A perfect period drama
The sun shone, the racing ran from dawn till dusk, and people dressed up and played their part. The 10th anniversary Goodwood Revival was indeed a special occasion
By Rob Widdows
All arms and elbows, four-wheel drifts, tails out, touching the turf, drivers grinning and spectators cheering. This has to be September in Sussex.
Boy, oh boy, this Goodwood Revival is good stuff, a reminder of how and why we all fell so helplessly in love with motor racing.
No matter who won, or lost, this is pure theatre, a spectacle the like of which you simply cannot find any more. Tasked to report the highlights of three days at Goodwood, choosing the wonderful from the fantastic is no easy job. So let’s start at sunset on Saturday.
For only the second time in its first decade the Goodwood Revival staged a race in the autumn dusk. It was a spectacular reminder of those wonderful nine-hour races that we used to see at Goodwood in the old days.
As the sun went down over the long, fast Fordwater corners, headlights came on and the huge crowd was captivated by the drama of racing cars roaring through the twilight and into the darkness. Emanuele Pirro and Stuart Graham won by two laps in their Austin Healey 100S, this a brilliant exhibition from two talented racers who were the class of the field.
It was business as usual on the bikes. Wayne Gardner, ably supported by Mark Sharrock, dominated the Barry Sheene Memorial motorcycle races, while the fans wanted to see Freddie Spencer, Phil Read, Mick Grant and Steve Parrish give the Aussie World Champion a better run for his money. Ludovic Lindsay ran away with the Goodwood Trophy in his ERA ‘Remus’ after poleman Mark Gillies was stranded on the grid. Carlos Monteverde, in his beautiful yellow Ferrari 206SP Dino, was a popular winner of the Madgwick Cup, a race the Brazilian has been trying to win for years, while Simon Frost skated his Cooper-Norton round to a convincing victory in the Earl of March Trophy.
A firm favourite with the Revival crowd is the St Mary’s Trophy for saloon cars, this year for models that raced between 1950-59. Out of the mayhem on Saturday came Anthony Reid’s Jaguar to win by point nothing of a second from Jackie Oliver in his Austin A35. The race was red-flagged when Tony Jardine, in another A35, and John Fitzpatrick collided at the chicane, Fitz’s Austin Westminster rolling over the top of the wall. Shame, as Oliver and Reid were set for a titanic last-lap battle. On the Sunday it was John Young in the repaired Westminster who won, but on aggregate it was Anthony Reid and Justin Law who took the 2008 St Mary’s Trophy in their Jaguar Mk1.
Perhaps the loudest cheer of the weekend was for Martin Brundle, who put Adrian Newey’s Jaguar E-type lightweight on pole for the RAC TT Celebration race. The former Grand Prix driver was enjoying being back behind the wheel of a competitive car and loving his weekend away from the Formula 1 paddock. On Sunday we saw the best TT for years with a terrific opening scrap between Peter Hardman, Newey, Justin Law and Jean-Marc Gounon, these four separated by less than five seconds. At the pitstops Newey handed over to Brundle who promptly set a new fastest lap. But it was not to be a Jaguar year, with the Ferraris of Hardman and Gounon in command. Behind Ray Bellm put in a storming drive in the AC Cobra, hanging onto the leaders in the opening laps. Revival favourite Barrie Williams was feisty as ever in his Cobra, but was caught out by oil at Madgwick Corner. When the safety car came out, the Brundle/Newey Jaguar had a chance to get back on terms after a slow pitstop. Brundle’s move on the Ferrari of Andy Newall, who’d taken over from Gounon, was perhaps the most exciting moment of the weekend.
Out in the lead, after a finely judged race, was Bobby Verdon-Roe, sharing with Peter Hardman, and there he stayed, giving Ferrari victory in the TT for the first time since the 1960s. Just 2.2 seconds behind, after an hour, was the Lister-Jaguar of Reid and Law with Brundle/Newey completing the podium.
The famous Goodwood chicane took another battering in the Formula Junior race. With the leaders appearing to pay scant attention to yellow flags, out came the safety car to restore some sanity. Emanuele Benedini, having spun in the middle of the pack, unfathomably decided to continue racing with oil and water pouring from a badly damaged Brabham BT6. The marshals did their best but sensibly the race finished under the safety car, and Michael Hibberd in his Lotus 27 was the deserving winner.
The Richmond & Gordon Trophies race, in Sunday morning sunshine, was a thriller. Victory went to the Cooper of Rod Jolley whose duel with Joaquin Folch’s Lotus was frustratingly cut short when the safety car came out after Jochen Mass crashed the Lancia-Ferrari D50 at the chicane. Thankfully the popular German escaped without serious injury.
The Whitsun Trophy was spoilt when another car failed to pull off while spewing oil and water. Great race nonetheless, Roger Wills climbing from 20th to second and Ray Bellm salvaging third despite tagging the scenery on lap one. Simon Hadfield won, somehow keeping the Lola T70 on the asphalt to close Goodwood’s 60th anniversary celebrations in style.
Once a year Goodwood closes its gates on the modern world. What a shame we had to leave. It doesn’t get better than this.
Keeping up with tradition
Tearooms decked in Union Jacks and cash machines in red phone boxes… when it comes to staging a historic event Goodwood’s Revival can’t be beaten
They say you can’t stop time, but the Goodwood Revival presses the pause button at the ’50s and ’60s and gives you a luxurious second look. Even without the finest historic racing you’ll see anywhere it’s a show-stopper. There’s no historical excuse for GIs and Teddy Boys to mingle, but here they do and it fits, like everything else about this impeccably stage-managed production.
But even history needs refreshing, and this year’s novelty was ‘Earls Court Motor Show’.
Behind an imposing Modernist frontage (left) a ’60s motor show pulsed with cars from Goodwood’s ‘future’ – today’s Mk2 Jaguar plus a space-age concept called the XF, the new BMW 507 sports car and a super-streamlined styling exercise called a 650i. If they ever built it, it would top 150mph!
Soaring speed through the decades was the theme of the concours display, the pitch rising from the 1921 Super Sports 3-litre Bentley – “100mph guaranteed” – to today’s 200mph club: Enzo, McLaren, Koenigsegg, Bugatti Veyron and a Schuppan Porsche 962 fitted for the road. Visitors voted for their favourite; my vote went to the elegant, brawny Maserati 5000GT, before I headed for the ‘Spirit of Aviation’ corral. Here fascinating vintage aircraft from the Tipsy Trainer to a giant DC6 (above right) drew crowds, though it was hard to concentrate while a P51D Mustang warmed up on the airstrip behind.
Among the paddock stage sets was Woad Corner (top right), a ’30s-style garage, supposedly the AFN premises and packed with significant early Porsches including rare 365s, two 550 Spyders and a delicious VW van with the company’s logo. Deep among the motorbikes, where café racers gleamed smugly among racing machines, BMW had erected ‘RevivalFest’. In what looked like a tumbledown garage a Dixi and a shabby 327 cabrio gathered dust, but behind that cheerful frauleins served up bier and wurst to thirsty bikers. Which must be why, among the tweed, ’40s dresses and military uniforms (all Allied bar one brave German officer) I even saw someone in lederhosen.
Another tableau vivant reminded us of Freddie March’s many motoring enterprises. Around the Kevill-Davies & March ‘workshop’ were a dozen cars styled and bodied by the current Earl’s talented grandfather, from the elegant AC 16/80 and an ‘airflow’ Lancia to his clever shooting brake, an early MPV, while outside sat a replica of March’s Austin 7 BRDC 500 winner in the correct garish orange. Above, smoke from the steam merry-go-round drifted over, perfecting the pre-war atmosphere with the right smells.
The whole meeting is a performance, and the depth of detail is impressive. Buildings and staff sport only the signature black and white; visitors and cars provide the colour, in spades. Vintage tractors make perfect sense for tugging a cartload of weary visitors around. The Victory Tearooms, decked in Union Jacks, serves mugs of tea at wooden trestles. A Commer van dispenses information, cash machines hide in red telephone boxes, signboards are painted, not plastic, armbands are brown card. And the only music is live.
There’s a fine line between period fun and pastiche, and the Revival treads it lightly: you smile at the Cortina taxis with a ‘Glamcabs’ heart on the roof because next along is a display of Col Ronnie Hoare’s finest Ferraris in front of a building evoking the Maranello HQ and because a pair of Spitfires and a Corsair have just ripped through the sky.
The Revival is miles away from those grimly serious historical events where sack-clad folk say “Good Morrow” and pretend it’s 1580. Goodwood knows it’s an act, and it’s perfectly pitched.
This year’s Revival paid a fitting tribute to the ‘quiet man’ of Grand Prix racing
Can we call Tony Brooks the quiet man of motor racing? I think we can. Judging by a special tribute to him at the Goodwood Revival, we can also hail Tony Brooks as one of the true British heroes of Grand Prix racing.
Brooks won his first ever GP, at Syracuse in 1955, when he was still a dental student. He’d never sat in an F1 car before, let alone raced one. He retired just six years later, having won six World Championship Grands Prix and made a huge contribution to Aston Martin’s sports car World Championship. A brief but remarkable career that is remembered to this day and which was celebrated in style at Goodwood.
This was an emotional weekend for Brooks and his wife Pina, for it was at Goodwood that he gained much of his early racing experience in a Healey Silverstone. Standing on the grid at the Revival he was able to look back over his entire career, wandering among the cars he’d driven between 1950 and 1961. There they were, lined up in his honour. Healey, Connaught, Frazer Nash, Aston Martin, Cooper, Vanwall, Ferrari and BRM simmering in the autumn sunshine as the crowd cheered their reluctant hero.
Sir Stirling Moss, who drove with Brooks at Aston Martin and Vanwall, has always admired the quiet Englishman. And he should know, having shared victory with him in the British Grand Prix at Aintree in 1957 when his own Vanwall failed and Stirling took over his team-mate’s car.
“He is the greatest unknown racing driver of our era,” said Stirling. To those who know, and there are many more following the Goodwood tribute, Tony Brooks will always have a very special place in motor racing history. We at Motor Sport salute a charming man and a truly talented racing driver.
1. Ludovic Lindsay ERA R5B ‘Remus’
2. David Morris ERA R11B
3. J Mac Hulbert ERA R4D
Earl of March Trophy
1. Simon Frost Cooper-Norton Mk11
2. Nigel Ashman Cooper-Norton Mk11
3. David Lecoq Petty-Norton
1. Carlos Monteverde Ferrari Dino 206SP
2. Michael Gans Lotus-Ford 23B
3. Dion Kremer Elva-BMW Mk8
Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy
1. Gardner/Sharrock BSA Gold Star
2. Grant/Tonge Matchless G80
3. Farrall/Gutsch BMW R5 SS
1. Gardner/Sharrock BSA Gold Star
2. McWilliams/Bunning Norton Dominator
3. Walker/Bain Norton Harold Daniell
1. Gardner/Sharrock BSA Gold Star
2. McWilliams/Bunning Norton Dominator
3. French/Ashby AJS 7R
1. Jamie McIntyre Lister-Chevrolet ‘Knobbly’
2. Mark Hales Lister-Jaguar ‘Costin’
3. Barrie Williams Tojeiro-Jaguar
1. Michael Hibberd Lotus-Ford 27
2. Martin Walford Lotus-Ford 22
3. Joaquín Folch-Rusinol Lotus-Ford 27
Freddie March Memorial Trophy
1. Graham/Pirro Austin Healey 100S
2. Adams/Hall Lotus/Bristol MkX
3. Milligan/Poole HWM-Jaguar
1. Anthony Reid Jaguar Mk1
2. Jackie Oliver Austin A35
3. Andy Rouse Volvo PV544S
1. John Young Austin A95 Westminster
2. Rea Davis Austin A35
3. Shaun Rainford Volvo PV544S
1. Fitzpatrick/Young Austin A95 Westminster
2. Jardine/Davis Austin A35
3. Rouse/Rainford Volvo PV544S
1. Patrick Blakeney-Edwards Frazer Nash Sebring
2. Guy Broad Jaguar XK120
3. Oliver Leyba Aston Martin DB2
Richmond & Gordon Trophies
1. Rod Jolley Cooper-Climax T45/51
2. Joaquín Folch-Rusinol Lotus-Climax 16
3. John Harper Cooper-Climax T51
Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration
1. Hardman/Verdon-Roe Ferrari 330 LMB
2. Law/Reid Lister-Jaguar Coupé
3. Brundle/Newey Jaguar E-type lightweight
1. James King Brabham-Climax BT7
2. Simon Hadfield Lotus-Climax 21
3. Frank Sytner Lotus-Climax 24
1. Simon Hadfield Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyder
2. Roger Wills McLaren-Chevrolet M1B
3. Ray Bellm Ford GT40