Over 138,000 motor sport enthusiasts flocked to last weekend’s Goodwood Revival (16-18 September) to join in the fun and celebrations at the world’s largest historic motor race meeting, which has been deemed by most to be the best yet.
For classic motorsports enthusiasts 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, 1950s and 1960s fashions, with tweed jackets and pleated skirts abounding in the early autumn sunshine, and occasional rain.
On the track a tribute to the legendary racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio – 100 years after this birth – saw a grid of rare and stunning cars associated with his career, including three spectacular Mercedes-Benz racers, plus two Chevrolets brought over from Argentina specifically for the Revival. A handful of drivers that knew and raced with Fangio were also on hand. Additionally, Goodwood staged its largest ever Revival vehicle parade with 100 British-built Fords lapping the circuit as this popular marque celebrated its centenary in the UK.
The 75th anniversary of the Spitfire aircraft was marked with a fitting and emotional tribute as 10 of these iconic machines took to the skies over Goodwood, with others on the ground, as Lord March paid tribute and the RAF Choir sang. A daily parade of motocross riders from the golden 1950s-60s era of scrambling also delighted the Revival spectators, as did the dedicated motocross course built especially for the event at Lavant Corner.
The variety of racing machines and quality of motor racing was exceptional throughout the Revival weekend, with many nail-biting races and plenty of thrills – plus a few spills – along the way. Racing highlights included Saturday’s Fordwater Trophy, which this year was a Jaguar E-type race to mark the 50th anniversary of this legendary sports car. The 1964 semi-lightweight E-type of Jon Minshaw and Martin Stretton took the chequered flag.
The thrilling St Mary’s Trophy for 1960s saloon cars saw Richard Shaw anchor a brilliant overall win in Sunday’s second instalment of this two-part race in the 1965 BMW 1800 TiSA. Tom Kristensen and Kenny Brack took an emphatic win in the rain in the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration race for GT cars aboard Daniela Ellerbrock’s Shelby Daytona Cobra. Duncan Fitchett and Jeremy McWilliams may have finished only fourth in the second part of the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy motorcycle race, but they were always going to win overall on aggregate after a brilliant showing in the Part One Saturday race.
In all, the 2011 Goodwood Revival was a huge success, with Revival-goers already talking about next year’s event. Provisional dates for the 2012 Goodwood Revival have just been announced by Lord March for 14-16 September 2012, with the next year’s Festival of Speed provisionally scheduled for 29 June-1 July 2012. These 2012 dates will be confirmed in the coming weeks, along with theme for next year’s Festival of Speed.