The Fangio family’s Goodwood jinx returned at the sixth annual Revival Meeting. The great Juan Manuel never won at the track, but his nephew Juan Manuel II looked set to nip this trait in the bud on his first appearance there — until the last lap but one.
The lightweight E-type Fangio was sharing with Gary Pearson in the one-hour TT Celebration race was initially involved in a spectacular fight for second with Peter Hardman’s Ferrari 330LM/B — the pair of them having to give best to Emanuele Pirro. As ever, the Italian was driving immaculately in the pole-sitting E-type, but his and Gregor Fisken’s hopes of a second TT win were stymied by a couple of inopportune Safety Car periods: Pirro’s last lap was run at a much reduced pace and the grey Coombs car was shuffled down the pack during its driver swap.
Fangio now looked secure — especially as Ian Flux, a late replacement for Patrick Tambay, was unable to match Hardman’s times. There was, though, a dark horse: the ISO Bizzarini A3C. Richard Attwood was running in a smooth sixth place when he handed it to Mark Hales: it was the start of a superb drive. With just over a lap to go, the journo-racer was on Fangio’s tail and, when a painfully slow backmarker got in the way, he was through. Fangio responded, but Hales was unstoppable and scored his second TT win. Flux was a smoking third, and might have been caught by Fisken had not the Jag been squeezed into a spin by a slower car.
Attwood’s excitement didn’t stop there. He immediately hopped into a BRM P261 to win the Glover Trophy. Fastest in practice by a handy margin, he always looked like prevailing even though he dropped back initially. Second was the sister car of Thomas Bscher, ahead of ex-F3 winner James King in a Brabham BT7.
Attwood then gave the incredible Corvette Grand Sport its first UK run — and got caught up in the meeting’s biggest pile-up. The purportedly fastest race of the weekend, the Whitsun Trophy, also provided its messiest start Willie Green and Ray Bellm proved that two GT40s into the Chicane won’t go, and they went backwards through its polystyrene ‘bricks’, causing the race to be red-flagged. At the restart, the race thankfully lived up to its billing, Frank Sytner and Simon Hadfield going wheel to wheel in the two Gp7 Prototypes on show. Sytner had the grunt in his six-litre Lola T70 Spyder, but Hadfield had more experience of his 4.7-litre Lotus 30. Despite less than 10 laps in the car before the race, however, it was Sytner who took the spoils, backing off dramatically as he exited the Chicane on the last lap so that his sparring partner couldn’t get a run on him. A distant third was Jackie Oliver’s Gulf GT40. The taped-up Grand Sport came home a lapped eighth.
Another race to be red-flagged was the Richmond and Gordon Trophies. This proved unfortunate for Rod Jolley. His Cooper T45/51 was holding a cool, calm, collected lead before the reds fluttered; at the restart, however, its challenge fell apart. Passed by Phil Walker’s suddenly misfire-free Lotus 16 at the end of opening lap, Rod visited the scenery twice in quick succession and his rival was home free, winning from the fellow 16 of Joacquin Folch. Third was Tony Smith’s Ferrari Dino, just ahead of the Flack family’s just-restored BRM P25. Driven by Rob Hall, the break in proceedings had allowed his team to restore its front brakes for the abridged eight-lapper.
The tin-top boys kept it neat and tidy-ish in the two-driver St Mary’s Trophy. From the start, a heavy-metal dice between the Ford Falcons of Nick Whale and Andy Bacon, and the even bigger, sandwiched Galaxie of John Fitzpatrick had the crowd on its feet It was a fantastic sight Bacon grabbed the lead on lap 11 — but the cruncher was that his co-driver Leo Voyazides was much faster than the relief drivers of his rivals. Sure enough, they faded as Leo saw the win through. He was upstaged, however, by the sideways Jaguar Mk1 of Grant Williams, which he shared with Derek Bell. The all-out Welshman brought BUY1 to within 4sec of the winner. Yet he wasn’t the fastest man on the track. That honour fell to Barrie Williams, who had put Norman Grimshaw’s Mini Cooper S on pole. The owner did well to keep the leading trio in sight, but a grassy moment for `Whizzo’ meant that they fell 7sec short.
Barrie Williams had already made his mark by then, dominating the first race on Saturday afternoon. He led the Goodwood Trophy from (almost) start to finish in a Connaught A-type to win from the Maseratis of Irvine Laidlaw (6CM) and Mark Gillies (4CL). The heart of the race, though, had been ripped out early on with the retirement of Green’s 158 Alfetta (no drive) and ERA R4D, which blew a piston after Mac Hulbert had made a great start to lead down to Fordwater.
Saturday’s other races were won by John Harper and Martin Walford. The former’s Cooper Monaco had an easy time of it in the Madgwick Cup after the sister car of Sytner suffered a stuck throttle and went for a mild, grassy ride along the pitstraight Walford’s Caddyengined Allard J2R had to work hard in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, Michael Steele’s HWM-Jag leading until it was slowed by a gremlin; he soldiered on to second.
On Sunday, Tony Dron won the Sussex Trophy — a race that followed a familiar pattern: Ferrari 246S Dino beaten away by Aston, Chevy and Jag grunt; Aston, Chevy and Jag grunt gradually outmanoeuvred by more nimble Dino. Another Italian winner on Sunday was the svelte Alfa Romeo TZ2 which Green used to lead the Fordwater Trophy from the end of the opening lap to the flag. This was Willie’s first individual Revival win.
Robin Longdon’s Lola Mk2 beat the Terrier of Derek Walker to win the Chichester Cup for front-engined FJs, while the Nortons of Wayne Gardner and Jamie Whitham shared the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy wins.
In truth, it wasn’t quite the same without Sheeny, but as the Spitfires gave their dipped-wing goodbyes and thrummed into a Battle of Britain sky, you sensed that he was watching — and digging a disbelieving Fangio in the ribs: next year, mate. Next year.