Start of the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration at the Goodwood Revival

Goodwood Revival 2012 – Race Preview

The Goodwood Revival 2012 will be staged 14-16 September on the celebrated Goodwood Circuit in West Sussex, England. Under the direction of the Earl of March and his team, the annual Goodwood Revival has developed into a prestigious classic car rendezvous that attracts top drivers from across the globe to race in some of the most exquisite historic racing machinery from the golden motor sport era up to 1966.

Visitors to the 2012 Goodwood Revival will be treated to a spectacular programme of car and motorcycle races, in addition to equally entertaining attractions off the track. To evoke the atmosphere of yesteryear, the Goodwood Motor Circuit located in West Sussex, United Kingdom, is maintained in its original appearance, down to the very last detail. Adding to the period feeling, all visitors are encouraged to dress in attire from 1966 or before, resulting in a unique weekend of entertainment.

The one-hour, two-driver Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration race for closed-cockpit GT cars remains the jewel in the Revival’s crown. Nowhere else in the world can you see such a grid of rare GT cars racing in anger, driven by great aces past and present. The grid will once again feature a breathtaking £100+ million array of historic cars, including Ferrari 250 GTO and GT SWB; Aston Martin DB4GT, Zagato and Project cars; plus Jaguar E-types and E-Type Lightweights.

The Ferrari 250 GTO reaches its half century this year, and to celebrate the Revival will feature a display and daily track parade of 15 GTOs, which is sure to be one of the most jaw-dropping (and valuable) sights in Revival history. With an average value estimated at £20 million each, the value of the 15 Ferrari GTOs displayed at the Revival totals a cool £300 million.

In addition to the 250 GTOs, the 2012 Goodwood Revival will offer visitors a truly unique opportunity to see a large gathering of mythical pre-war Silver Arrows being demonstrated on track together at speed for the first time in more than 70 years. The sensational Auto Unions and Mercedes-Benz will appear alongside examples of the ERAs, Maseratis, Rileys and MGs they trounced on their first appearance on British soil, 75 years ago at the 1937 Donington Grand Prix.

Another anticipated contest in 2012 promises to be the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, a new 90-minute race to be held on the evening of Friday, 14 September. Lasting well into the evening, this two-driver race will evoke memories of the traditional nine hour endurance race that used to run in the Goodwood circuit’s heyday.

This year’s Saturday feature race will feature a grid exclusively made up of AC Cobras and variants in the Shelby Cup, in celebration of the model’s 50th anniversary. It will be a 45-minute two-driver race, with driver changes in the pits between 15 and 30 minutes. With a mixture of standard cars and special-bodied coupes, it should make for an intriguing spectacle and a fitting tribute to this iconic Anglo-American sports car.

Goodwood Revival, AC Cobra
The Shelby Cup will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the AC Cobra

Other weekend highlights include: The St Mary’s Trophy Part 1, held on Saturday, where celebrities take to the circuit in track-prepared touring cars from 1950 to 1959; Saturday’s Whitsun Trophy, the weekend’s fastest race for sports prototypes from 1962 to 1966, including Ferraris, Lotus, Lola-Chevrolets and McLaren-Chevrolets; and, the Sussex Trophy, which spotlights World Championship Sports Cars from 1955 to 1960: Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lister and Maserati.

A host of familiar names and faces from a wide variety of motor sport disciplines are due to be in action at Goodwood, including Formula One stars, rally winners, endurance racing champions, tin top tearaways and top bikers; often competing in the most unlikely of machines.

Touring Car talent will be campaigning 1950s saloon cars hard in the St Mary’s Trophy race, including current Honda BTCC drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Sheddon, along with other BTCC and WTCC legends Rob Huff, John Cleland, Anthony Reid, Stephen Jellay, Alec Poole and Patrick Watts.

These tin-top racers will be joined by Scandinavian rallying greats Rauno Aaltonen and John Haugland, plus ex-Grand Prix stars Martin Brundle, Jochen Mass, Derek Bell, Rupert Keegan, Richard Attwood, Tiff Needell, Martin Donnelly, Desire Wilson, Brian Redman, Jackie Oliver, Vern Schuppan and Arturo Merzario, who are all sure to entertain the Revival spectators.

Expect to also see Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner and the team’s Chief Technical Director Adrian Newey in action, along with drivers as diverse as Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack, ASCAR Champion Nicolas Minassian and comedian Rowan Atkinson. Goodwood stalwarts Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams will also be in attendance.

Motorcycling heroes will include Isle of Man TT stars Mick Grant, Charlie Williams, Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Stuart Graham, Rex Butcher, Stan Woods and Cameron Donald, plus Moto GP rider Jeremy McWilliams, British Superbike ace Michael Rutter and Goodwood favourite Wayne Gardner.

The American motor racing legend Dan Gurney will be the subject of Goodwood’s annual driver tribute, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of his maiden Grand Prix victory. A daily track parade will include a variety of his most famous cars to honour the life and achievements of this incredible man, who achieved success as both a driver and team owner.

Two dozen cars directly associated with Gurney’s racing career will parade the Goodwood motor circuit each day, with the main tribute due to take place on Revival Sunday, 16 September. These competition machines will include examples of his celebrated Eagle grand prix and Indy racers, as well as Ferraris, Porsches, McLarens, Ford GTs and Cobras campaigned by the great man himself. At around 1:20pm on Sunday 16th, Goodwood will stage a spectacular tribute to Dan Gurney, full of the fanfare and theatre an all-American hero deserves.

With a record Goodwood Revival attendance last year of 138,000, Lord March – the event’s founder – once again took the bold decision to cap advanced ticket sales for this year to ensure the Revival remains a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all Goodwood visitors, without too much crowding. The huge early demand for the Revival will ensure that those lucky enough to have tickets are set for a truly enjoyable and memorable weekend.

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[Source: Goodwood; photo: Tim Scott / Fluid Images]