“Move over darling” Paul Knapfield uses all the exit of the chicane for his 1966 Lola T70 Spyder, forcing Howard Spooner to take to the grass with the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM during the Whitsun Trophy race for mid 1960’s sports prototypes.
Photo: Roger Dixon
Ten years have passed since the Earl of March set out to revive the glory days of motor racing at Goodwood, and exactly 60 years since the circuit opened around the perimeter of the wartime airfield. The Goodwood Circuit Revival remains the only sporting event set entirely to a period theme, and 124,000 vintage motor sport enthusiasts from all over the world gathered in glorious sunshine over the weekend of September 19–21 to celebrate at this most authentic of facilities. Many considered this the best yet.
Among the legends racing this year were Richard Attwood, Derek and Justin Bell, Martin Brundle, Emerson Fittipaldi (making his Revival debut), Jean-Marc Gounon, David Hobbs, Jochen Mass, Arturo Merzario, Sir Stirling Moss, Jackie Oliver, Henri Pescarolo, David Piper, Emanuele Pirro, Bobby Rahal, Brian Redman, Marc Surer, and Sir John Whitmore. Many drove in two or more races, often in the most unlikely machinery. Absent friends were not forgotten as the Earl of March delivered a moving address recalling the personalities who raced here during the circuit’s first life, between 1948 and 1966. Sir Stirling Moss was a winner at the opening meeting in September 1948, with his Cooper-JAP 500 Mk11, and he was present 60 years later to race XK120, C-Type, and Mk V11 Jaguars and to demonstrate a 500–cc Formula 3 car. At age 79, his enthusiasm and unmistakable style behind the wheel remain undimmed.
With each passing year more and more spectators choose to dress in period costume to enhance the theatrical scene which includes sideshows, displays, parades, and actors playing cameo roles to add to the ambiance. Although racing is center-stage at the Revival, there is always a host of attractions to appeal to every visitor, including spectacular air displays recalling the airfield’s part in the 1939–1945 World War.
The weekend program of 16 races, including 2 for motorcycles, spanned the 1930s through 1966. As always, the one-hour, two-driver, Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration GT race was the headliner with the Martin Brundle/Adrian Newey pole-sitting Jaguar E-type lightweight chasing the Justin Law/Anthony Reid Lister-Jaguar coupe. Peter Hardman/Bobby Verdon-Roe took an early lead which they held to the end in their Ferrari 330 LMB. A safety-car period following an uncharacteristic charge into the barrier by Barrie Williams’s Cobra blunted the efforts of the Ferrari’s pursuers.
With all race entries by invitation only, quality is assured and the organizers pride themselves in finding new participants every year. This year the star car for many was Klaus Werner’s Ferrari 250 GT “Breadvan” shared by Max Werner and Claudia Hurtgen, which unfortunately was forced to retire after a strong start. Emerson Fittipaldi enjoyed a hard-charging debut run in a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The St. Mary’s Trophy races for sedans alternates between the 1950s and 1960s eras, and this year it was the turn of the older cars. The stars drive the first race and the owners the second. Former Daytona and Sebring winner John Fitzpatrick’s rapid 1956 Austin A95 Westminster was pushed into a roll at the chicane while holding 2nd place. Fitzpatrick was unhurt and, after some overnight work, the car was driven to a satisfying victory by co-driver and owner, John Young. Sir Stirling Moss shared “Mr. Bean”-actor Rowan Atkinson’s Jaguar MkVII, and multiple Le Mans–winner Henri Pescarolo was at the wheel of a Sunbeam Rapier.
Six-time Grand Prix winner and former Connaught, Vanwall, Ferrari, and BRM driver, Tony Brooks, was honored with a tribute parade. Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Jackie Stewart were present to share in the celebrations and enjoy lighthearted banter. The 90-minute sports car race for the Freddie March Memorial Trophy started late on the Saturday afternoon and ran into darkness, recalling the Nine Hour races held between 1952 and 1955. Victory went to Stuart Graham and Emanuele Pirro in their Austin-Healey 100S. Another Le Mans winner, Jochen Mass, was fortunate to escape with bruising after overturning the Lancia-Ferrari D50A replica in the 1950s GP race.