Between September 1948 and July 1966, the Goodwood Motor Circuit was the host of numerous national and international contemporary races. Charles Lord March, re-opened the track in September 1998 for the annual Goodwood Revival Meeting. That means that as of this year, it has been in service longer as a historic venue than a contemporary one. During the 19th annual Revival new history was made but its rich heritage was also celebrated. A common denominator between the major celebrations was 1966. Not only did the track close that year but it was also the year that the late Sir Jack Brabham became the first and only driver to win the Formula 1 World Championship in a car of his own making, the year that F1 returned to power with three-litre engines and the year that England won the World Cup. As always, the racing took centre stage and the competitors were treated to particularly challenging conditions on a very wet Saturday.
Our photographers took a wander down memory lane and properly suited up captured all the highlights. These can be found in this all encompassing 340-shot gallery
from the event, supplement by a 40-shot gallery
from the Bonhams auction.
Bonhams Revival Sale
A set fixture at the Goodwood events is an auction staged by founding sponsor Bonhams. Held on Saturday, it was the third car sale organised by Bonhams in Europe in a week's time. The auction was headlined by a superbly preserved Porsche 550 Spyder. One of the very last ones built, it was never raced in period, which explains why it remains in such unmolested condition. Selling for just under GBP 4.6 million, it duly became the most expensive 550 Spyder ever sold at auction. The lovely Porsche was followed at respectable distance by a contemporary Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica, which found a new owner for GBP 610,000. Also doing well was an Aston Martin DB6 Vantage at GBP 455,100, which was above its pre-sale estimate. At the end of the day, just over 70% of the lots changed hands with a combined turn-over of GBP 14.5 million. We understand that after the sale several additional lots were sold, including the Ferrari 275 GTB, for an undisclosed amount.
For most people in England, the summer of 1966 will be best remembered for the World Cup victory after Geoff Hurst scored a hattrick in the final at Wembley against West Germany. The 50th anniversary of England's only World Cup victory was celebrated daily with a special parade on the track. In front of the driver's lounge, a special football pitch was also created were suitably attired players re-enacted the historic victory.
Racing enthusiasts will also remember the year 1966 fondly as it represented Formula 1's Return to Power
after the minimum displacement limit was doubled to 3,000cc. It was a welcome change as in 1965, the 1.5-litre machines were often upstaged by the mighty V8-engined sports cars like the Lola T70. The return to power was marked by bringing out several of these early 3-litre single seaters, including no fewer than three Lotus 49s.
The Formula 1 team best prepared for the rule changes was Brabham, who opted to run a relatively rudimentary Oldsmobile-based and Repco-prepared V8 engine. It was nowhere near as exotic as the twelve and sixteen cylinder engines fielded by their rivals but also nowhere near as fragile. Using a Repco-engined Brabham, the late Sir Jack Brabham added the third driver's title to his tally, making him the only driver to ever to do so in a car bearing his own name. The 50th anniversary of this unique achievement was a great opportunity to celebrate the career of this versatile driver, who also holds the distinction of winning the first World Championship with a mid-engined F1 car. Naturally the line-up of cars gathered for the celebration featured a plethora of Coopers and Brabhams but also Aston Martins, a Maserati, a Ferrari, a Jaguar and the Matra he used to score one of his very last wins as a driver; the 1000km sports car race at Montlhery in 1970. Joining the tribute were Brabhams sons David and Geoff and grandson Matthew, who were/are all successful racers in their own right.
While the time-warp look and feel of the circuit and visitors, and the parades are all very interesting, the main course on the menu is certainly formed by the racing. This started on Friday evening after a day of practice with the new Kinrara Trophy for GT racers of the early 1960s like Ferrari 250 GT SWBs and Aston Martin DB4 GTs. These were previously also eligible for the blue ribband RAC Tourist Trophy race but could no longer compete at the sharp end of the field against the often very hot Cobras and E-Types. The two-driver race, in theory, ran into the sunset but clouds drifted in just as the race started. Starting from pole was Joe Macari in the Ferrari 250 GT SWB he shared with Tom Kristensen. As expected, Macari could not hold on to first but he remained in striking distance of erstwhile leaders Adrian Wilmott in an Aston and James Cottingham in an early E-Type. Following a brief safety car period, Kristensen took the wheel of the silver Ferrari and showed just why he won Le Mans a record nine times. With brake discs glowing, he charged through the field to claim a popular victory.
Overnight the clouds thickened and at exactly 10am, when Saturday's first race started, the heavens opened. This offered the drivers one further challenge on a track that was already very slippery from the various deposits. The participants of the Whitsun Trophy for big block sports cars were faced with a particularly daunting task. They did remarkably well in a race won by former WTCC champion Rob Huff in an Oldsmobile powered Lotus 19. TV host and former racer Tiff Needell finished third with a Lotus 30 in what he later described as one of the best races of his career. Second was for Mike Whitaker, who acquitted himself remarkably well in his first race with the ex-Team Surtees Lola T70. In other stellar performances, this year's Revival saw Julian Bronson finally win the Richmond Trophy in his Scarab despite losing his nosecone and also saw Nick Fennell charge through to a first Glover Trophy win with his Lotus 25. This was the sixth win in a row for Classic Team Lotus; the previous five editions had been won by Andy Middlehurst in a similar Type 25, which was now sidelined with engine issues.
As mentioned above the blue ribband event of the Goodwood Revival remains the one-hour, two-driver RAC TT Celebration. Dominated by (semi-)Lightweight E-Types and Cobras, the hugely valuable grid also boasted the likes of a Ferrari 250 LM, Ferrari 250 GTO, a works Bizzarrrini and one of just three Lister-prepared Sunbeam Tigers. Testing the ability of the drivers was the qualifying session on Saturday, which was run in a near monsoon. Such were the conditions that the times were combined with Friday's free practice, which was re-titled 'Qualifying 1'. The outcome was the same though as both sessions were topped by 2015 winners Gordon Shedden and Chris Ward in the JD Classics Jaguar E-Type. Under clear blue skies, Ward grabbed an early lead on Sunday afternoon ahead of the Cobra of David Hart and Giedo van de Garde. He managed to extend the lead but saw all his work come to naught due to a safety car. As a result, the closing stages of the race featured a tight fight between Shedden and Van de Garde. A small mistake by the former saw the Cobra clinch the lead. Not much later a small tap from Shedden while lapping a back-marker saw the Dutchman spin off the track, clearing the path for a repeat victory for Ward and Shedden. The Cobras of Frank Stippler and Michael Squire, and Oliver Bryant and Andrew Smith placed second and third and respectively. Understandably feeling robbed of a certain victory, Hart and Van de Garde had to settle for fourth.
Once again, the sell-out Goodwood Revival lived up to the expectations and the spirits of the spectators and competitors were hardly dampened by the changeable weather conditions. Having endured a day of British weather, we were all treated to fabulous blue skies on Sunday. All the action, and much, much more can be found in our class-by-class 340-shot gallery