This year’s British Motorcycle Grand Prix may have had its fair share of issues recently, but the good news is that you don’t have to miss out on your fill of thoroughbred GP machinery completely in 2015, thanks to the Goodwood Revival.
The Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy, named in honour of the late 500cc world champion of 1976 and ’77 – the last rider from British shores to win a race in motorcycle racing’s top division – takes place during Revival weekend and this year will feature a capacity grid of 30 bikes spanning two-wheeled racing’s final period of domination by European manufacturers; the 1960s.
In years gone by, some of the biggest stars from two-wheeled motor racing have taken part in the event, which was formerly known as the Lennox Trophy.
Sheene himself collected five race wins in what has traditionally been – and will continue as – a two-part encounter with a mid-race rider-swap in the pits on each day.
Rivals have included fellow grand prix champions Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Gardner – the most successful competitor in Revival history with 13 race victories – Freddie Spencer and Phil Read plus Superbike heroes Troy Corser, Tommy Hill, Ian Simpson, Michael Rutter, Niall MacKenzie and James Whitham.
Isle of Man TT winners Stuart Graham, Cameron Donald and Mick Grant, former European Trials champion Sammy Miller and fellow star riders like Chas Mortimer, Jeremy McWilliams and James Haydon have also chanced their arms (and knees and elbows) around the ultra-quick Goodwood Motor Circuit.
Even 1996 Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill – a bike racer before he turned his attention to four-wheeled competition – and his former rival Gerhard Berger have contested the race; British hero Hill taking a ninth-placed finish on a Manx Norton 500 in 1998.
With 1960s bikes the order of the day this September, expect some legendary machinery to find its way onto the Motor Circuit. A number of Triumph Daytona 500s – named in honour of Buddy Elmore’s 1966 Daytona 200 victory – plus BMW and early Honda machinery are also set to bring their distinctive wails to West Sussex.
A handful of the ever-popular early-1960s Matchless G50s and Manx Norton 500s, on which plucky underdogs like the aforementioned Phil Read, Alan Shephed and Jack Ahearn took the fight to the dominant MV Agusta of Mike Hailwood, are guaranteed to prove popular during what should prove to be two of the most popular races of the weekend.
Catch the action from the best possible vantage point by securing your Grandstand seat now.