WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOS: GOODWOOD
On September 8-10, 2023, the Goodwood Motor Circuit will reverberate with the sounds of Historic racing cars and motorcycles for the 25th edition of the Goodwood Revival. This year’s Revival also falls on the 75th anniversary of motor sport at the legendary West Sussex location.
To mark the occasion, the organisers have assembled the biggest entry list ever compiled for a Goodwood motor sport event – much to the delight of the many thousands of enthusiasts expected to attend.
Official practice for the returning Freddie March Memorial Trophy for pre-1963 GT cars kicks off the weekend’s on-track activities at 9:30am on Friday morning. Later on, that day’s only race meeting will take place at 6:30pm, bathed in the golden glow of sunset.
The Goodwood Motor Circuit will reverberate with the sounds of Historic racing cars and motorcycles
Happily there’s plenty for Friday ticket holders to see in the meantime, with another 13 practice sessions taking place throughout the day. These provide the first opportunities to witness the most popular machinery of the event on track, ranging from the beautiful GT cars in the RAC TT Celebration to the 1920s Le Mans racers of the Rudge Whitworth Cup.
Another highlight will be the quartet of special Track Parade demonstrations to be held throughout the Revival. The first of these to take place will see one of the greatest-ever collections of pre-1966 motorcycles take to the circuit at 9:00am, whetting the appetite for the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy later in the weekend.
The remaining Track Parades variously pay homage to the 75th anniversary of Lotus, Carroll Shelby’s 100th birthday and Sir Jackie Stewart. The former demonstration gets underway at 11:30am, and sees 75 significant Lotuses from the Colin Chapman years take to the circuit. Notable cars include the Lotus 18 that won the Monaco Grand Prix in 1960 with Stirling Moss, as well as the Lotus 25 that holds the period lap record at the Goodwood Motor Circuit.
The Tribute to Carroll Shelby takes place at 3:30pm on Friday, and features cars the American not only raced but also built and designed. Vehicles on show include the very MG TC in which Shelby made his professional racing debut back in 1952. Carroll went on to compete at the Motor Circuit, winning the 1959 RAC TT with Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman in an Aston Martin DBR1/300.
Sir Jackie Stewart has made consistent appearances at Goodwood over the years, and the three-time World Champion will be honoured with his first Revival Track Parade since 2014. The cars taking part are yet to be confirmed, but expect to see Tyrrells, Lotuses and BRMs in which the Scot competed during his illustrious Formula 1 career.
Saturday brings the first full day of competition, with the action getting underway at 9:35am in the Goodwood Trophy for pre-war Grand Prix and voiturette racers from the 1930s and ’40s. The Goodwood Trophy includes one of the most ear-splitting machines of the entire weekend – the BRM Type 15 V16 Continuation – driven by John Owen and Rob Hall.
Following this are two must-see events: the first round of the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy for 1960s motorcycles, and the ever-popular Settrington Cup in which children race Austin J40 pedal cars down the pit straight after performing a traditional Le Mans start.
The final contests of Saturday’s racing timetable are the Fordwater Trophy at 4:50pm and the Whitsun Trophy at 5:55pm. Held in honour of the Porsche 911’s 60th anniversary, the Fordwater Trophy features 30 early 911s oversteering for position on their skinny period tyres. Interestingly, for this race the entire grid will be run on sustainable fuels.
As the second race of the weekend to be held in the early-autumn sunset, the Whitsun Trophy is a feast for the senses, and sees fire-breathing GT40s and CanAm racers thunder around the Motor Circuit in what promises to be the fastest and loudest contest of the weekend.
Sunday represents the final day of the Historic racing extravaganza, and gets underway at 9:00am sharp with the effervescent Formula Juniors competing in the Chichester Cup. This is followed by part two of both the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy and the Settrington Cup races at 10:25am and 11:55am respectively. Splitting the pair is the final Tribute to Lotus 75 demonstration, at 11:15am.
The RAC TT Celebration will see some of the biggest crowds of the entire weekend jostle for trackside position at 1:50pm. Billed as the most prestigious race of the event, this is an epic, hour-long, two-driver bout that sees the likes of Jenson Button, Richard Attwood, and Tom Kristensen do battle in legendary 1960s GT cars.
On-track excitement continues with the Glover Trophy for 1.5-litre Grand Prix cars at 3:30pm, and pays homage to early 1960s F1, which saw the likes of Sir Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Graham Hill duelling at the Motor Circuit. This is followed by the Sussex Trophy for 1950s sports cars at 4:50pm, while part two of the St Mary’s Trophy serves as the weekend’s grand finale at 5:45pm.
Weekend-long attractions away from the racetrack include Over The Road, which comprises the Revival Car Show, a fairground, a cinema, an abundance of vintage stalls, numerous food and drink options, and a real party atmosphere. Car collectors will be drawn to Bonhams’ annual auction, with bidding opening at 10:00am on Sunday morning. Visitors can also stroll around the Pre-66 Car Park to admire over 3000 classic vehicles that have descended on the Motor Circuit from all over Europe.
The Goodwood Revival ends with a prize-giving ceremony at race control at 6:45pm, before the weekend formally concludes with the closure of Over the Road at 9:00pm.