Summer has flown by since the Festival of Speed back in June and what better way to see the season out in style than by attending the Goodwood Revival. It was our first visit to the spectacle, and we were definitely not disappointed! A fabulous three day event set back in time during the circuit's original period between 1948 and 1966, where racing is at the heart of the action. The racetrack and paddocks are inundated with exquisite classic cars and vintage glamour to celebrate the historic racing, and this year's Revival was no different.
On Friday, the Motor Circuit primarily consists of practice sessions for all of the cars and drivers to prepare for a weekend of retro racing. However, the Revival has a twist and the first race now takes place at 18.45 in the evening. The Pre-1963 GT Kinrara Trophy where cars race for 60 minutes into the dusk, which makes for some great track side spectating.
Whilst browsing the exclusive paddocks in the afternoon, we take a good look at the cars due to compete in the one and only race of the day, featuring Ferrari 250 GTO's, Aston Martin DB4 GT's and Jaguar E Types, just to name a few. Each and every car is tucked away beautifully into its allotted pit garage and prepared meticulously by mechanics who are completing final checks.
Around half an hour before the race we can hear the engines start up as the cars move steadily into the assembly area. They are lead onto the track by gorgeous grid girls who are dressed in brightly coloured, sixties mini dresses and knee high, platform boots. Anticipation has been building for the race all day and the drivers are now concentrating on one thing, man handling these gentlemen racers around the infamous 2.37 mile Goodwood Circuit.
Moments before the green flag drops the revs rise dramatically and the roar as they launch from the start line is immense. The smell of burnt rubber from a DB4 GT’s wheel spin lingers in the air. The race has begun! Not long into the action and it was already heating up with some bold manoeuvres taking place. Some were not quite as successful as others and one even forced the safety car to be deployed for a number of laps.
With the race involving one driver change, it really was a battle into the night. Equipped with only a few halogens each side, it was going to take some real composure to bring it home in front.
As a spectator, it is exhilarating to watch these now highly valuable cars race around the high speed track so close to the limit. It paints a clear picture of where their racing heritage has come from and how much it has now changed.
After an intense hour, the checkered flag waves for the stunning number 15, silver Ferrari 250 GT SWB, driven outstandingly by Joe Macari and Tom Kristensen. It was actually the car's debut race since it's recent restoration having previously won the Tour de France Automobile in 1962, but it had remained untouched as a collectible ever since. It was excellent to see the car become victorious again, some 54 years on! Macari and Kristensen become surrounded by their team and press, all eager to congratulate them and to begin the night’s celebrations.
After the excitement of the race dies down, the crowds slowly dwindle and make their way home strolling through the 'Over the Road' vintage stalls and entertainment on offer until late.
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