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Top 10 reasons to visit Goodwood Revival

(September 18, 2008)
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This coming weekend (19-21 September) Goodwood will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the popular and unique Goodwood Revival. With the weather forecast looking very encouraging for the event, around 115,000 excited motor sport enthusiasts are expected to come to see their favourite star cars and drivers in action. After ten years, the Goodwood Revival is firmly established as the world’s greatest historic motor race meeting with a magical step back in time for all lovers of nostalgia.

This year is a very special one for motor sport at Goodwood, as not only is the Revival celebrating its tenth anniversary, but the famous West Sussex motor circuit is marking its 60th anniversary, since the very first post-War motor race meeting was held in the UK in September 1948. There are very many reasons to visit the 2008 Goodwood Revival – below are some highlights:

Anniversaries: As already mentioned, this weekend Goodwood will celebrate two important anniversaries at this year’s Revival; the 60th since the opening of the motor circuit by the 9th Duke of Richmond in 1948 to stage the UK’s first ‘properly’ organised post-War motor race meeting, plus the tenth since the first Revival took place in September 1998. It will be an action-packed weekend of historic motor racing and period theatre for all the family, encapsulating some the Revival’s most memorable moments from the last ten years.

As part of these special celebrations, Goodwood will recreate life on the road in 1948 when the circuit first opened, with a display of various modes of transport as used in 1948, ranging from cars to commercial vehicles, steam rollers, a milk float, and even a light aircraft.

To also help celebrate 60 years of motor racing at Goodwood, the Revival will feature a fabulous parade of those men and machines intrinsically linked with the circuit’s history. The Goodwood team will bring together as many significant cars as possible, whether it’s Reg Parnell’s Maserati 4CLT that dominated the first few meetings; or winning cars from the most famous races such as the Nine Hours, TT and Easter Monday F1 race; or cars that set important milestones – the BRM in which Stirling Moss recorded the first 100mph lap, or the Lotus and BRM in which Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart both set the lap record time of 1m 20.4 seconds in 1965, less than a year before the circuit closed.

Taking part alongside the cars will as many great International racing stars as possible from the Goodwood history books. Drivers such as Sirs Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart and John Whitmore will line up alongside Tony Brooks, Jackie Oliver, Richard Attwood, Derek Bell, Jacky Ickx, John Fitzpatrick, Jack Sears, John Rhodes, Brian Redman and Michael Salmon, to name but a few.


On Sunday the participants will be joined on the grid by a host of other guests with a Goodwood connection in period, such as famed entrants John Coombs and Alan Mann. The guests will share their stories and anecdotes, and then everyone will pause to remember the many great Goodwood heroes who are no longer able to be with us.

Evening Race: To mark arguably the most distinctive race in Goodwood’s history – and also to recreate one of the Revival’s most memorable tribute races – the Freddie March Memorial Trophy will become a 90-minute endurance race in 2008 for only the second time, extending into the dusk on Saturday evening. It will feature cars in the spirit of the original event, including Jaguar C-type, Aston Martin DB3S, Maserati A6GCS, Lancia D24, Ferrari 750 Monza, HWM and Lagonda.

The only previous time that the race has run to this format was in 2002, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Nine Hour International sports car race in 1952. Special permission was granted to extend the racing longer into the evening than normal, bringing back to Goodwood the magical sight of 1950s sports cars racing in the autumnal twilight with headlamps ablaze, just as they did in the 1950s. It remains one of the most unforgettable races at the Revival to date.

The original Nine Hour International sports car race at Goodwood attracted the top works teams of the day, such as Jaguar and Aston Martin, plus some exotic entries from Italy and Germany. The race began at 3pm and continued to midnight, creating the evocative spectacle of sports cars racing from sunshine to sunset to moonlight, just as at the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hour race.

Along with the Easter Monday Formula 1 race, the Nine Hour race was Goodwood's flagship event of the season, establishing Goodwood as an International sports car venue and giving rise to the equally famous Goodwood Tourist Trophy when the nine-hour format changed to a shorter three-hour race. A complete programme of exciting wheel-to-wheel racing is also planned for the whole of the Revival weekend, including celebrating races such as the St Mary’s Trophy for saloon cars, and the TT, with over £85million-worth of beautiful sports GT racing cars battling it out, including Ferrari 250 GTOs and AC Cobras.

Car Displays: For lovers of pre-1966 vehicles, the Goodwood Revival is real petrol head heaven. Literally thousands of classic vehicles can be seen at the event, some displayed in very salubrious surroundings.

New amongst these is the BGC Earls Court Motor Show. This is a recreation of the classic London Motor Show, as held immediately post-War at Earls Court. Goodwood’s Earls Court adds an exciting new element to the Revival with an original Art Deco frontage reminiscent of the glory days of exhibitions of the past. This spacious new area will give visitors an insight into how motoring of the future might look from a pre-1966 perspective, with a display of ‘futuristic’ 21st century cars.

Each stand will be presented in the style of a traditional Motor Show of the 1950s or 1960s. As with the rest of the Revival, the overall display will not be set in a specific timeframe, but rather at some unidentified point prior to 1966. Manufacturer displays will therefore include contemporary cars of the 1950s or 1960s, as well as some ‘concept’ cars showing each company’s visions of what production cars might look like in the early 21st Century. Car manufacturers exhibiting at this ‘motor show of the future’ are Maserati, Jaguar, BMW, Ford and Rolls-Royce.

In addition to the manufacturers’ stands, there will be a central ‘concours d’elegance’ exhibition staged in association with BGC, the voice and electronic brokerage specialists. This display will commemorate ‘the BGC Fastest Production Car in the World’, featuring 25 performance cars from the 1920s, right through to the present day, all of which were the most rapid cars in production at a given point in time.

As well as the BGC Earls Court Motor Show display, a collection of classic Porsches will be shown at the Woad Corner showroom, to honour the Stuttgart marque’s 60th anniversary. The largest display of March-bodied cars ever gathered together in one location can also be seen at the Kevill-Davies and March garage and workshop. Goodwood Motor Circuit’s founder, the 9th Duke of Richmond, Freddie March, designed and bodied a number of vehicles during the 1930s, many of which will be on display. A huge gathering of classic cars can also be viewed at the Revival Car Show across the road from the Circuit, supported by Classic and Sportscar magazine.

Motorcycles: The ever-popular Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy motorcycle race is always one of the most exciting competitive events at the Goodwood Revival. This is the only historic motorcycle race in the world that regularly attracts Italian exotics such as Benelli, Ducati and MV Agusta in significant numbers. Battling against them will be British Manx Norton and Matchless machinery.

With no date clash with any major motorcycling race this year, Goodwood will line up a host of famous motorcycle champions to race, including WSB champion Troy Corser. Fast men of road racing Michael Rutter and John McGuiness are expected to race, along with legends of the sport Niall MacKenzie and Wayne Gardner. They will be joined by an array of racing heroes of yesteryear, including Stan Woods, Ron Chandler, Trevor Nation, Jody Nicholas and Eric Saul.

Fashion and Ladies Day: Following the huge success of last year’s inaugural Ladies Day at the Goodwood Revival, this popular ‘event’ will be back by popular demand for 2008 on Saturday 20th September. Elegant and smartly-dressed ladies visiting the Revival on that day will stand a good chance of taking home flowers and bottles of champagne – traditionally the reserve of victorious racing drivers, as Goodwood one again stages motor sport’s first, and only, Ladies Day. Throughout the day a leading team of fashion gurus will be looking out for the most immaculately-groomed ladies, and awarding spot prizes of Veuve Clicquot champagne and flowers to the lucky few.

The Goodwood Revival is the only meeting in the world set entirely to a period theme, with every detail faithful to that golden age of style, grace and glamour:
1948-1966. No other vintage fashion event anywhere takes place on such a vast scale: the event is expecting around 115,000 visitors, the overwhelming majority of whom are suited, booted and groomed from the tips of their ‘femme fatale’ red fingernails to their stilettoed toes, proving that the Revival is far more than a series of races for historic vehicles.

Aircraft and the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation: Following on from last year’s successful debut of the Freddie March ‘Spirit of Aviation’, an aeronautical attraction that recalls the style and excitement of flying as it used to be. The second ‘Freddie March Spirit of Aviation’ will be held as a prestigious ‘concours d’elegance’ for historic aircraft built up to 1966, the same cut-off year as all motor vehicles permitted on site during the Revival.

Since the Earl of March reintroduced motor racing at the celebrated Goodwood Motor Circuit in 1998, aircraft have formed a key part of the Goodwood Revival activities, with dramatic air displays forming a key attraction at the event, this year being no exception with the Vulcan bomber and Battle of Britain memorial displays scheduled to appear.

The aim of the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation is to bring together some of the world’s finest, most elegant, original and rarely-seen aeroplanes from the evocative pioneering days of aviation, to create an added spectacle at the Revival that all race-goers will be able to get up close to and enjoy. Inspiration for this important new static aviation concours event comes partly from the hugely-popular Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ car design competition, held annually during the Goodwood Festival of Speed, as well as the successful Vintage Aeroplane Fly-In, which was staged for the third time this year at the Goodwood Aero Club in May.

Tributes: Each year the Revival focuses on the career of a key protagonist from the circuit’s heyday, and 2008 will honour one of the most highly-rated and successful British racing drivers of the 1950s, Tony Brooks. Brooks, a 23-year-old dental student, shot to fame in 1955 when he became the first British driver in a British car to win a Continental Grand Prix. Prior to the race at Syracuse, he had never even sat in a Formula 1 car before. That win heralded the dawn of a new age of British dominance in motor sport, and marked the meteoric emergence of one of Britain’s greatest talents. Brooks raced in Formula 1 for Connaught, BRM, Vanwall and Ferrari, and scored another notable all-British success – the first to win a round of World Championship – along with Stirling Moss in a Vanwall at the British Grand Prix in 1957. He also enjoyed a long association with Aston Martin in sports car racing, winning the Nürburgring 1000kms and two endurance races at Spa.

At the Revival, Goodwood will gather together around 20 historic racing cars most closely associated with his illustrious career. Expect to see everything from the Healey Silverstone in which he entered his first races (having persuaded his mother that the Healey would make a great shopping car…) to his Nürburgring-winning Aston Martin DBR1. There is also expected to be a collection of other important ex-Brooks racers, from Connaught B-type and Vanwall to BRM P25, Aston Martin DB3S and Cooper-Climax T51. Joining Tony on the grid on Sunday will be a host of the characters who raced with and against him over the years.

A Great Spectator Occasion: The Goodwood Revival is far more than a series of races for historic cars: it is a magical step back in time and a chance for visitors to revel in the romance of motor racing as it used to be. The lovingly restored circuit is unchanged from its heyday, and great lengths are taken to ensure that everything on the site is exactly as it was.

This means that no modern vehicles are allowed within the circuit perimeter throughout the weekend. Period vehicles provide all essential services and competitor support. The Revival’s Period Transport Corps supplies a unique taxi service for competitors and VIPs. In 2007 around 250 pre-1966 vehicles serviced the site, from fleets of WW2 Jeeps and 1950s trucks and vans to an array of classic passenger cars and Rolls-Royce limousines. A fleet of classic tractors tow passenger-carrying trailers around the perimeter road, taking visitors to the prime viewing locations all around the circuit. It’s a big operation.

It is not just the circuit and the vehicles that have an authentic period look. All circuit staff dress in appropriate period clothing from the 1940s and 1950s, and each year more spectators and competitors get into the effervescent Goodwood spirit by dressing the part, considering it all part of the fun. In the paddock you may even encounter all kinds of period characters, from ‘spivs’ selling nylons and watches from beneath their coats, to Mods and Rockers and even the Dad’s Army Home Guard.

Bands play authentic 1950s music, the food outlets sell fish and chips wrapped in reprints of 1950s newspapers, and even the corn stooks on the circuit infield are made from a specially-grown crop with extra-long stalks for hand cutting rather than combine harvesting. Goodwood circuit is also unique for its planted borders, with around 4,000 hydrangeas bringing beautiful florid colour to the track. There are even flowers on the top of the chicane, just as there always used to be. New for 2008 is Revivalfest, with German beer and sausages house din the motorcycle paddock to celebrate the annual Bavarian Oktoberfest.

The Goodwood Revival is the only event that places motor racing into a carefully choreographed historical backdrop. The result is a truly unforgettable experience, and an atmosphere unlike any other sporting event, which the Daily Telegraph described as ‘a weekend in Heaven’.

A limited number of Goodwood Revival tickets are still available. To order advance tickets, please contact the Ticket Hotline:
Telephone: 01243 755055
Fax: 01243 755058
Email: [email protected];

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