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27. September 2013, 21:17
"The Goodwood Revival is unique." So says anyone who has ever visited the annual classic car event located in a pastoral idyll near Chichester on the south coast of the United Kingdom. The 2013 edition was yet another example of how meticulous planning, an appreciation of detail and a large dose of enthusiasm can lead a seemingly simple concept - historic cars racing around a racetrack - to become an internationally acclaimed rendezvous. A reference for a gentler time, when dress sense and manners mattered, when life was slower paced - save for the advances in the automobile.Race 1 - Freddie March Memorial Trophy - gets underway. The rain shortened race would be won by the #12 Jaguar C-type driven by Alex Buncombe & John Young
Start Race 1 - Freddie March Memorial Trophy, 90 mins - For cars in the spirit of the Goodwood Nine Hour races, 1952-1955 9 - Jaguar C-type, 1952, Entrant: Ziegler, Stefan, Driver (s): Hancock, Sam / Ziegler, Stefan 12 - Jaguar C-type, 1952, Entrant: Jaguar Heritage Racing, Driver (s): Buncombe, Alex / Young, John 15 - Jaguar C-type, 1952, Entrant: Cussons, Ben, Driver (s): Blakeney-Edwards, Patri
Goodwood, United Kingdom, 28.9.13 (mk) The Goodwood Motor Circuit, where the Revival is held, is locked in time: 1966 to be precise, when the authorities deemed it no longer safe to practice motor sport on the tight track. Reopened in 1998, the Circuit is a vibrant reminder of yesteryear. Buildings, paddock, landscaping, racetrack – all remain virtually unchanged since the closure. Repainted and repaired where necessary, for sure, but all in keeping with their original state and purpose.
The 16th Goodwood Revival opened with poignancy; the loss of Australian Squadron Leader Tony Gaze in July was given due recognition. It was Gaze who, back in 1948, persuaded the current Lord March’s grandfather, Freddie March, to hold a race on the perimeter road of what was then RAF Westhampnett. Gaze was convinced the road around the former airbase would make a challenging circuit. He could have had little idea what would eventually flourish from the seed he had planted.
Race 1 of the 2013 Goodwood Revival, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy got underway on Friday evening
The roster of races conducted over the three-day weekend form the centrepiece of a grand tableau. Each race has a historical context, a link back to the active period of the circuit from the late-1940s to the late 1960s. Friday night’s Freddie March Memorial Trophy recaptures the spirit of the epic Goodwood Nine Hour races with a wonderful ensemble of sports cars racing through dusk and into the early darkness. Just as in the original races, two drivers share the car, making rapid pit stops to changeover.
This year’s Memorial Trophy was driven in half-light and persistent showers, which eventually brought the race to a premature end. One could really get a feel of what it must have been like 60 years ago as the finely balanced cars on narrow tyres powered and slid their way around the track with feeble headlights piercing the gloom.
Sir Jackie Stewart is one of the veteran stalwarts of the Revival, along with Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees and Tony Brooks. Now too old to race, these gentleman drivers - the ferocious aces of their era - still play a full part. One of the Revival traditions is to pay tribute to different marques and drivers over the course of each weekend. This year, the 50th anniversary of Scotsman Jim Clark’s first Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship title was celebrated, along with the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT40, a four-time winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the late 1960s.
Sir Jackie, a three-time Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion and Rolex Testimonee since 1968, found both tributes brought the memories flooding back: “Goodwood is definitely the finest collection of cars assembled in the world. Each year it just seems to get better. I first raced here in 1963 and actually hold the lap record, along with Jim Clark. He was a great friend.”
“I’m driving Jim’s Lotus 33 this weekend, the same car I raced my first-ever Grand Prix in. Jim had injured himself in Italy and unable to drive in the Rand Grand Prix a two-part race in South Africa in December 1964, I was asked to step in. The Lotus 33 was so good I put it on pole in Heat 1, but just after the start the drive shaft broke. It was repaired and I drove the second heat, starting from the back but winning the race. It was a big deal for me, and my introduction to Grand Prix racing.
By way of a footnote, Jim Clark won the last ever Grand Prix race at Goodwood – the 1965 Glover Trophy. This was the same race in which he and Sir Jackie jointly set the lap record of 1 min 20.4s.
Goodwood claims a key part in the development of the GT40, the car designed to break the hegemony of Ferrari at Le Mans in the 1960s. Lola, the British company entrusted with the project, carried out much of its testing on the Goodwood circuit in 1964. Sir Jackie was on hand to take part in some high-speed demonstration laps: “I’m driving the GT40 that I raced at Sebring in 1966. I qualified it for Le Mans in same year, but unfortunately I had an accident at Spa and was in hospital when the 24-hour race was on so never raced it there. It is still an amazing car.” As part of the tribute, this year’s Whitsun Trophy race on the Sunday was exclusively reserved for GT40s.
The Goodwood Motor Circuit opened for the first time in September 1948, and helped fill the gap in motor sport venues during the post-war era. The races held today echo the past. In the 1950s the very best drivers and the very latest F1 cars came to Goodwood to compete for the Richmond Trophy, the circuit’s premier single-seater race. The 2013 Richmond Trophy was held for front-engined Grand Prix cars that raced between 1952 and 1960.
Although Goodwood never played host to a World Championship Grand Prix, all the leading drivers and teams of the day came to West Sussex to compete in non-championship Formula 1 races such as the Glover Trophy. This year the Trophy celebrated 1.5 litre Formula 1 cars that raced from 1961 to 1965
The spectators are as much a part of the Goodwood Revival atmosphere as the cars
During its heyday, the circuit not only gave spectators a chance to see their heroes in action, but it also encouraged them to participate in motor sport. The track hosted regular meetings at which enthusiasts could race their own road-going sports and GT cars. The 2013 Fordwater Trophy celebrated the spirit of the 71 Members’ Meetings held in the period, by combining cars that raced between 1955 and 1960 with some exotic thoroughbreds including a rare MGA Twin Cam Le Mans raced by Rae Davis – a Rolex Driver of the Meeting from 2004.
Tom Kristensen, another Rolex Testimonee and greatest Le Mans driver of all time, was also present over the weekend driving in the RAC TT and the St Mary’s Trophy. The St Mary’s is a two-part race open to a mix of saloon cars built between 1960 and 1966. This period saw manufacturers building small runs of performance-oriented models to race rather than relying on mass-produced family saloon cars. Powerful, but nimble machines such as the Mini Cooper S & Lotus Cortina were eminently suited to the track and often turned to F1 technology for inspiration.
The St Mary’s showcases continental machinery as well as British. “I will drive the heaviest car with the least down-force ever – a Ford Galaxie,” laughs Kristensen. “It is a monster. It has close to 600 BHP, weighs close to 2 tonnes, and in the wet it is hard to get the grip down. I seemed to be going sideways all the time. Incredible fun though.”
Tom Kristensen, Rolex Testimonee, celebrated his victory in St Mary's Trophy Part 1
For Kristensen, the St Mary’s reflects the essence of the Revival: “This event is all about driving with respect for the cars and the competitors. It is a privilege to drive these different cars. It is so authentic that we even have the drivers who drove back then, like Sir Jackie. There is a great camaraderie in the Rolex Drivers Club discussing the different disciplines and experiences. This is a real tribute to motor sport and quite unique.”
One of the most highly anticipated races of the weekend is the RAC TT (Tourist Trophy) Club Celebration on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 race was won by an Aston Martin DP 212 from 1962 and co-driven by Simon Hadfield. The hour-long race was a real dogfight half in the dry and half in treacherously wet conditions. Hadfield was recognized for his superlative performance with the 2013 Rolex Driver of the Meeting title, and a specially engraved Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, awarded to the driver deemed to have delivered the best combination of safe, but hard, fast and entertaining driving over the weekend.
A huge fan of the Revival and all it stands for, Hadfield is an admirable winner of the award. Ignoring the pelting rain, at the end of his victorious drive he leapt from his vehicle and ran across to the thrilled spectators to shake hands and “share the joy of the moment, the joy of doing what I am privileged to do.”
This place is super special.
There is nothing like it in the world.
Simon Hadfield, 2013 Rolex Driver of the Meeting
“I’ve been driving for over 30 years. This is an astonishing moment - to sit in the same seat as Graham Hill, to beat the TT, to beat people I’ve only ever read about. This place is super special. There is nothing like it in the world. Driving a wonderful racing car on a fabulous circuit and then to be awarded the Rolex Driver of the Meeting is an unbelievable honour,” Hadfield continued.
The Goodwood Revival is more than a classic car event. It is close to a way of life for the participants and spectators. It polishes the past leaving only the nice parts on show, the elements that give pleasure and allow a small corner of rural England to become an epicentre of style and passion for one weekend a year.
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Goodwood Trophy on Saturday, for Grand Prix and Voiturette cars, of a type that raced between 1930 and 1950 23 - Maserati 4CM, 1935, Entrant: Edwards, Simon, Driver (s):Edwards, Simon - Goodwood Trophy - For Grand Prix and Voiturette cars, of a type that raced between 1930 and 1950-Photo By: Rolex / Jad Sherif.
Aston Martin Project 212 #27 came from behind to win the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration in the wet 27 - Aston Martin Project 212, 1961, Entrant: Friedrichs, Wolfgang, Driver (s):Clark, David/Friedrichs, Wolfgang 31 - Jaguar E-type lightweight 'lowdrag' coupé, 1963, Entrant: Warburton, Ross, Driver (s):Wallace, Andy/Warburton, Ross - Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration - For closed-cockpit GT cars in the spirit of the RAC TT races, 1960-1964-Photo By: Rolex / Jad Sherif.
Jaguar Mk2 #69 from 1959, driven by Romain Dumas, paticipating in the St Mary's Trophy 69 - Jaguar Mk2, 1959, Entrant: Burton, Peter, Driver (s):Dumas, Romain 18 - Ford-Lotus Cortina Mk1, 1965, Entrant: Alan Mann Racing Ltd, Driver (s):Turner, Darren - St Mary's Trophy Part 1 - For production saloon cars of a type that raced between 1960 and 1966 -Photo By: Rolex / Jad Sherif.
Richard de Leyser (l) presents Simon Hadfield, 2013 Rolex Driver of the Meeting, with a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Simon Hadfield Winner of the 2013 Rolex Driver of the Meeting Award - Prize Giving Ceremony - Richard de Leyser (Rolex UK), Simon Hadfield - Photo By: Rolex / Jad Sherif.
Entrants in the Fordwater Trophy line up before Friday's practice session 3 - AC Ace, 1956, Entrant: Isles, Tim, Driver (s):Winchester, Nigel 8 - Austin Healey 100/6, 1956, Entrant: Smithies, David, Driver (s):Smithies, David 27 - AC Ace, 1955, Entrant: Hofermann-Kiefer, Franc, Driver (s):Höfermann-Kiefer, Franc - Fordwater Trophy - For production-based sports and GT cars, of a type that raced between 1955 and 1960-Photo By: Rolex / Jad Sherif.
The Glamcab drivers looked the part Goodwood Revival Meeting 2013 Ambiance Photo By: Rolex / Jad Sherif
Ford Galaxie 500 #83 from 1963 driven by Tom Kristensen, Rolex Testimonee, in St Mary's Trophy Part 1 raced on Saturday 83 - Ford Galaxie 500, 1963, Entrant: Steele, Michael, Driver (s):Kristensen, Tom 124 - Jaguar Mk2, 1960, Entrant: Webb, Nigel, Driver (s):Reid, Anthony - St Mary's Trophy Part 1 - For production saloon cars of a type that raced between 1960 and 1966-Photo By: Rolex / Jad Sherif.