Words: Elliott Hughes | Photography: Goodwood Revival
The Goodwood Revival finally returned on September 17 for a wonderful weekend of historic motor racing, period dress and track parade celebrations. Here are ten highlights:
John Whitmore Trophy and that spectacular save
Combine a star-studded grid and a field of 30 manic Minis and you get the John Whitmore Trophy – no wonder it was billed as one of the Revival’s most anticipated races.
The pole-sitting ‘finger paint’ car of Nick Swift and Andrew Jordan may have dominated the 45-minute race, but it was Endaf Owens in the number 20 car that had everybody talking. Owens’ car was tagged by third-place rival Jeff Smith on the entry to the chicane, pitching his car into a dramatic slide over the grass – Owens’ save was scarcely believable.
Goodwood Revival Victory Parade
Sunday’s Victory Parade track moment saw more than 150 period military and civilian vehicles and over 250 key workers and service personnel take to the Goodwood Motor Circuit in a stirring cavalcade.
The parade came as the world continues to emerge from the spectre of the coronavirus and some 75 years since Britain celebrated the end of six tumultuous years vanquishing the Nazis.
Goodwood’s Victory Parade was the perfect embodiment of the event’s buoyant mood and celebrated the contributions of those who made it possible for 50,000 visitors to make their long-awaited return to the Goodwood Estate.
Sir Stirling Moss Track Parade and 300SLR 722
The pandemic may have delayed Goodwood’s heartfelt tribute to Sir Stirling Moss by a year, but it was still as moving as you’d expect, with Stirling’s widow Lady Susie Moss taking the wheel of her late husband’s legendary Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes-Benz 300SLR 722.
It’s fittingly symbolic that Sir Stirling’s tribute is the last time the 722 will ever turn a wheel, after its engineer is set to retire after 28 years. The 722 was joined by what’s thought to have been the largest collection of Moss’ competition cars ever assembled, from the obscurity of the Ferguson P99 four-wheel-drive Formula 1 car to the revered Mercedes-Benz W196 and Lotus 18.
Sir Stirling’s children, Elliot and Alison, joined Lady Moss on the grid as the Duke of Richmond poignantly summed up the thoughts of the crowd: “Some regard Sir Stirling as the greatest racing driver of all time… to us, he was and always will be, simply, Mr Goodwood.”
Rolling Bones Hot Rods and Track Parade
2021 marks 70 years since Wally Parks founded the National Hot Rod Association in America, and Goodwood marked the occasion by assembling over 60 hot rods for flamboyant track parades with a thunderous V8 soundtrack.
The Revival was the largest ever assembly of American hot rods on European soil and included 16 of the famous Rolling Bones machines built in the legendary Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop in Greenfield Centre, New York. The hot rods turned out to be hugely popular with attendees, who were wonderstuck by their raucous exhaust notes and unabashed individuality.
BRM Celebration Parade
The largest ever gathering of BRMs shared the Goodwood Motor Circuit in celebration of the Bourne-based manufacturer’s 70th anniversary, witnessed by one of its most illustrious alumni: Sir Jackie Stewart.
An impressive 30-car parade was headed by two V16-powered Type 15s, one of which belongs to the National Motor Museum, the P25 that Jo Bonnier took to BRM’s maiden victory in 1959, the ex-Richie Ginther P578 and the wild H16-engined P83.
The period cars were complemented by the new V16 Type 15 continuation car built by Hall & Hall for John Owen, son of former BRM team owner, Sir Alfred Owen. The car was dramatically unveiled to the public on Friday, before being consecrated on-track later that day.
When Mother Nature doused the Goodwood Motor Circuit with rain on Sunday morning, it would have been understandable if the drivers of the Brooklands Trophy pre-war race cars had thought twice about racing wheel-to-wheel.
True to the derring-do spirit of the Revival, that’s not what happened. Instead, onlookers witnessed a drift-filled duel between the two leading Frazer Nash models: the distinctive ‘Owlet’ saloon of Patrick Blakeney-Edwards and Nick Swift, and the TT Replica of Duncan Pittaway and Eddie Williams. The TT Replica crossed the line first when the chequered flag fell, but both were commended by the crowd for their unprecedented bravery and exuberant driving.
St Mary’s Trophy Part 1
The exciting David vs Goliath dynamic of the St Mary’s Trophy is synonymous with the Revival and this year’s opening contest lived up to its lofty expectations.
World Endurance Championship extraordinaire Romain ‘Ricky-Roy’ Dumas took an assured victory in his unwieldy Ford Thunderbird, despite tearing his tyres down to bare canvas in the closing stages. Andrew Jordan valiantly pursued the Frenchman in his diminutive Austin A40, making an improbable oversteer correction on his way to second place.
Further down the order, tin-top racing legend Andy Priaulx put on an overtaking clinic in his BMW 700, overtaking a remarkable 20 cars on his way to sixth position at the flag.
The Sussex Trophy was a showcase of the driving talent present at the Revival with James Cottingham taking a dramatic victory with a faultless drive in his Tojeiro-Jaguar, ahead of rival Roger Wills’ Lotus 15 – all witnessed by the Tojeiro family trackside.
Wills shot into the lead early on, using his car’s nimbleness to stay ahead of Cottingham’s more powerful machine. However, it was not to be as Wills was relegated to second when he tangled with a backmarker at St Mary’s, instinctively taking to the grass in avoidance.
Meanwhile, the mid-engined Sadler-Chevrolet of Julian Majzub demonstrated its monstrous power-to-weight ratio by smoking its tyres and breaking loose at every gearchange in crowd-pleasing fashion, leaving a collection of tyre marks in its wake.
Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy
It’s no surprise that the adrenaline-soaked Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy motorcycle race made the Revival’s highlight reel.
Part 1 was dominated by the inimitable duo of Steven Plater and Michael Dunlop on the number 78 MV Agusta. Their speed proved matchless, but didaster almost struck after Plater took over from Dunlop in the closing stages and was almost collected by a high-siding back marker in a scary incident. Meanwhile, Peter Bardell’s last-gasp pass on Michael Russell settled the six-bike battle royale on the final lap.
Part 2 took place in perilously slippery conditions on Sunday morning but proved to be no problem for Dunlop and Plater, who romped through the field from seventh place after suffering gearbox problems at the start, ahead of Russell and Rutter in second and Bardell and Haydon in third.
RAC TT Celebration
The RAC TT Celebration is the Revival’s flagship race which sees an illustrious grid of the world’s most talented racing drivers go head-to-head in fearsome ‘60s GT cars and prototypes.
Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button was the highest-profile name on the grid and demonstrated his protuberant talent in the TT with scintillating passes around the outside of Martin Brundle and Gregor Fisken’s Cobras: putting right an innocuous start to his historic racing career.
Button’s overtaking prowess meant that he ran as high as third after mis-shifting from the front row and falling to ninth on the opening lap. Unfortunately, his efforts were in vain as teammate Alex Buncombe was later forced to retire with an engine misfire, shaking his head in frustration.
Fortune smiled on the winning duo of Ollie Bryant and Darren Turner, who won the race after the leading Dumas/Shepherd Cobra received a 21-second penalty for a pitstop infringement. Unaware of his rival’s misfortune, Bryant continued to harass Dumas for the lead right until the end, desperate to attempt what would have been a risky and unnecessary pass.
Bryant and Turner were joined on the podium by Emanuele Pirro and Frederic Wakeman’s Lister-Jaguar Coupé in second and Andy Priaulx and Shaun Lynn’s AC Cobra Le Mans Coupé in third, as the three duos overcame three safety car periods on their way to silverware.
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