The Goodwood Revival

TONY COOPER The Revival meeting first came to life in the autumn of 1997 and was a dream come true for the Earl of March, whose grandfather first opened the motor circuit at Goodwood in 1948.


The Revival meeting first came to life in the autumn of 1997 and was a dream come true for the Earl of March, whose grandfather first opened the motor circuit at Goodwood in 1948.

Now in its seventh year, it attracted a record attendance of 110,000 and, as usual, paid strict attention to the status and competitiveness of its invited cars, drivers, motorcycles and riders.

And many of those who attended paid special attention to their dress, too, parading in period costumes and military outfits from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Even within the circuit perimeter, only vehicles that pre-date 1966 are allowed in it and all period vehicles provide all essential services and competitor support. Around 230 serviced the site this year.

The Revival is a time warp in contrast to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and all those who attend it lap it up but none more so than the drivers - it brings out the best from professional racers to celebrity racers and everything else in between!

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And one of their biggest celebs, Rowan Atkinson, was back again behind the wheel of his Jaguar Mk VII competing in the St Mary's Trophy for production saloon cars from 1950 to 1959. This year it was run over two days and is one of the most popular races of the Revival.

Atkinson finished up in sixth place with the chequered flag, however, going to Rae Davis, driving a 1957 Austin A35 to a well-deserved victory.

He was the people's favourite throughout in a thrilling race that saw him dicing all the way with Ivan Dutton driving an Alvis Grey Lady - seen on a British circuit for the first time in a generation. What was under the bonnet of Davis' car was anybody's guess! He won by one clear second - a close call!

New this year was the Brooklands Trophy - a ten-lap race - featuring thundering cars of a type that raced at this famous banked circuit in East Sussex prior to 1955. Duncan Ricketts was first past the post driving a Riley Dixon Special, who also put in the fastest lap at 1.38.539 seconds at a speed of 87.68mph.

But no Goodwood Revival would be complete without Clive Chapman, son of Colin Chapman, founder of Norfolk-based Lotus Cars. He was present with Classic Team Lotus.

Four Lotus Ford 18's were on the grid competing in the Chichester Cup with Neil Daws taking second place in a close-fought race that saw James Hicks, driving a Caravelle Ford Mk III, winning by just over a second.

And in the Richmond and Gordon Trophies for Intercontinental Formula and F1 cars from 1954 to 1961, Duncan Dayton came in third driving a Lotus Climax 16 with his teammate, Joaquin Folch-Rusino, being placed fifth in the same type of car.

Philip Walker and Michael Schryver driving a Lotus Climax 16 and 18 respectively were unclassified. Schryver, however, drove the fastest lap at 1.26.054 seconds.

In the Glover Trophy for 1.5-litre Formula 1 cars from 1961 to 1965, Robs Lamplough driving a Lotus Climax 33 and Simon Hadfield a Lotus Climax 21, were placed third and fourth respectively.

The winner of this 11-lap race was Frank Synter at the wheel of a Brabham-Climax BT4.

This was a fortuitous win as this year Sir Jack Brabham, a regular attendee at Goodwood, was special guest of honour with a spectacular parade each day of the event of important cars from his illustrious career.

All of the cars in the parade, which included a Cooper-Climax T63 from 1960 in which Sir Jack won his second world championship, represented significant performances and results from a glittering career than spanned three decades and the winning of three world championships.

Speed was also in the air and it was a special treat to see Ray Hanna's Old Flying Machine Company, based at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, swooping and diving over the circuit in Spitfires and Mustangs in memory of Goodwood's aviation past.

It was a superb action-packed weekend of historic motor racing making the event one of the largest of its kind in the world and one that conjures up the spirit and glamour of motor racing's glorious past!

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