This automotive carnival is a wonderful real-life history lesson, with the stars of the show this year being 10 rumbling Spitfires
Have you tried to describe the Revival to non-motoring people who ask, “what’s so special”? How about total-immersion time travelling community theatre, as though ‘Foyle’s War’, ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Life on Mars’ were all filming on the same set. Starring all of us.
With the world’s greatest cars as accessories. Fashions change, even on the Goodwood stage: fewer teddy boys this year, more beatniks and hippies spreading peace, ‘CND’ and ‘Clapton is God’ sprayed on walls, loon pants dragging in the mud. It affected the military: a Russian general shared chips with a british admiral, and a gestapo officer smilingly held a door for a lady in stockings and new look skirt. well, saturday was ladies’ day, with on the spot prizes for the truly glamorous.
Around the track the tablaux were vivant as always: teens rocked and rolled at the American diner, though the 2i’s coffee bar was serving paper cups instead of pyrex. Men took off their jackets to ring their girls’ bell on the fairground strength machine. Girls in skimpies boogie-woogied for their bugle boy, while those pesky spivs tried to sell you watches off the back of an AEC, part of a great collection of commercials from amusing Isetta Rac van to wonderful Fiat Bartoletti Ferrari transporter.
ARP wardens herded people into shelters, and the courtesy cars were royces. Nothing is ordinary at Revival time. And as glam cabs’ ‘Hattie Jacques’ kept her curvaceous cabettes in shape, few looked at a beautiful T57 Bugatti Cabriolet parked unattended nearby. That’s how blasé you get with Goodwood’s unrivalled auto-indulgence.
In the paddock a stupendous line-up marked Fangio’s centenary, from 300SLR and streamline 196 via Alfetta and 250F to cut-down Chevy. Under the modernist frontage of the March garages a Porsche RSK bared its all and a sculptor carved a Flying Lady from life; apparently they’re going to put it on the front of a new car called a Rolls-Royce. Those also graced the Earls Court motor show, featuring ‘the world’s most beautiful cars’, along with a Model T, foundation stone of Ford’s diverse ‘100 years in Britain’ display. Over the road in the bustling market you could buy the vintage clothing you forgot to bring, or posters for your garage, or a new garage. Retro, naturally.
On the airield the ‘Memphis Belle’ B17 towered over a Minute Taylor Tich and the only Hawker Hart, while the stunning Supermarine S6A floatplane and replica prototype Spitfire were aero-background to Sunday’s astonishing climax when to mark its genesis 75 years ago 10 Spits scrambled and flew in formation across the Sussex skies. One Spitfire makes people smile; the rumbling thrum of 10 Merlins struck awe into thrilled onlookers. At the Revival it’s 1940, and 1958, and 1963 all at once. and you could buy marathon bars at the retro Tesco! We really had gone back in time.
Saturday: Galaxies star in St Mary’s Trophy
Saturday’s highlight for many was the first bout of the St Mary’s Trophy, which was won by Kiwi touring car man Paul Radisich in a big lumbering Ford Galaxie 500 ahead of Jackie Oliver in a BMW 1800 TISA. It looked like Barrie Williams – aboard another Galaxie – was on course for the win, only to pull out six laps in with a broken propshaft while Radisich was hot on his tail.
It was further down the field that the racing was really exciting, though, as a great battle for third was fought all race long between Tom Kristensen in a Ford-Lotus Cortina, Darren Turner in a very quick and beautifully driven Morris Mini Cooper S and Anthony Reid in a Jaguar MK2. “It was lovely,” said eight-time Le Mans winner Kristensen.
“I didn’t see the winners, but I saw a lot of a Jaguar driven by a mad Scotsman and occasionally I saw a small thing pop up between us.”
The two early races – the Goodwood Trophy and the Earl of March Trophy – were won by Mac Hulbert aboard an Era D-type R4D and Sam Wilson in a Kieft Norton respectively.
Despite the heavy rain and a soaked track in both, almost everyone emerged unscathed. The same cannot be said for the Whitsun Trophy, which had Gary Pearson and Paul Knapield trading paint throughout. Pearson was squeezed onto the grass at the first corner by the sister Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyder of Knapield and then had to fight back through the field, eventually finishing second after Knapield spun on oil on the last corner of the last lap. It was Canadian Jay Esterer who emerged victorious in the fabulous Chinook Chevrolet MK2 after a great drive from ifth on the grid and a racelong battle with Knapield.
Another highlight of the day was the Fordwater Trophy which was made up entirely of Jaguar E-types to celebrate the model’s 50th anniversary. Gerhard Berger drew out a big lead at the start in Adrian Newey’s blisteringly quick lightweight, but it was all for nothing when Desiré Wilson spun off on her first lap trying to avoid a backmarker (she had just taken over from Emanuele Pirro). The safety car was deployed and Newey, who had just got into Berger’s car, suddenly found himself with Martin Stretton hot on his tail. He was jumped at the restart, and despite another safety car when Wilson lost it at the chicane, Stretton held on to take the victory with teammate Jon Minshaw.
The penultimate race of the day – the Chichester Cup – saw Sam Wilson in a 1962 Cooper-Ford T59 narrowly lead home Pier Enrico Tonetti aboard a 1963 Brabham-Ford BT6 and Jon Milicevic in a 1962 Cooper-Ford T59. The final race, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, was won by Terry Wood in the RGS Jaguar Atalanta.
Sunday: Kristensen and Brack celebrate TT win
Goodwood’s latest ‘super team’, Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack and Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen, trounced the glorious field of 1960s GTs in the RAC TT Celebration race as the heavens opened on Revival Sunday.
The pair’s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé was in a class of its own all weekend. Goodwood debutant Brack stormed clear from pole position on the greasy track, as Martin Brundle put in a typically determined stint in Nick Mason’s Ferrari 250G to cling on to the Cobra’s coat-tails. But it was Derek Hill, son of 1961 World Champion Phil, who was the star of the early going, charging up in the lumpy-bodied Maserati Tipo 151. He passed Brundle for second with a daring move around the outside at St Mary’s – before the threatening black clouds dropped their load.
Having taken over from Brack, slithering Kristensen did just enough to keep the big Cobra on track. The race had already been reduced from an hour to 45 minutes because of earlier delays, and with the weather worsening for the first wet TT Celebration for 12 years, the chequered flag was thrown after 40 minutes.
In the pitstops, Mark Hales took over from Brundle and emerged in second place. Joe Colasacco replaced Hill in the Maserati and was content to take third. Richard Shaw’s tyre-smoking BMW 1800 Tisa stormed the (dry but slippery-surfaced) second part of the St Mary’s Trophy, doing more than enough to take an aggregate victory following his partner Jackie Oliver’s second place the day before.
From the line, Nick swift’s plucky Mini got the crowd cheering by getting the jump on the monster Ford Galaxie of James Wood and then going door to door with Shaw. Wood breezed past both, but shaw then snatched the lead at Lavant on lap two. Wood fought back at Woodcote, smacking into the BMW in the process. The Galaxie lost half its front bumper and lurched sideways.
By the time Wood had gathered the moment, Shaw was gone. Gary Pearson took the record for most Revival wins by dominating the Richmond Trophy in his ex-Jo Bonnier BRM P25. But the shine for Pearson, whose victory was his Ninth at Goodwood, was briely tarnished as the race finished under caution.
Hubert Fabri crashed heavily on the Lavant straight, his Aston Martin DBR4 left stranded on the track. After a concerning wait, it emerged that Fabri had escaped without serious injury.
The Glover Trophy for the later 1960s Formula 1 cars was blitzed by Andy Middlehurst driving his hero Jim Clark’s beautiful lotus 25. In a performance the great Scot would have been proud of, Middlehurst won by 26 seconds – after just 20 minutes of racing. Dion Kremer beat Roger Wills in the battle of the Elva-BMWs to claim the Madgwick Cup, which kicked off the action on sunday morning. The race had been stopped at the end of lap one when Paul Knapield managed his second crash of the weekend at the chicane, his Elva demolishing the inside polystyrene wall.
The Barry Sheene Memorial boys braved a lunchtime downpour to offer a two-wheeled thriller. Four-time Isle of man TT winner and Revival newcomer Cameron Donald pipped Alan Oversby to the race win, but with an 18sec cushion from Saturday’s race Jeremy McWilliams and Duncan Fitchett claimed aggregate honours.
The sun came out for the final race of the 2011 Goodwood Revival. Alex Buncombe won the Sussex Trophy at a canter in his lister-Jaguar ‘Costin’, as Bobby Verdon-Roe’s Aston Martin DBR1 got the better of Anthony Reid’s Jaguar D-type for second.