At this very first running of the Revival in 1998, the crowd could be forgiven for thinking they were about to see a careful procession of priceless machinery, given the rarity and irreplaceability of the cars. But it was clear from the off that the racing was very real as straight-sixes, V8s and V12s wailed, roared and screamed in battle.
The race takes its name and inspiration from the legendary Goodwood Tourist Trophy competition of 1959. Established in 1905 and still part of the FIA World Endurance Championship to this day, the RAC Tourist Trophy is the oldest continuous motor race in the world.
In 1959, as the fifth and final round of the 1959 World Sportscar Championship, the race was contested over six hours. Pole setter in an Aston Martin DBR1 was Stirling Moss, sharing a car with Roy Salvadori. Disaster struck when the car caught fire during refuelling, destroying both it and the Aston Martin pit garage.
Privateer Graham Whitehead withdrew his car in order to provide a pit for the Aston Martin works team and Moss took over the DBR1 of Carroll Shelby and Jack Fairman. In winning the race, Moss secured the World Sportscar Championship for Aston Martin.
Today’s race, still the centrepiece of the Goodwood revival Weekend the RAC TT Celebration is an hour-long, close quarters battle between some of the greatest driver pairings in the world sharing some beautiful and timeless machinery. Long may it continue.