A record capacity sell-out of 148,000 motor sport enthusiasts and retro-fashion fans flocked to this weekend’s Goodwood Revival (13-15 September) to join in the fun and celebrations at the world’s largest historic motor race meeting.
The Goodwood Revival is firmly established as a ‘must attend’ event, with visitors travelling from around the world. The vast majority of the spectators came dressed in their finest 1940s, 50s and 60s fashions, with tweed jackets and pleated skirts abounding in the mixed early autumn sunshine, showers and rain.
On the track, a daily parade of cars, drivers, family and famous admirers associated with the distinguished motor racing career of Scottish driver on the 50th anniversary of his first Grand Prix World Championship was held, with an emotional homage to this extraordinary driver by Lord March. The Jim Clark Trust also used this special occasion to announce a substantial investment in the funding of a new Jim Clark museum, set to open in 2018.
The 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid was marked by a moving speech by Lord March, supported by period videos, plus the attendance of surviving Dambusters 617 Squadron air man, Flight Lieutenant George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, and bouncing bomb inventor Sir Barnes Wallis’ daughter, Mary Stopes-Roe.
The 100th running of the famous Tour de France bicycle race was celebrated by Goodwood with a peloton of cyclists in pre-1966 garb riding period racing bikes on the track – including British Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy MBE – with a traditional caravanne of authentic French support vehicles, classic cars and boisterous French characters.
Long-term Goodwood supporter Bonhams had a record Revival historic motor vehicle auction valued at £14.5 million, including the ex-Tazio Nuvolari 1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 ‘50013’ at £5,937,500, a record for the marque.
The 50th anniversary since the genesis of the iconic mid-engined Ford GT40 endurance racer saw a parade of over 40 genuine examples of the model, many housed in a 1960s Le Mans-style pit when not in use. The Whitsun Trophy race was dedicated exclusively to GT40s; the first time such a race has ever been held. Red Bull F1 designer Adrian Newey and former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack claimed victory in this exciting 45 minute race.
The jewel in the Revival’s racing crown – the annual RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration race – was made all the more unmissable when the heaven’s opened at three-quarter distance, with Simon Hadfield seemingly coming out of nowhere to ultimately take the chequered flag (with driving partner Wolfgang Friedrichs) in the Aston Martin Project 212, an appropriate first for Aston Martin in its centenary year.
The concours d’elegance within the popular RAC Earls Court Motor Show was devoted solely to rarer and unusual examples of Aston Martins, with Simon Draper’s ultra rare Touring-bodied DB2/4 taking the public vote. The 1934 Ryan ST-A was selected as overall winner of the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation pre-1966 aircraft concours, presented by Midair.
Back by public demand, the second Settrington Cup added exciting low-level, low-speed on-track action and some of the most memorable images of the whole event, as young children pedalled their Austin J40 pedal cars as fast as they would go.
The overall quality of motorised racing at Goodwood was exceptional throughout the Revival weekend, with many nail-biting races and some thrills and spills along the way. Racing highlights included the thrilling St Mary’s Trophy for 1960s saloon cars, with Tom Kristensen taking victory in the giant Ford Galaxie 500 in Part 1 of the race on Saturday, and Bill Shephard also crossing the finishing line first in a Galaxie on Sunday, but with the Alfa Romeo 1600 GTA of Stippler and Furiani ultimately taking the laurels on aggregate.
This year’s Freddie March Memorial Trophy ‘night race’ was set to be a special 90-minute competition into dusk, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the second Goodwood Nine Hour race, but heavy rain saw the race being shortened by 30 minutes. It was a fabulous spectacle though, evoking the sights and sounds of a bygone age, with first place going to John Young and Alex Buncombe in JD Classics’ Jaguar C-type.
Some great period fashions, including a sea of colourful outfits being displayed on the Richmond Lawn cat walk each day. The recent Goodwood initiative – Over the Road – saw Revivalists eating, drinking and dancing into the night as a giant street party with pubs, live music and dance lessons continued until after 10pm each evening. In the Revival High Street and Market areas, business was so brisk that many store holders sold out of their entire stock for the weekend by Friday afternoon, and had to return to their HQs to replenish their stocks of hats, cheese, dresses, and so on…
In all, the 2013 Goodwood Revival was a phenomenal success, with Revival-goers already talking with excitement and anticipation about next year’s event. Confirmed dates for the 2014 Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed have yet to be finalised, but these will be announced in the coming weeks, with tickets for both of these sell-out Goodwood motor sport events for 2014 going on sale on Thursday 31st October.
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