinion, have been further from the mark; in many ways the media reporting probably understated the true worth of the whole event!
Of course the Revival Meeting can be viewed as a piece of theatre, but what is wrong with that? Especially when there is no doubt that Charles March is a supreme impresario. Surely any form of historic racing could also be described as lacking in reality.
As for questioning the credentials or good sense of the paying public at Goodwood, I think John is the one who is straying into a very dangerous area. Throughout the four days I was honoured to be present at the circuit, the spectators seemed to be overwhelmed with appreciation and understanding of the superb display of wonderful racing and flying machines that the team at Goodwood had created for them. As for cost, the vast majority would not have paid the £35 quoted, and when compared with a similar-status modem event, then Goodwood would appear to offer good value for money.
I have to admit being biased in favour of Goodwood as I was very fortunate to be invited to be an entrant. My car, Don Truman’s 1948 500cc Bardon-Tumer, is rather a modest piece of British motorsport history, but we were treated by the organisers, other competitors, marshals and officials as if we have a priceless treasure. I and my team (all active VSCC members) must plead guilty of appearing in “bizarre fancy dress” for all four days of the Revival Meeting.
I would suggest that our sport should continue to be a ‘broad church’ in which hype and fantasy have a legitimate role to play. John Aston could easily avoid becoming victim to a fatwah by accepting an invitation to join Team Bardon-Turner at next September’s Goodwood meeting (assuming we are invited again!) but he will have to promise to wear a flat cap, tie and period overalls, be happy to inhale fumes of Castrol R and methanol, and of course be prepared to spend his time pushing our little car up and down the paddock to persuade it out onto the track. In return I would be delighted to race our car at either Croft or Cadwell Park if we can keep it in one piece!
I am, yours, etc. Mike Anthony, Barrow Gurney, Bristol