Memories of the inaugural Goodwood Motor Circuit Revival, which got underway 50-years to the day after the Duke of Richmond and Gordon first opened the gates to his West Sussex airfield-perimeter-road venue on September 18, 1948, linger fondly in the minds of historic-racing enthusiasts.
I recall arriving spellbound in 1998 at an immaculate, period-attired, fantasy-esque film set of a venue that I’d not visited since tackling a Southsea Motor Club-organised, BARC-run sprint event some six years earlier. And I’ve felt the same way ever since.
The unique sensations of that weekend are safely uploaded, yet it seems like only yesterday that Ludovic Lindsay took the first victory at the ‘new’ Goodwood – in the Woodcote Cup aboard the ex-Prince Bira ERA R5B ‘Remus’.
Equally well-preserved are evocations of other winners during what was a spectacular rebirth of the Goodwood phenomenon:
Earl of March Trophy (F3): Julian Majzub – Cooper-Norton
Chichester Cup (Formula Junior): Jean-Michel Farine – Lotus 20
Freddie March Memorial Trophy (Goodwood Nine-hours): Gary Pearson – Jaguar C-type
Glover Trophy (1.5-litre F1): Danny Sullivan – Lola Mk4
Lavant Cup (1950s sportscars): Peter Hardman – Ferrari Dino 246S
Lennox Cup (motorcycles): Mick Hemmings – McIntyre-Matchless 500
RAC TT Celebration (GTs): Nigel Corner/Barrie Williams – Jaguar E-type Lightweight
Richmond Trophy (2.5-litre F1): Rod Jolley – Cooper-Climax T45/51
St Mary’s Trophy (saloons): Richard Dodkins – Austin Mini Cooper S
Sussex Trophy (50s sportscars): Robert Brooks – Lotus-Climax 15
Fast forward to 2015, the 18th edition of the Goodwood Revival, and the USP of the event – priceless racers doing battle around the superfast sweeps of the 2.4-mile circuit, all pedalled by a mixture of contemporary historic racers, retired world champions and current superstars of international racing – remains in tact and unspoilt.
Trying to choose stand-out moments is a task fraught with difficulty, such is the ‘catch-all’ appeal of the event, but if push comes to shove…
Freddie March Trophy
Celebrated 1950s sportscars in the shape of Jaguar’s C-type and Aston Martin’s DB3S will race into sunset in a recreation of the Nine Hour enduros at the circuit in the 1950s.
Pre-war stunners from Alfa Romeo, in the shape of a trio of Tipo B P3s, will try to take the fight to a horde of British voiturette giantkillers from ERA, which have won the past eight retrospectives.
You won’t get as much bang for your buck anywhere quite as much as in the ‘Can-Am’ race for 1960s Group 7 powersledges. McLaren M1Bs and Lola T70s will again set the pace – and make the most noise. Will Nick Padmore’s outright lap record of 1m18.2s fall?
Richmond and Gordon Trophy
Look out for Tony Smith’s 1960 Ferrari 246 Dino, the last front-engined F1 winner in World Championship history, and serial Revival victor Gary Pearson in the ex-Jo Bonnier 1959 Dutch GP-winning BRM Type 25 – they’re as effective as they are exquisite.
St Mary’s Trophy
The Pro-am touring car double-header always ranks among racegoers’ favourites, thanks to its star billing and the David-versus-Goliath battles all the way through the field. This time it’ll be Lotus Cortinas v BMWs v Minis v American V8-engined interlopers.
Andy Middlehurst wearing a very dark blue helmet and strapped into a yellow-and-green Lotus 25 stops Jim Clark fans in their tracks ahead of the 1.5-litre F1 race, especially when you spot period Lotus mechanic Bob Dance standing over the car and not afraid to get his hands dirty. Middlehurst is going for Glover win number five on the bounce this year…
Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy
The sight of 1980s 500cc motorcycle world champions Freddie Spencer and Kevin Schwantz hustling a pair of immaculate and indecently quick early-’60s Manx Norton 500s will be a surreal one. ‘Fast Freddie’ and ‘Revin’ Kevin’ will give it their all and never stop smiling – or posing for pics and signing autographs.
Squirmy, over-powered-and-under-tyred sports-racers that did battle in the World Championship in the 1950s always put on a good show at the Revival. Expect to see fierce battling between Jaguar D-type, Lister Knobbly, Ferrari 246S Dino and diminutive Lotus 15.
RAC Tourist Trophy
The two-driver, one-hour, multi-million-pound GT race will be a Sunday-afternoon treat once again. Harking back to the race’s heyday between 1960 and ’64, it’s as authentic as it is awesome and will feature snarling Cobras, lithe E-types and fabulous Ferraris all the way to the flag.
Bruce McLaren tribute
This year’s Revival pays tribute to the brilliant Kiwi racer, engineer and team founder on the 45th anniversary of his death while testing a Can-Am M8 at Goodwood in 1970. Dozens of cars form part of the parade – some well known, others less so, but all having played a part in his career.
Shelby Daytona Coupe parade
All six of the mid-1960s World Sportscar Championship-winning American GT muscle cars will be aired together for the first time in the modern era, providing another coup for Goodwood. The noise alone will be to die for.
If you can avert your gaze from the action on the ground, a plethora of warbirds will grace the skies, in the shape of numerous Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires.
An appearance by XH558, the only active AVRO Vulcan bomber, will blow aviation devotees away.