Highlights from the 2015 Goodwood Revival
A capacity crowd of nearly 150,000 over the event’s three days visited this year’s Goodwood Revival. The 18th annual edition of the largest historic motorsport event in the world featured all the familiar ingredients, complemented by celebrations of the Shelby Cobra Daytona and Bruce McLaren as well as a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain during which Goodwood’s airfield saw active duty.
Bonhams The Revival Sale
Bonhams’ annual The Revival Sale was headlined this year by the consignment of three Scarabs and the team’s original truck. Of these, one Formula One car had an undisputed provenance and sold for close to GBP 675,000 ($1.05M), while the beautifully restored Fiat Bartoletti truck also did very well to sell for just shy of GBP 660,000 ($1.02M). Another significant contribution made to the auction was by future Top Gear host Chris Evans, offering nearly a dozen cars from his collection. Especially the higher valued models struggled to meet the reserve set, and eventually the top seller of this collection was the Ferrari 250 GTE-based SWB replica at GBP 606,300 ($940K). Far exceeding the GBP 600,000 ($930K) top estimate was the Bentley S3 Continental offered by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. He famously used the car for a wild trip to Marrakech in Morocco, and it eventually changed hands for GBP 763,100 ($1.18M). Topping the entire GBP 12.7 million-sale ($19.7M) was an Aston Martin DB5 Convertible, which just broke the GBP 1 million ($1.55M) barrier. Also on display in the Bonhams marquee was the Ferrari 330 P, formally in the Maranello Rosso Collection and now offered as a private treaty. All the stars of the Revival Sale can be found in this 50-shot gallery.
Freddie March Trophy
Friday, the first day of the Goodwood Revival, is traditionally reserved for the “official practice” sessions and the first race, which runs into the dusk. Reliving the 9-hour races of the early 1950s, the 90-minute, two-driver Freddie March Trophy was open to sports cars through to 1955. Usually outlasting the faster Jaguar C-Types, Aston Martins were unusually successful in the 9-hour event and one of the original winners was entered. Uncharacteristically, it had to be withdrawn from the race due to mechanical issues.
The very quick Chris Ward qualified Derek Hood’s Cooper T33 Jaguar on pole, closely followed by similarly engined machines. Hood started the race and was quickly passed by several, quicker drivers and the early leader was Will Nuthall in the Wood family’s Jaguar-engined RGS Atalanta, while the HWM Jaguar of Michael Milligan and Jarrah Venables, and the toolroom-copy Cunnigham C-4R shared by Ben Shuckburgh and Ludovic Lindsay also featured strongly in the opening stages. However, once Ward took the helm of the very unusually styled Cooper, there was no stopping him and he quickly regained the lead. Late in the race, and in treacherous conditions, he managed to lap the entire field before clinching the first win of the weekend ahead of the RGS Atalanta and Phil Keen and Katarina Kyvalova in another Cooper Jaguar.
St. Mary’s Trophy
A set fixture at the Revival is the two-race St Mary’s Trophy for Touring Cars. The first of the two 25-minute races is traditionally disputed by professionals and celebrities, while in the second the owners take to the wheel. The final result is then determined on aggregate. Among the pre-race favorites was undoubtedly the Lotus Cortina owned by touring car ace Matt Neal and shared with BTCC rival Gordon Shedden. In the paddock their nimble machine was absolutely dwarfed by the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt shared by Tom Kristensen and Henry Mann. “Mr. Le Mans” had to start from the back due to issues in practice but once the Union flag dropped, the amicable Dane got his foot down in spectacular fashion. He hustled the 550-horsepower beast around the high-speed circuit with great verve. He caught up with the leaders with more than a lap to spare and despite the combined talents of Frank Stippler, Andrew Jordan and Shedden, Kristensen muscled through to grab a storybook victory.
Mann did get to start on the front row, and while clearly not quite as gifted as the nine-time Le Mans winner, had no problems gunning for a second win in the thinly disguised NASCAR. Neal finished second ahead of Mike Jordan both in the race and on aggregate.
Cobra Daytona Celebration
Fifty years ago, this year, the AC Shelby Cobra Daytona, and by association, Ford, became first American winner of the prestigious World Championship of Makes. It was all part of a comprehensive effort to end Ferrari’s stronghold on sports car racing, that had started with the original Shelby Cobra, and had already featured a Le Mans class win with Cobra Daytona in 1964 and would ultimately result in four consecutive outright wins at in the French 24-hour event with various incarnations of the GT40. Not only due to its racing successes but also because of its rarity, the fixed-head Cobra Daytona is today the most sought after of all Cobra versions. Only six were built and all six were united at this year’s Revival, lined up side-by-side in a replica of the 1965 Sebring pit buildings. Also on hand was designer Peter Brock and it was the first time he had seen all six together, so it would be fair to say, this was very much a unique gathering. Not only were the Cobra Daytonas lined up together, they were also demonstrated each day, with three 15-minute sessions.
Bruce McLaren Celebration
Certainly bittersweet was the celebration of all the accomplishments of the hugely talented and versatile Bruce McLaren, as his life was cut short, aged just 32, while testing the new-for-1970 McLaren M8D Can-Am racer. Often called motor racing’s “Mr. Nice Guy,” McLaren had achieved more in those short years than most would who would live into old age. Under the wings of Jack Brabham, he became what was, at the time, the youngest ever Grand Prix winner in 1958, driving a Cooper. Like Brabham, McLaren would ultimately give up his role as Cooper works driver to build and race cars of his own design and construction. He used these to score Grand Prix victories, and also dominated Can-Am along with fellow ‘Kiwi’ Denny Hulme. In what was referred to as the Bruce and Denny Show, McLaren won Can-Am twice. Co-driving with another compatriot, Chris Amon, he also scored Ford’s first ever Le Mans win.
To celebrate Bruce McLaren’s fabulous if brief career, not only many of the cars he raced (and built) but also many of his rivals, co-workers and family were gathered. Among them was daughter Amanda, who drove her father’s M6 GT road car, which still forms the inspiration of the all-new range of McLaren production cars that are now built by the thousands in nearby Woking.
RAC TT Celebration
Undoubtedly the blue ribbon event of the weekend is the 60-minute, two-driver RAC TT Celebration race held on Sunday afternoon. Eligible for the Tourist Trophy are early 1960s, fixed head GT racers, with the odd exception. So seriously is the event taken that many of the teams that feature at the sharp end of the field are found testing at Goodwood in the weeks leading up to the event. Sheer talent, however, does prevail as proven by the ever-spectacular Frank Stippler, who managed to grab pole in Richard Squire’s Shelby Cobra, even though he had never driven a Cobra before. The car was started by Squire’s son Michael, and the lead was grabbed by the Cobra piloted by Oliver Bryant. He was, however, soon after passed rather bravely around the outside by the very quick Jaguar E-Type shared by Chris Ward and Gordon Shedden.
Both Bryant and Ward pitted as soon as the window opened, so did not suffer from the often congested pitlane and Shedden and Andrew Smith emerged with a safe cushion. Behind them, Stippler embarked on a spectacular comeback to claim the final podium position behind the victorious E-Type of Ward and Shedden. So well prepared are these machines that a Ferrari 250 LM, driven by Emanuele Pirro and Derek Bell (ten Le Mans wins between them), could not get within five seconds of the fastest lap set by Ward.
Entertainment and goosebumps
Without equal, the Goodwood Revival provides more pure entertainment and goosebumps than any other historic racing meeting. Particular poignant this year were the Battle of Britain commemorations and also the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the lap record set jointly by Jackie Stewart in a BRM and Jim Clark in a Lotus. The occasion was marked by Stewart strapping back into the very BRM P261 he used back in 1965 for a few laps, joined by longtime Jim Clark fan Dario Franchitti in a Lotus 25. The Goodwood Revival certainly offers a hugely successful package as the event was completely sold out with almost two months to go, so if you are considering going in 2016 make sure to get your tickets early. Our 380-shot gallery serves as a further reminder why the Revival is a must visit event.