Making New History
In its original guise, the Goodwood Motor Circuit was in operation between 1948 and 1966. The circuit was re-opened in 1998 for the annual Goodwood Revival Meeting and we are just a few years away before Goodwood’s second coming will be longer than the track’s first. While today the competitors don’t race for price money or championship points, some still take it very seriously, preparing for the event like it was a modern day Grand Prix.
History is also still made as was underlined at this year’s Revival with some absolutely epic drives particularly in the rain soaked Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration race. In addition to the nearly non-stop action on the track, the Revival offers plenty of excitement in the period paddock and vending areas. As always the spectators are invited to actively participate in the event by dressing up in period attire.
This has proven a winning formula and this year the tickets were completely sold out a month before the event! The traditional celebrations in 2013 included a Tribute to Jim Clark, a tribute to the Dambusters and the 100th running of the Tour de France bicycle race. Braving the changeable conditions, our photographers were at the Goodwood Motor Circuit throughout the weekend, resulting in this action-packed 370-shot gallery.
Bonhams Revival Sale
Since the Revival’s inception, Bonhams has hosted an auction during the event but few had been as highly anticipated as this year’s Revival Sale. One of the main reasons was the inclusion of the only completely original Alfa Romeo 8C 35 in existence. When this last came to auction back in the late 1980s, it had set a new world record for a Grand Prix car. Bonhams’ recent sale of a Mercedes-Benz W196 for close to GBP 20 million saw to it that that feat was not repeated but with a final price of just under GBP 6 million the beautiful Alfa Romeo did live up to the high expectations. Its most recent owners have raced the car in the United States and it would be great to see it back in action on this side of the Atlantic; at next year’s Revival for example.
The 8C 35 was by no means the only impressive result of the auction as both a highly original Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series 2 and the ex-Rod Stewart Lamborghini Miura SV exceeded the top estimates at GBP 707,100 and GBP 919,9000 respectively. Both were eclipsed though by the ex-works Invicta S-Type, which found a new owner for GBP 953,500. Bonhams looks set to add one more chapter to what is already a storybook year with the sale of the Dick Skipworth collection of Ecurie Ecosse, some of which were on display in the auction tent, while others were raced one final time across the street.
St. Mary’s Trophy
Another set fixture during the Revival is the St. Mary’s Trophy for touring cars. This two-part race sees professional and/or celebrity racers share the cars with their respective owners. For this year’s running the field consisted of 1960s machinery and saw a true David vs Goliath fight with BMW 1800 TISAs, Minis, Lotus Cortinas and Alfa Romeo GTAs going head to head with three Ford Galaxie 500s. Among the pro drivers assigned to one of the behemoths was nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, who got his first taste of the car during a damp practice. Although he was initially slightly frightened by the fierce power combined with an absolute lack of grip, he quickly adapted to the car and emerged as one of the top contenders of Part 1.
His closest adversaries were Jochen Mass in another Galaxie and his fellow Audi driver Frank Stipler, who had come from way down the field in a GTA. The three drivers put up a great show and after Mass’ brakes started to fade, it was left to Stipler to challenge Kristensen but he simply could find no way around the big red Galaxie. There was some consolation the following day as his team-mate Alex Furiani managed to score another second place finish behind Bill Sheperd in the Galaxie driven by Mass in Part 1. This was enough for the Stipler and Furiani pairing to win the St. Mary’s Trophy on aggregate; a superb reward for many late hours as the the Alfa had blown its engine less than a week earlier.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT40, this year the Whitsun Trophy was reserved exclusively to GT40s. Although required to run on the same tyre size, all versions of the GT40 were eligible, even including the recent replicas built by Gelscoe. Among the more unusual machines entered was a very rare Mk IV and three Mk IIs, all fitted with the big block V8 engine. The small block cars were nevertheless expected to star in the two-driver race with Adrian Newey’s ex-Essex Wire GT40, shared Kenny Brack the absolute favourites.
Run by the Lanzante team, the car was reportedly extensively tested with Brack specifying a much softer suspension setup than was used in previous years. In qualifying, it was, however, Mike Jordan in Philip Walker’s GT40 who claimed pole ahead of Brack. A poor start from both Walker and Newey, first saw David Hart and later Emanuele Pirro emerge in the lead of the 45-minute race after an intense battle during the opening laps. After a quick pit stop, Brack quickly managed claw back the deficit and emerged in the lead.
Now with owner Shaun Lynn behind the wheel, the GT40 Pirro started followed in second. Lynn was hurried on by reigning World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff, who was a lap down. This helped him keep ace historic racer Martin Stretton at bay, who eventually finished third in the GT40 started by Diego Ferrao.
Jim Clark Tribute
Fifty years after Jim Clark became F1 World Champion for the first time, the Revival paid tribute to the man, who still holds the all-time lap record at Goodwood together with his friend and compatriot Jackie Stewart. Although he raced a wide variety of cars, the humble sheep farmer was most frequently seen behind the wheel of one of Colin Chapman’s Lotuses.
His natural talent was so big that he managed to drive around problems and get results with cars that others found un-drivable. In addition to his two World Championships, the versatile Clark also became the first driver to win the Indy 500 with a mid-engined car and won numerous touring car championships before his career was tragically cut short in the spring of 1968. To mark the 50th anniversary of Clark’s first World Championship, event host Lord March invited some of the most famous cars he raced in period, surviving Team Lotus personnel like his old mechanic Bob Dance and the great rivals and friends and he raced against.
Among them was Sir Jackie Stewart, who regards Clark as the greatest driver he ever raced against. Also on hand was three-time Indy 500 winner and fellow Scot Dario Franchitti, who was entrusted to drive the actual Lotus 38 used by Clark to take that historic victory back in 1965. Another noteworthy car in the parade was Andy Middlehurst’s Lotus 43, powered by the BRM H16 engine. A real labour of love, its restoration took eight years and this was the first time it was driven in public since the work was completed.
Middlehurst also paid the most fitting tribute to Clark by winning the Glover Trophy in the same Lotus 25 Clark had used to win seven Grands Prix. Just like in 1963, Bob Dance was the chief mechanic and he made some detail changes at the last minute to suit the wet track conditions.
The blue ribband race of the Goodwood Revival Meeting is traditionally the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration. The one-hour, two-driver race is held for closed-cockpit GT cars of the early 1960s.
For the first time in many years, the Ferrari 250 LM was also allowed to compete but disappointingly only one example lined up for the race. It was joined by a spectacular array of Cobras, E-Types, Ferraris and Aston Martins. Oliver Bryant qualified the family Cobra on pole. He was joined by his father Graham this year, who might not be quite as quick as the pro drivers but the Bryants were clearly keen on not having the car crashed for a third year running.
As in the Whitsun Trophy, it was Dutchman David Hart, who managed to get away first in his Cobra. This was the start of an enthralling battle, which saw journalist Chris Harris in the unique Lister Jaguar Le Mans Coupe, Jean Alesi in a Ferrari 250 GTO and Gary Pearson all challenge Hart for the lead. A safety car period inside the pit window drastically reshuffled the field and saw Anthony Reid emerge with a clear lead in the Lister Jaguar.
Then the heavens opened, which treated the spectators to a very wet suit but also one of the greatest drives in the Goodwood Revival history. While most drivers, tip-toeing around the very wet track, only managed to hold station, it was Simon Hadfield in Wolfgang Friedrich’s Aston Martin Project 212, who worked his way through the field from around tenth to first in stunning fashion.
At some point he was as much as five seconds a lap faster than the entire field. Well known and much liked throughout the paddock, even the rival teams cheered all down the pitlane every time he passed another car After taking the flag, a visibly elated Hadfield stopped his car early on the straight and jumped out of the car and onto the banking to thank the crowd, who had braved the weather to watch the race. He later explained that he had only found the switch for the windscreen wipers on the slowing down lap. Hadfield along with Friedrichs had made history as this was the first win for an Aston Martin in the TT Celebration in what, fittingly, is the marque’s centenary year.
Although at times cold and very wet, the adverse weather certainly did not dampen the spirits at the 16th annual Goodwood Revival. The capacity crowd were treated to some of the finest racing and poignant tributes in the event’s history. Considering the changeable conditions, there were remarkably few major incidents and especially when the conditions were at their worst the drivers seemed at their best.
The event was broadcast live for the first time on the Goodwood website but being dry and warm by no means matched the in the flesh experience of those at the Motor Circuit during the weekend. We did our best to capture this in our 370-shot gallery.