‘The first time I’ve driven a racing car with a roof over my head is that car,’ says Sauber test and reserve driver Giedo van der Garde, referring to the 1963 AC Cobra he’ll be driving at Revival. Today is only the second time he has been behind the wheel, the previous occasion being a recent 20-lap test session at Zandvoort.
The Cobra is completely different to the F1 machinery Giedo usually drives. ‘You have to adapt yourself,’ he says. ‘Formula One cars have so much downforce and grip, whereas the Cobra moves around a lot. It gets better with every lap.’ Which does he prefer? ‘Formula One. It’s the coolest and best thing to drive. But I enjoy the Cobra a lot.’
Giedo comments that today’s lap times are good and getting better (although no figures are forthcoming!) and he hopes that he and the car’s owner, David Hart, will be at the front of the grid come the RAC TT Celebration.
Giedo isn’t the only famous driver at the circuit today. Current BTCC champion Andrew Jordan is here, together with his father and team owner Mike and the 1958 Austin A40 they co-own. ‘Touring cars are our day job, we do this for fun,’ says Andrew.
Both have raced at Revival before – Mike in a GT40 and Andrew in a Morris Minor – and, having caught the bug, subsequently bought the A40 as a road-going car a couple of years ago and developed it into a race car. It’s beautifully prepared; make sure you take a look at it up close in the Revival paddock.
The father-and-son team have raced the A40 in a number of HRDC races this year, so the outing at Goodwood is primarily to learn the circuit and experiment with set-up. ‘Goodwood is all about confidence,’ says Andrew, ‘so you need to put the laps in.’
With only a few weeks to go until Revival, today’s test session was busy. Some of the other cars present are also included in our gallery.
Photography: Nicole Hains