Matters of Moment, May 2000

Goodwood Festival and Revival Plans Revealed

Lord March has announced his plans for this summer’s Festival of Speed and September’s Revival meeting. Both events, the eighth Festival and third Revival promise, as ever, to outstrip their earlier incarnations.

The Festival of Speed on June 23-25 promises to be another triumph, with the BMW-Williams, Jaguar and Jordan Grand Prix teams all taking on the hill record-holder McLaren. The theme is Champions and Challengers, where great winning cars will be matched against those that offered them the stiffest competition at the time. The result is an amazing array of cars and motorcycles coming from around the globe, and the feature marque Jaguar’s huge presence includes Bob Tullius’ Group 44 cars for the first time in Britain.

A record number of manufacturers (from Alfa Romeo to Porsche, via giants Chrysler, Ford and General Motors) are bringing their finest treasures. And Land Speed Record cars, from early Napier to Thrust SSC, will be joined by those mighty early ’60s sparring partners Bluebird and Goldenrod. Bonneville Salt Flats racers — rarely seen outside Utah — will add to the visual feast

The soap box competition has captured the imagination of top motorsport engineering teams. Some 24 of the gravity-propelled machines will descend the hill, and Lord March will race in his Goodwood-built device. A Junior Festival area will make the event more child-friendly this year.

In the meantime, while plans for the Revival come together, they will not include the 3-litre Formula One cars seen there last September. Lord March is adamant that he will not make the changes to the Historic circuit which the FIA had demanded in the aftermath of triple World Champion Sir Jack Brabham’s major accident in the same race. The Glover Trophy event will thus revert to 1.5-litre Formula One and 2-litre Tasman chassis.

Even so, such is the draw of the fabled circuit that an unprecedented array of legends from Grand Prix, Indycar and Sportscar disciplines are clamouring for drives in the big GT event, the one-hour Tourist Trophy Celebration feature. But the organisers are also heeding a call from those who felt the 1998 and ’99 programmes denied the man in the street the chance to race too.

Following the lead of the regular Members’ Meetings, which outnumbered the well-publicised home Internationals of the period, a new race for Production Sports and GT Cars has been added. The Fordwater Trophy will cater for machines built between 1958 and 1963, and should produce splendid inter-marque rivalry as MGAs, Morgans, Sunbeams and Triumph TRs take on Abarths and Alfas. Add to this the now expected blend of established races and the unrivalled pageantry and it’s clear why a race at Goodwood is still the most sought after drive on the historic calendar. MP