The Goodwood Revival’s most memorable moments
The unique Goodwood Revival reaches its 20th anniversary this weekend. With help from Motorsport Images’ stunning photography archive, we look at its best moments over the previous two decades
A historic race meeting like no other
It is no exaggeration to say that the Goodwood Revival is one of the most popular, and certainly most distinctive, events on the motor racing calendar. No other event comes near in creating a time machine to motor racing’s past – not only in strictly confining its races to cars and bikes from pre-1966, nor even in the painstaking period look of the circuit and its surroundings, but perhaps most famously of all in its period dress for the competitors and even the spectators.
Each Revival attracts a star-studded driver line-up and plenty of attractions are laid on elsewhere too for the 150,000 in attendance. And this weekend’s latest annual gathering marks the event’s 20th anniversary.
With the help of Motorsport Images’ stunning photography we look at some of the most memorable moments from the Revival’s 20 years.
1998: Recreating golden days of childhood
The Duke of Richmond recalled keenly-anticipated golden days of his childhood attending the Goodwood circuit, which belonged to his grandfather Freddie March – the then Duke of Richmond and Gordon. But then his recollection of visits to the circuit mysteriously stops. There's a good reason behind this – in 1966, when the Duke was only 12 years old, the track closed amid financial and safety problems.
In adulthood, the Duke returned to live nearby and resolved to bring the track back to its former glory. And in 1998 he did exactly that, 50 years to the day since the circuit opened. To recreate those childhood memories, the Duke encouraged all attendees to dress in period clothing and no car from after the Sussex circuit’s 1966 closure was allowed within its perimeter. Attractions included Damon Hill racing on two wheels and four, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, and Danny Sullivan wowing everyone on the way to a comeback win the pre-’66 Formula 1 race. It was all topped off with a Spitfire fly-past. The Goodwood Revival was here to stay.
2004: Where it all began
A new twist was added in 2004, with a race for pre-war cars added to the Revival for the first time. When the engines had gone quiet at Brooklands after the track was taken over for the war effort, it had been post-war Goodwood that picked the baton up, inspired directly by Brooklands’ social atmosphere.
An exciting race with a thrilling climax was put on by the magnificent pre-war machines. The Tipo B Alfa Romeo pair of Thomas Bscher and Robert Fink out-dragged poleman Duncan Ricketts’ Dixon Riley off the line, but Ricketts soon began to claw them back them in.
An over-optimistic lunge at leader Bscher on lap three resulted in Ricketts spinning off. He only ceded a couple of places in the contretemps though, so dusted himself down and proceeded to lap some five seconds quicker than Bscher. With just two laps left Ricketts seized a lead he wasn’t to lose.
2008: Shout out for the quiet man
‘He is the greatest unknown racing driver of our era,’ said Stirling Moss. Perhaps his low profile is due to that his career was relatively brief; no doubt that his way was modesty rather than bombast is part of it too. But for those who know, Tony Brooks holds a very special place in the motor racing pantheon. His F1 and sportscar contributions were considerable, as was his talent. Special tributes for motorsport driving legends are a regular Revival feature and in 2008 it was the quiet man of motor racing who was honoured.
Brooks’ entire career was marked by various cars lined up at that year’s Goodwood event: Healey, Connaught, Frazer Nash, Aston Martin, Cooper, Vanwall, Ferrari and BRM. Brooks wandered among them, sampled many of them on-track, and, typically sheepishly, accepted the rich applause. Goodwood was an appropriate place too as it was here that Brooks did much of his motor racing development in a Healey Silverstone.
2009: Bringing in Mr Bean
Each Revival contains a variety of attractions, some of which are of the surprising sort. And few can have been as unforeseen as in the 2009 event when, as part of the iconic British Mini’s 50th anniversary celebration, top British cultural export Mr Bean did an inimitable lap of the circuit in the character’s famous green Mini with its black bonnet. It also marked the character’s own 20th anniversary.
Mr Bean is played by bona fide petrol head Rowan Atkinson, who made his first live-action appearance as the character that weekend. Recreating a famous scene from the series, Atkinson sat in an armchair strapped to the car’s roof and piloted the machine with, among other things, a mop and string. The display included dodging roadworks and being pursued by the police – which was also rather appropriately a Mini. Atkinson also participated in the celebrations for Sir Stirling Moss’s 80th birthday in that year’s Revival by racing his Jaguar Mk VI.
2010: Saluting the Battle of Britain
Goodwood’s heritage is not only about motor racing. As with many post-war British circuits like Silverstone, Snetterton and Castle Combe, Goodwood was based in a former World War Two airfield, RAF Westhampnett. In 2010 the Revival paid an apt and moving tribute to the servicemen and women of the Battle of Britain to mark its 70th anniversary.
Making the tribute even more appropriate was that the servicemen included Australian pilot turned Formula 1 driver Tony Gaze. In a peacetime meeting with Freddie March, Gaze came up with the suggestion of using the airfield’s perimeter road as a motor racing circuit in the first place. There was an emotional fly-by with a Lancaster bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane, as well as nine Jeep-borne veterans who served the airfield and neighbouring Tangmere receiving a standing ovation, and the Royal Horse Artillery fired a salute to the fallen.
2011: Gathering for the Maestro
Topping all of the Goodwood Revival tributes to legendary drivers was for F1’s first five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio in 2011. To celebrate the centenary of his birth a daily parade was put on with an astonishing array of cars, such as the Mercedes W196 and its streamliner equivalent, the Mille Miglia 300 SLR. Naturally his iconic silver arrows machines were accompanied by the Maserati 250F which Fangio adored.
The cars that Fangio raced in his two Goodwood appearances during his active racing career were also represented – a National Motor Museum BRM V16 was present, as was the very Cooper-Bristol that Fangio drove at the track in 1952. Reflecting the high esteem in which Fangio is held, the drivers gathered at the event paying tribute included Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Hans Hermann as well as the great man’s nephew Fangio II.
2012: Pitlane makeover
A Goodwood Revival tradition established almost by accident is the circuit's pitlane being painstakingly set-dressed in period garb around a historical theme each year. It was first done in 2012 when 10 pre-war factory Mercedes and Auto Unions were due to be in attendance – driven by the likes of Jacky Ickx and Frank Biela – so Revival organisers decided to construct an appropriate and appropriately-special pit in which to house them.
It was intended as a one-off, but after subsequent discussions the themed pits became a fixture. Le Mans in the 1960s with a host of GT40s, the 1954 Monza pits with Maserati 250Fs celebrating the car’s 60th anniversary, Sebring in 1965 with all six Daytona Coupes, Reims filled with 3-litre F1 cars and a Nurburgring pits in 1957 for Juan Manuel Fangio’s famous win have all been recreated since. This year Silverstone’s 70th anniversary is marked with the pitlane transformed into that of the Nottinghamshire track in the early 1950s.
2017: The new Mr Goodwood
Tom Kristensen has been dubbed ‘Mr Le Mans’ – not for nothing given his record nine overall victories there. But these days there is an increasing case to also dub him ‘Mr Goodwood’. Since debuting at the Revival event in 2010 he has turned up repeatedly, got into a car he’s never sat in before and almost immediately wowed the crowds in it.
His latest masterclass was in last year’s event, manhandling Bill Shepherd’s gigantic Ford Thunderbird in the St Mary’s Trophy race for 1950s saloon cars – the machine floating constantly in what seemed like all directions. He hauled the wayward Thunderbird up to fifth, but then its exhaust fell off and Kristensen retired after receiving the dreaded ‘meatball’ black and orange flag. He did have the partial consolation of taking a spirited second place earlier during the into-the-night Kinrara Trophy, driving a Jaguar E-type shared with Gregor Fisken.
More great Goodwood Revival content
- Watch live streaming of the 20th Goodwood Revival here!
- Preparing a Lotus 22 for the Goodwood Revival with Chris Goodwin
- Browse classic Minis for sale on AutoClassics
Images courtesy of Motorsport Images
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