Goodwood Revival 2006
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As Time Goes By..................

The natural tendency for us to look back at the not so recent past with rose-tinted spectacles seems to increase with each faltering step of the false god of with life so with motorsport. The Goodwood Revival meeting is testament to that principle and in a short space of time has become one of the must- do events in the enthusiast's SCP brings you John Elwin's reflections brilliantly illustrated by Simon Hildrew.....drink in the atmosphere.

John Brooks
November 2006

Time Lords

Time marches on (no pun intended, your Lordship!) and amazingly this was the ninth running of Lord March’s magnificent time-warp event. As ever there was a wonderful turn-out of mouth-watering machinery and famous faces. Sadly though, one or two who have made their mark on this event were missing.

The flagship events, the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration and the St Mary’s Trophy, continued to draw the big names. The RAC TT is a one-hour, two driver race for GT cars from the 1960-64 era that so epitomizes Goodwood. The entry is packed with AC Cobra’s, Aston Martin’s, E-Types, a variety of Ferrari models and the like. This year we got the car-wrecking antics over early in qualifying, when within minutes of each other Dario Franchitti and Adrian Newey caused non-period red flags by destroying an E-Type a-piece. Franchitti’s was a big shunt in Bernie Carl’s lightweight E, a car that has won the race twice before. For Newey it was a case of “here we go again” following hard on the heels of his GT40 shunt at Le Mans. There are those that suggest he is trying just a little too hard.

The race itself was a brilliant affair, especially as having endured a dull damp weekend up until that point, somebody rolled back the sunshine roof bang on time for the start, revealing blue skies and sunshine! After forty thrilling laps victory went to another lightweight E, driven by Juan Barazi and Michael Vergers, finishing some 40 seconds clear of the John Bendall/Darren Manning AC Cobra. Third place went to the Ferrari 330LMB driven by Peter Hardman and Nicolas Minassian. Vergers, Manning and Minassian are three ‘modern’ drivers who are proving equally adept at the wheel of old cars, whilst Hardman who has driven the 330LMB for ten years now is more than a match for any of them. Down in seventh place, and very much enjoying his Goodwood debut, was Jean-Marc Gounon - “he’s getting old, it’s time now for him to come here! quipped fellow Frenchman Patrick Tambay. Gounon co-drove Sam Hancock in the re-styled Ferrari 250GTO once raced by Graham Hill and now owned by Anthony Bamford of JCB fame (no plans to convert it to diesel power though!).

Wild Colonial Boy

As an aside, although we did not know it at the time, this was to be Peter Brock’s last race prior to his tragic fatal accident back in Australia just a few days later. He co- drove a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with David Cooke, although they were destined not to finish the race. Nevertheless, such was the impression he and his Aussie team left, having also brought a Holden all the way from Oz for the St Mary’s Trophy, that they were presented with a ‘Spirit of the Event’ Trophy, given in the name of the late Will Hoy.

The St Mary’s Trophy race is also a two-driver event, but run as two separate 12- lappers with an aggregate result. Always for saloon cars, this race features a different period in time each year, this year being for cars from 1950-59 (some of them might have been built a bit more recently but that’s another story!) and again the stars came out to play. Remarkably Derek Bell took his first-ever overall race win on his local circuit in 40 years’ of trying. Driving a Jaguar Mk1, he won the first leg on a damp Saturday afternoon, just beating Tony Jardine’s Austin A35 by three-tenths of a second. The battle was resumed on Sunday but with this race running in the dry the Jaguar, now driven by owner Grant Williams, defeated the A35 by 1.4-seconds, that too driven by owner Rae Davis. Incidentally, unlike some the Williams Jaguar is no ‘special’ created just for Goodwood; it has been in the family for many years, originally raced by Grant’s grandfather and then his father, before the lure of Goodwood drew it out of retirement in South Wales..

Stirling Silver

Couldn’t help noticing that seventh place overall went to car number seven, a Jaguar MkV11 owned by Rowan Atkinson and co-driven by Sir Stirling Moss, who celebrated his 77th birthday a few days later. Sir Stirling is indefatigable; aside from the Jaguar he also raced an Austin Healey Sebring Sprite ‘SMO 2’ to 11th place in the Fordwater Trophy race. He even found himself at the wheel of a Berkeley Sports – a car he helped launch at Goodwood in 1956 - during the Microcar Parade. Just prior to the weekend, we received news that Britain’s oldest competition licence holder, Tom Delaney, had passed away. Tom was due to race the 1928 Lea Francis he has driven almost from new in the Brooklands Trophy event. However speculation led us to wonder who now holds the ‘oldest’ accolade. Sir Stirling can’t be far off…

A feature of the weekend was a tribute to 1961 World Champion Phil Hill. A replica of the Ferrari 156 ‘Sharknose’ he drove that year was on static display but a parade of cars related to his career showed what a lucky man he has been! With the parade taking place each day, Phil shared driving duties with son Derek in a stunning, if a little over-restored 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B owned by Ralph Lauren. Elsewhere in the parade were examples of Jaguar C-Type, Maserati 250F, Ferrari 250TR, Ferrari 246 Dino, Aston Martin Project 215, Ford GT40 Prototype and Chaparral 2F.

Angels One Five!!!

Aircraft have always played a big part at Goodwood – the circuit grew out of a war- time fighter base – and as such we have been treated to some exceptional air displays each year featuring Ray Hanna and his Spitfire. Sadly Ray passed away soon after last years’ event and so rightly tribute was paid to his memory, his personal Spitfire took pride of place on the grid for the occasion. Modern-day ‘Health & Safety’ legislation, under which Britain seems to be grinding to a halt, found its way through the gates and dictated how that should be done though! Ray will not be forgotten however; if nothing else his fellow aviators will see to that.

More sadness was to follow. Raymond Baxter, himself a former Spitfire pilot, has traditionally commentated on the air display at Goodwood. He did so on Saturday but was not well enough to attend on Sunday. Just a few days later he too passed away.

The very nature of the event means that it is a celebration rather than a wake so rather than wallow in misery we remember the good times, the pleasure and entertainment such people brought to us. Indeed, the Revival Meeting is a celebration of all that was good about the good old days. Long may it continue!

John Elwin
October 2006