WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOGRAPHY: GOODWOOD REVIVAL
It’s time to try on your tweed or find your favourite frock because the Goodwood Revival returns to the Duke of Richmond’s famous Motor Circuit on September 16-18 for another unforgettable weekend of historic motor sport.
Conceived in 2004 as an homage to motor sport’s golden age, the Revival has since flourished into a televised and world-renowned date on the classic car calendar. Whether its multi-million-pound sports cars duelling on-track for position, or vintage fashion, great food and live music, Revival offers something for everyone.
The returning Freddie March Memorial Trophy for pre-1963 GT cars gets the first day of the weekend underway. The opening session has added importance since it precedes iconic sports cars duelling in the sunset for the only race on the Friday timetable.
Before that, Friday is dominated by 13 practice sessions in preparation for racing in earnest to begin on Saturday and Sunday. The grids are as varied as you’d expect: from pre-war Grand Prix cars through to the the big GT cars of the RAC TT Celebration. Happily, 150,000 Friday ticket holders will have plenty to look forward to before the drivers start up their engines ahead of the first race at 6:25pm on Friday evening.
Proof of this lies in a trio of different Track Parade demonstrations that are held on each day of the event. The first of these is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Herbert Austin’s magnum opus, the Austin 7. The spectacle involves 100 variations of the diminutive model making their way onto the Motor Circuit, ranging from loveable Chummys to specialised military models.
Goodwood will pay homage to the 60th anniversary of Graham Hill’s first Formula 1 World Championship victory with its second daily Track Parade. Over 40 of Graham Hill’s former racing cars are headlined by his 1962 Championship-winning BRM P578 driven by his son and fellow World Champion, Damon Hill.
The final afternoon Track Parade is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Ferrari. To mark the occasion, 75 special Revival-era racing cars from the Italian marque will perform an on-track demonstration for what’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime tribute to The Prancing Horse.
Saturday is all about racing and visitors won’t have long to wait before the Madgwick Cup kicks things off at 10:10am. Highlights of the day include part one of the star-studded St Mary’s Trophy, the Whitsun Trophy – which pits monstrous CanAm cars against GT40s – and the Glover Trophy for ‘60s Grand Prix cars.
Saturday morning continues in a wholesome yet still-competitive manner with part one of the Settrington Cup for Austin J40 pedal cars. The Settrington Cup is open to children aged four to ten, and requires them to perform a traditional Le Mans start before navigating a tricky chicane and pedalling their way down to the finish line on the pit straight.
The Sir Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy, which is nicknamed the most expensive and beautiful race in the world, rounds out Saturday’s race schedule as the sun begins to set over the circuit. Formerly known as the Kinrara Trophy, the 28-car grid features Ferrari 250GTs, Jaguar E-types, AC Cobras and Aston Martin DB4GTs – models usually seen on concours lawns rather than a race track. Six-time IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon makes his inaugural appearance at the Revival in the Sir Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy and is competing against the likes of Tiff Needell, Karun Chandhok and Jenson Button.
Sunday heralds the final day of the Revival and begins with the Formula Juniors racing in the Chichester Cup once the Austin 7s have peeled back into the pitlane after their final Track Parade. Next up is another bout of vintage open-wheel racing in the Richmond and Gordon Trophies for ’50s Grand Prix cars, followed by some two-wheeled action for the final Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy bout.
A poignant moment will take place on Sunday at 2:05pm as the Revival celebrates Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, just over a week since Her Majesty passed away on September 8. Flags will be flown at half-mast throughout the weekend in light of the Queen’s death, and visitors are encouraged to wear black arm bands. A minute’s silence is also scheduled for each day of the Revival.
Arguably the biggest draw of the weekend occurs at 2:30pm on Sunday when the RAC TT Celebration grid lines up for an epic, hour-long, two-driver duel. It’s no coincidence that the TT is often the most competitive race of the weekend, as it boasts an entry list of some of the world’s finest drivers. These include the likes of returnees Jenson Button, Andre Lotterer and Jochen Mass, as well as the debut appearance of NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson.
The intensity of the RAC TT Celebration is followed by what promises to be one of the most entertaining races of the weekend in the Lavant Cup, which is the first all-MGB race in Revival history, followed by the incredible Sussex Trophy for ‘50s sports cars. Sunday’s final competition is scheduled for 5:35pm and is another must-see: part two of the St Mary’s Trophy.
Weekend-long attractions away from the racetrack include Over The Road, which comprises the Revival Car Show, a fairground and cinema. Visitors can also stroll around the pre-66 car park to admire over 3000 classic cars that have descended on the Motor Circuit from all over Europe.
The Goodwood Revival concludes with a prize-giving ceremony at race control at 6:45pm, followed by the National Moment of Silence to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen at 8:00pm.