Formula 1 test driver Giedo van der Garde and David Hart provided the highlight of the final day of Revival racing as they took victory in a riveting RAC TT Celebration race in the latter’s monstrous AC Cobra.
The pair, who fought off competition from an estimated £150million worth of historic racing rivals. The world’s largest celebration of historic motor racing and vintage lifestyle also featured a poignant tribute to the heroes of the Second World War and, in particular, the D-Day landings.
Arguably, the most exciting of the weekend’s 14 races was the second part of the St Mary’s Trophy, a giant-killing action in which the little Austin A40 of British Touring Car team boss Mike Jordan eventually saw off a pair of mighty Jaguar Mk1s. For virtually the entire 16-lap race the three could have been covered by the proverbial handkerchief.
The racing cars were not the only ones to take to the track, with over 100 military vehicles from the 1939-1945 conflict lapping the circuit on Sunday as part of a tribute headed by Lord March. It is now 75 years since the ninth Duke of Richmond aided the war effort by making what is now the Goodwood Motor Circuit available for the nation’s use. The result was RAF Westhampnett, a Spitfire base that made a massive contribution to the eventual victory.
It is not surprising that evocative Spitfire and Hurricane displays are a regular part of any Goodwood Revival’s entertainment and it is usual for them to be joined by the Battle of Britain’s Memorial Flight’s Lancaster, but with the only other example of this great, four Merlin-engined bomber currently visiting the UK from Canada, the crowds at this year’s Revival were treated to the sight of both on all three days. As Lord March pointed out, it was to such as these and the 23 D-Day veterans present, that we owe our current freedoms.