2019 Goodwood Revival Meeting
2019 Goodwood Revival Meeting
“Give me Goodwood on a summer’s day and you can forget the rest.” It is as true now as when British racing driver Roy Salvadori first spoke these words back in 1952. Often immune to the infamous British weather, this year’s Goodwood Revival Meeting was treated to a genuine Indian Summer. The lovely sunshine made the magical step back in time to the period when the late Salvadori raced even more enjoyable.
The Goodwood Motor Circuit closed for contemporary racing back in 1966, but it was never actually broken up as it is part of a private estate. During the 1990s, the current Duke of Richmond decided to restore the circuit while carefully preserving the 1960s look and feel of the track. This formed the foundation for the annual Goodwood Revival Meeting where visitors are also encouraged to dress up to add to the vintage feel of the event.
Over the years, the time-warp sensation has been further enhanced by temporary buildings that, for example, resemble a 1950s salon or a garage from the period. Among the many special features in 2019 was a tribute to the 1969 motion picture The Italian Job. The movie’s 50th anniversary coincided perfectly with the 60th birthday of the star of the film; the original Mini. The special display included several Minis, the plans for the famous heist and the bus that was originally used in the movie.
Other celebrations included the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the 90th birthday of Goodwood legend Sir Stirling Moss. Sadly, he could not attend in-person, but the Duke of Richmond did drive Lady Susie Moss around the track in one of the Aston Martin DBR1s raced so successfully by Moss in his career. Among these successes was a victory in the 1959 Tourist Trophy at Goodwood, which helped secure the Sports Car World Championship for Aston Martin. This victory was also honored at this year’s Revival, complete with a faux-fire to recreate the pit fire that nearly ended Aston Martin’s charge.
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Although it is easy to get distracted by all the activities around, the racing remains the main attraction of the Goodwood Revival. This kicked off on Friday evening after a day of timed practice sessions. First up was the one-hour, two-driver Kinrara Trophy race for early 1960s GT cars. Run into the sunset with evocative machines like Ferrari 250 GTs, Jaguar E-Types and Aston Martin DB4 GTs, it was a feast for all the senses. The race was eventually won from pole position by Andrew Smith and Gary Pearson in the Ferrari 250 GTO.
Another popular race is the St. Mary’s Trophy for touring cars. This is run in two parts with celebrity drivers competing in a 25-minute race on Saturday and then the car’s owners in a second race on Sunday. The combined results then give an overall winner. Uncharacteristically for the St. Mary’s Trophy, the second race was actually more exciting, with Grant Williams in a Jaguar Mk1 and Mike Jordan in an Austin A40 eventually crossing the line virtually side by side. Despite finishing second, Jordan was crowned the overall winner thanks to the similar result with sports car ace Nic Minassian behind the wheel the previous day.
Many of the same celebrity drivers also competed in the RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration race on Sunday afternoon. Held for mid-1960s GTs, it once again did not disappoint. Former Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer placed the Cobra he shared with owner Christopher Wilson on pole position. The latter started the one-hour race and managed to keep the Cobra in contention. Following the pit stops, Lotterer emerged in third with the arduous task of chasing down Romain Dumas and Oliver Bryant in similar machinery. Underlining his quite exceptional skills, the young German managed to do so with great verve to take a well-deserved victory.
There were many more highlights during the three days of action, like the all-Bentley Brooklands Trophy, the thundering Whitsun Trophy for big banger sports cars and the Settrington Cup for children in Austin J40 pedal cars. Particularly for the parents, the latter is the most stressful race of the weekend.
As we have experienced in the past, the Goodwood Revival does not need a summer’s day to wow all the senses but this year’s superb weather did make the 22nd edition even more enjoyable. Even though we have tried our best to capture the atmosphere and all the races are now transmitted live on Youtube, the only way to really experience the magical step in time is to visit in person. We do have to warn you that once you visit once, it is hard not to come back every year.
Wouter Melissen created Ultimatecarpage.com while still in high school. Turning his passion into his day job, he has since continued to edit the online magazine, covering major events around the world. Additionally, he has provided articles for a wide variety of publications like Racecar Engineering and Automobile Magazine while also photographing races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans for teams and drivers.