2012 Goodwood Revival

Dan Gurney, a special race for AC Cobras, and demonstrations of Ferrari 250GTOs and potent pre-war Silver Arrows was the heady brew that awaited us at Goodwood in September for the 15th Revival meeting. As line-ups and themes go, this one will be hard to match. Then again, we’ve said that before.

‘Gurney for President’ was the slogan of the weekend, in reference and deference to the great American and a promo campaign run by Car & Driver in 1964. It was great to see Gurney return to the circuit at the age of 81, and the demonstration of cars relating to his incredible career both as a driver and a constructor was stirring. Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Brian Redman – they all turned out in his honour.

As usual, it was hard to know which way to look as Spitfires, Hurricanes and Hunters streaked across the sky. A Lancaster with its fighter escort was a sight to behold, before eyes diverted back to the track and the incredible Silver Arrows Grand Prix display (see overleaf). Given the size of the crowds – it felt busier than ever – we suspect there were some who had turned out specifically for this. It’s not something you see every day.

Oh yes, and there were races too. The action, from the Freddie March Memorial Trophy on Friday evening to the Sussex Trophy as the sun set on Sunday, kept us entertained. Inevitably, there were those who would wake up on Monday with the headache of heavy repair bills, but driving standards and accident tallies were generally kept in check this year – important for the future of the world’s best historic race meeting. The distractions are plentiful, fun and welcome, but it’s the racing that really matters at Goodwood in September.

Here, we present some of the highlights of another magical weekend in Sussex.

The Silver Arrows

The spectacle – and stench – of pre-war factory Grand Prix cars from the might of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union will remain with anyone lucky enough to be standing trackside at this year’s Revival. The era of the Silver Arrows has a mystique that grows deeper the further we move away from it. To witness so many of these cars on track, together for the first time in such numbers since 1939, pricked the hairs on necks of all ages.

‘Proper’ drivers were at the wheel, too, although some were more circumspect than we’d hoped. Former Sauber Grand Prix driver Karl Wendlinger in the 1934 Mercedes W25, its supercharger whining in unearthly fashion, led the charge. The Austrian was of course a Silver Arrows racer of a later generation, as a Mercedes Group C junior beside Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. But this was something very different.

Surely Mercedes had given him the chance to prepare for this? “No, the first time I drove it was here on Friday. With the centre throttle, it is very difficult to drive. Especially as the brakes, the tyres and the handling can’t keep up with the engine’s power. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to race these things.”

Jochen Mass perhaps best evoked the spirit of the glorious 1930s, hunkered close to the giant wheel of the W125. “It was amazing to drive them all together,” he said. “We could have gone a little quicker… but, you know, we don’t have to prove anything. On track you got a great sense of the crowd’s enthusiasm, and there are just so many people here. I think this group of cars gave extra spice to the event.

There are more people here than ever before and that’s got a lot to do with this group of cars, that’s for sure.”

Then there was a pair of W154s, one of them driven by Merc’s DTM king Bernd Schneider.

And phew, that smell. Stand too close and the alcohol-based concoction these things drink makes your eyes burn. We’d heard the stories from the Donington GPs of 1937 and ’38, how the whiff of boot polish stayed forever with those who witnessed an irresistible German invasion. Now we understood what they meant.

Among the Mercs, Jacky Ickx, modern-day Audi hero Frank Biela and arch enthusiast Nick Mason drove the rear-engined Auto Union monsters that look alien today, never mind 75 years ago. The ghosts of Rosemeyer, Stuck and Nuvolari stirred.

And behind them, there was a familiar helmet with a tartan band: Jackie Stewart at the wheel of the W165, Merc’s ‘mini-Arrow’, built specifically for one race, to cock a snook at the Italians and their voiturette rules at the 1939 Tripoli GP. JYS usually leaves plenty in reserve in such demos, but there he was chewing up the grass on the exit of the Chicane.

Back in the specially constructed pits, mechanics ran up a fluffy A-U V16. It’s a fantastic scene, the only omission being Swastikas and SS guards… we won’t quibble over some missing period detail on this one. The silver machines themselves are all that matter today, GP cars that were only surpassed in power and spectacle 50 years later with the dawn of the turbo era. We’re thankful these dinosaurs are still breathing.

Damien Smith

Pit for purpose
The artist responsible for the Silver Arrows’ garages at Goodwood reveals his inspiration and methods

If you managed to squeeze through the crowds you will have seen the Silver Arrows pits. As you can imagine, they weren’t the work of a moment. It took Peter Russell and a helper six weeks to build the main structure. They began the Monday after the Festival of Speed and then – after working seven days a week – left Goodwood to start to work on the details.

“I went to the first Revival in 1998 as a punter,” Russell said after finishing the main build in August. “The next year I got involved by building the period garage. After that I moved onto the ‘modern’ buildings like the March Motor Works.”

Russell, a carpenter who has spent 30 years restoring oak-framed medieval buildings, is responsible for many of the impressive structures at Goodwood and much of the scene-setting set-dressing, from the enamel signs to 1950s oil drums.

“I knew the Silver Arrows pits was happening and so I put a drawing together and sent it in. I wanted something iconic of the period rather than just corrugated-iron sheets.

“The garage that I chose was the one from the 1937 Swiss Grand Prix at Bern and I was really fortunate to find a book by Adriano Cimarosti on that circuit. The photos were fabulous and, from a construction point of view, the detail was brilliant.

“The pits have been scaled absolutely accurately [4:5] and we have also constructed them as they would have been built in period, with sawn boards, nails and bolts.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the whole of motor sport and I like research. The other thing is that I’ve always found pits in particular very interesting in terms of the theatre of them and what happens in them during a race.”

It’s all in the detail and set-dressing, and this is where Russell takes most pleasure. He has been collecting automobile for several years and every September it gets taken to Goodwood for the Revival. This year he’s been focusing on the Silver Arrows pits, of course:

“I love researching all the detail. To give you an idea as to what we have done for these pits, I was looking at photos of the original Bern pits and could see something on the back wall. I looked at other photos and there wasn’t anything clear, but it was obviously some sort of sign. So I got in touch with Cimarosti to see if he knew what it was. He looked through all his photographs and actually found a picture of it: a poster saying ‘No Smoking’ in four different languages, so I reproduced that.

“It’s that sort of level of detail that’s not just me, but also very Goodwood.”

Such fastidiousness may cost “somewhere between £10-50,000” for the Silver Arrows pits, but it’s one of the many reasons why we all keep flocking to the Revival meeting. Ed Foster

Goodwood Trophy
Twenty-minute race for Grand Prix and Voiturette cars of a type that raced between 1930 and 1950

Saturday morning began with an exemplary drive from Mark Gillies in the 1934 ERA A-type R3A (left). It was Gillies’ third win since 2007 in the Goodwood Trophy, having passed early leader ‘Mac’ Hulbert in ERA D-type R4D on the second lap. “The car’s magic,” said Gillies. “Mac was good off the line and he’s hard to get past, but he left me some room at Lavant.”

Hulbert’s race went downhill from there and his engine gave way at half distance. A con rod in the middle of the track was proof enough that the D-type wouldn’t be going anywhere but an engine shop.

Duncan Ricketts looked set to inherit second in his ERA E-type GP1, but soon Paddins Dowling closed up on the back of him in his ERA B-type R10B. Ricketts was held up behind Klaus Lehr’s Maserati 4CLT and Dowling streaked past and away to claim second.

Fordwater Trophy
Twenty-five minute race for race-inspired production sports and GT cars of a type that competed between 1964 and 1966

Pole-winner Martin Stretton didn’t stand much of a chance off the line in his Lotus Elan 26R against the V8 power of Andrew Newall’s 1965 Ginetta G10 (left). Sure enough, as the Union Flag fell it was Newall that streaked away into the lead. Stretton immediately started to pressure the Ginetta in his nimbler Elan, but the huge power deficit proved too much.

It looked like it was going to be an easy victory for Newall, but with only two minutes left disaster struck. The left rear wheel of the G10 started to come loose and he had to slow, letting Stretton take the lead. Newall didn’t pull over immediately, but carried on until the wheel eventually fell off.

Le Mans winner Jackie Oliver – who was piloting the 26R that started his racing career 48 years ago – finished a very lonely second.

Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy
Two twenty-five minute races for motorcycles (1951-1954) in the spirit of the original ‘Goodwood Saturday’ meeting

Actor Ewan McGregor lead the parade lap before the first part of the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy, then sensibly left it to the professional riders when it was time to get serious.

Sadly we lost two-time Isle of Man TT winner Cameron Donald on the warm up lap thanks to mechanical problems with his Manx Norton. However, the bikes of Duncan Fitchett/Jeremy McWilliams and Ian Bain/Steve Brogan gave the crowds something to cheer as McWilliams and Brogan spent the first half of the race swapping the lead on their respective Manx Norton and Norton International.

At the pitstops it was the Manx Norton of Fitchett/McWilliams that lost most time and after only a lap Bain was more than six seconds up the road.

But prolific classic ‘bike racer Fitchett wasn’t done. As Bain struggled with oil leaking over his rear tyre, he slowly closed the gap over the next 10 minutes and with only three and a half left he dived into the lead.

In the second race on Sunday, McWilliams and Fitchett wrapped up the double to take the aggregate victory – just as they did in 2011. Behind the winning Norton, British Superbike heroes Michael Rutter and Scott Smart enjoyed a bit of banter, passing and re-passing each other with plenty of high-speed high-jinks as they rode. Rutter cheekily grabbed fourth on the dash to the line.

St Mary’s Trophy
two twenty-five minute races for production-based saloon cars of a type that raced between 1950 and 1959

It was, as always, an all-star cast with WTCC Chevrolet driver Rob Huff on pole and the likes of Martin Brundle, Kenny Brack, Tiff Needell, John Cleland, Derek Bell and Rowan Atkinson further down the field.

It was all about Huff (Austin A40), Anthony Reid (Jaguar Mk1), Jackie Oliver (BMW 700) and Brack (Austin A40) once the race began. The four cars ran nose-to-tail for much of the race with Reid and Huff constantly swapping the lead and Brack and Oliver fighting over third. Reid made the most of the Jaguar’s extra power, but Huff made up time in the corners. All four cars bar Brack’s made small trips across the grass, but amazingly there was hardly any contact.

A long safety car period for Tom Harris’s stranded Jaguar MkVII that had shed a wheel threatened to ruin Sunday’s saloon car race. But once they were let off the leash, the tin-toppers packed an amazing amount of action into the remaining seven minutes.

The Jaguar Mk1s of Grant Williams and Justin Law slogged it out at the front, with Williams showboating his way to victory. An overnight round trip to South Wales for a new gearbox had paid off, although Williams revealed afterwards that he’d struggled all race with selection problems. It made his drifting antics all the more impressive.

Law’s second place gave him and Saturday driver Reid the aggregate victory. Desmond Smail, in his giant-killing A40 in which Huff had claimed Saturday’s race, was thumped in the left-rear quarter by Mark Daniell’s similar Austin as it spun at Woodcote. Smail kept on going, but finished on a flat tyre.

Pass of the weekend had to go to Richard Shaw.

He drove past both A40s round the outside of Woodcote in his tiny BMW 700, but ended the race among the crops on the outside of St Mary’s after a misjudgement in traffic.

Shelby Cup
Forty-five minute, two driver race for AC, Shelby, Willment Cobras that raced between 1962 and 1966

Despite some cars, most notably Martin Brundle’s, being lost to damage sustained in the Goodwood test day and in qualifying on Friday, the sight and sound of 28 Cobras leaving the grid was one of the moments of the weekend.

The fastest was the Daytona Coupé driven by Derek Hill, son of 1961 Formula 1 World Champion Phil, and Kenny Brack. From pole the car took the lead and despite some pressure from Ludovic Caron, Hill pitted with a few seconds’ cushion. Brack rejoined in fourth and immediately set the fastest lap, only for engine problems to thwart him.

Anthony Reid (left), who had taken over from Caron, now led and looked comfortable until Rob Hall, who was standing in for his father Rick, started closing in. Hall’s tyres started to go off, but Reid pressed on even harder – so hard, in fact, that part of his exhaust fell off. He was eventually black-flagged, promoting Dutch touring car ace Tom Coronel – who managed his first and only lap of Goodwood in qualifying – and David Hart to second. Reid’s exhaust was patched up, he rejoined and still finished a remarkable third.

Whitsun Trophy
Twenty-five minute race for sports-racing prototypes of a type that raced between 1963 and 1966

The 10th win for historics stalwart Gary Pearson at the Goodwood Revival was hard-fought (left). He qualified his Lola-Chevrolet T70 Spyder on pole, but was jumped at the start by Jay Esterer in his wonderful Chinook-Chevrolet Mk2.

It took three laps for Pearson to find a way past, only for Roger Wills in his McLaren-Chevrolet M1B to charge to the front. But Wills overcooked it in the closing stages and slid across the grass. He recovered and managed to get past McLaren test driver Chris Goodwin in another M1B for the final podium spot, but the damage had been done.

Esterer now led, but was struggling with his Chinook and only some brilliant car control saved him from ‘doing a Wills’. Pearson saw his chance and slipped by to notch up another Revival victory.

Richmond & Gordon Trophies
Twenty-five minute race for Formula 1 and Inter-Continental Formula cars of a type that raced between 1954 and 1961

Gary Pearson’s stalled BRM was the trigger for a mass pile-up at the start, forcing the race to be red-flagged. Roger Wills’ Lotus 16 mounted Paul Smeeth’s 18, with at least half a dozen more left damaged and sidelined for the restart.

Alasdair McCaig led all the way once the mess had been cleared, but his Cooper T53 ‘Lowline’ was kept honest by Rod Jolley’s older T45/51 (above). Pearson finished a distant third in his P25, ahead of the Aston Martin DBR4 of Richard Attwood.

Brooklands Trophy
Twenty-minute race for sports cars in the spirit of the great Brooklands endurance races prior to 1939

Max Werner survived being nerfed on to the grass by Alain de Cadanet at Madgwick after the start to win a superb opening race on Sunday morning.

Werner’s ex-Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C Monza fought a race-long duel with Gareth Burnett’s green giant Talbot AV 105 (above). The Alfa’s left-rear wheel tramped furiously under braking as Werner worked hard to hold off Burnett, and despite a grassy moment at St Mary’s on the last lap, he just clung on.

Remarkably, Werner had driven the 8C to Goodwood from his home in Germany, and having claimed his victory, he set off to drive it back again.

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards completed the podium after a star performance in ‘The Owlett’ Frazer Nash, diving towards the pitwall at the end of each lap to reduce drag on the blast to Madgwick. He got so close on one lap, he demolished a pitboard hung out over the wall.

Freddie March Memorial Trophy
Ninety-minute two-driver race for cars in the spirit of the Goodwood Nine-Hour races 1952-1955

Anthony Reid blasted away from pole position at the start of the Freddie March Memorial Trophy in Nigel Webb’s 1952 Jaguar C-type on Friday evening. He immediately began to pull out a gap to the rest of the field, but a fast-starting Gary Pearson, in the C-type he was sharing with ex-F1 driver Jackie Oliver, was soon up to second after starting on the third row.

There was nothing he could do about Reid, who was already 11 seconds up the road after three laps. But Reid’s effort was all for nothing as he began a busy weekend. Just before the pitstops the C-type started to slow, stuck in fourth gear.

Now it was GT racer Alex Buncombe’s turn to shine after taking over Derek Hood’s ex-Fangio C-type. He closed down the frontrunners and took over the lead at three-quarters distance. Second place went to Peter Mann’s 1953 Cooper-Bristol Mk2 T24/25, driven by John Ure and Nick Wigley.

Chichester Cup
Twenty-minute race for front-engined Formula Juniors of a type that raced between 1958 and 1960

The final race on Saturday couldn’t have finished more dramatically as Joe Colasacco, who had qualified second in Lawrence Auriana’s Stanguellini-Fiat, passed Will Mitcham’s U2-Ford Mk2 on the second-to-last corner of the last lap to win (left).

Ray Mallock – the son of U2 builder Major Arthur of course – was the fastest starter and jumped into the lead from sixth on the grid after the first two corners. His race wasn’t to last. Two laps later he pulled over with mechanical problems.

Glover Trophy
Twenty-five minute race for 1.5-litre Grand Prix and Tasman cars of a type that raced between 1961 and ’65

Andy Middlehurst took another victory in his Classic Team Lotus 25 (left), but unlike last year where he was untouchable in very wet conditions, he was made to work for it on an overcast but dry Sunday afternoon.

The sister 25 of Nick Fennell led Middlehurst in the early going, but on lap five Andy got the run he needed through Fordwater to take a decisive lead. Fennell then came under pressure from Mark Piercy’s rapid Lola-Climax Mk4, but despite losing second place for a few seconds down Lavant Straight the 25 was back in front by Woodcote and kept the place from then on.

Sussex Trophy
Twenty-five minute race for World Championship sports cars and production sports-racing cars of a type that raced between 1955 and 1960

Julian Majzub (leading, left) punched the air in delight as he won the final race of the 2012 Goodwood Revival. On a track that appeared to be covered in oil from just about the startline to Woodcote, his victory didn’t come without the odd lairy moment. But it kept crowds entertained as the sun set on another fantastic race meeting at the Sussex circuit.

Alex Buncombe looked untouchable, only for his Jaguar D-type to hit trouble and leave the stage to Majzub’s Sadler-Chevrolet. Andrew Smith lost his Lister ‘Knobbly’ on the exit of St Mary’s early on, but his recovery to second left him wondering what might have been. He headed former BTCC ace Tim Harvey, who scored a podium on his Goodwood debut.

RAC TT Celebration
One-hour, two-driver race for closed-cockpit GT cars in the spirit of the RAC TT races, 1960-1964

Adrian Newey and Martin Brundle took a convincing victory in their hot Jaguar E-type, although the Red Bull Formula 1 designer made it harder than it had to be with a grassy spin at St Mary’s on the first lap.

The rate at which Newey made up ground during his recovery drive made it clear that a victory was still on. Ahead of him, the E-types of John Young and Gary Pearson fought for the lead until Joe Colasacco’s quirky Maserati Tipo 151 made it a three-way fight. But then Colasacco dropped it at Madgwick in traffic and slammed the Maser into the tyre wall, forcing a safety car period to break up the action.

The driver swaps took place under yellows, and a quick stop allowed Brundle to return in second place behind Bobby Verdon-Roe, in for Young. With just over half the race distance gone, the F1 commentator took the lead and drove into the distance, eventually winning by nearly half a minute.