The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Postcard from the Goodwood Revival

08-10-2016

Words and pictures by Ed Brown

 

From 1948 until its closure in 1966 the former RAF Westhampnett, at the base of the Sussex Downs, was a prominent venue in global motor-sport. Opened as Goodwood by the current Earl of March’s grandfather, its wartime contribution  and that of its entrants and competitors is celebrated annually at the Goodwood Revival.

Now in its nineteenth year the meeting combines cars, planes, fashion and culture with some of the globe’s best historic racing and a Bonhams auction. With more than 150,000 attendees over the three days, many in ‘40s/’50s/’60s dress, it was undoubtedly a weekend to remember.

The on-track activity has received widespread coverage elsewhere but below are my highlights:

Former F1, Le Mans racer and TV presenter Tiff Needell headed the first lap of the sodden Whitsun Trophy in the oft-recalcitrant and fragile Lotus 30; sideways for almost the entire race and finishing third, his car control was sublime and if it hadn’t been for Rob Huff’s equally superb win with a Lotus 19-Oldsmobile, he would have been my “driver of the weekend”.

Attracting much attention in the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation display at the rear of the main paddock were thirty pre-1966 aircraft, all making their Goodwood debut:

·   A 1947 de Havilland Chipmunk and the oldest of its type still flying in the world. A previous winner of the King’s Cup Air Race, it was shipped to the UK from its home in Ottawa at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

·   A 1937 Ryan SCW145 shipped from its Australian home and the only example still flying globally outside the USA.

·   A 1917-type Mercedes DIII-powered Albatros DV – a replica of the First World War fighter, built in 2015 by Vintage Aviator Ltd in New Zealand and finished in distinctive Edelweiss livery.

The life and achievements of three-times F1 World Champion, Sir Jack Brabham AO OBE were celebrated over the weekend via a diverse forty-plus car display, some driven by his contemporaries, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and John Surtees, and others by Brabham’s own sons, David and Geoff, and grandson Matthew. A Royal Australian Air Force flight mechanic during WW2, and initially operating a small engineering workshop in New South Wales, he commenced dirt-track, “midget” racing in 1948. Sustained Antipodean success ultimately brought him to England in 1955, where he joined the Cooper Car Company’s racing team, building and racing cars manufactured in Surbiton, South London, and tested at Goodwood.

Contributing significantly to the design of their mid-engined T51, his on-circuit prowess resulted in back-to-back World Championships in 1959 and 1960, before leaving in 1962 to establish his own Brabham marque with fellow Australian Ron Tauranac They became the globe’s largest manufacturer of customer racing cars and in 1966 Sir Jack became the first and still the only man to win the F1 World Championship driving a car of his own construction.

As a passionate enthusiast for all things Bristol from 1947 to 1961 adorning the reception area of the Earls Court Motor Show exhibit was a recently unearthed styling concept, which is the basis for the all-new BMW-powered “Bullet” to be built local to Goodwood, in nearby Chichester, and help commemorate Bristol Cars platinum anniversary in 2017.

Inside the Motor Show, Lamborghini was the central marque and a full range of tipos acknowledged the golden jubilee of arguably the manufacturers most celebrated model, the Muira. These were complemented by Maserati’s newly launched diesel-powered Levante, four cars from Jaguar’s Heritage collection, two intriguing styling concepts from Porsche and marque displays from BMW and Aston Martin.

On a weekend when twice 500cc World Motorcycle champion, the late Barry Sheene, would have celebrated his sixty-sixth birthday,  it was fitting that one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, John McGuinness, should win the trophy named in memory of Sheene, at his first attempt. Sharing a Fred Walmsley-prepared Manx Norton with Glen English, their pace in the double-header race gave them overall victory by more than twenty seconds.

Nine-times Le Mans winner and Revival returnee Tom Kristensen best expressed the view of many after his Friday evening race-winning success, with Ferrari-specialist Joe Macari in the Kinrara Trophy,“It was pure racing and such beautiful weather as we took off into the sunset. The circuit here is such fun to drive with its fast and long corners, especially when you get into the rhythm. I have now driven here five times, and I look forward to receiving my invitation even more now I have retired. Goodwood Revival is a fantastic event and has a spirit like no other. Everyone here, gathered from around the world, is part of the act, part of this amazing time capsule that Lord March and his team have created. Goodwood demonstrates the incredible and unique heritage of motor sport.”

 

Special Awards:

Rolex Driver of the Meeting – Rob Huff

Freddie March Spirit of Aviation winner – 1934 De Havilland DH83 Fox Moth, owned by Bruce Broady

Race Results are on www.tsl-timing.com/event/163622