The Goodwood Revival 2016 was held during the weekend of September 9-11 at the 7-turn, 2.4-mile Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex, England.
The Goodwood Revival this year could be summed up quite simply; started fine, ended fine – was sodden in the middle! Definitely weather that warranted the use of one of our Moltex Outdoor Car Covers!
But despite the incessant rain on the Saturday and the gentle aroma of wet tweed everywhere the racing pressed on and the party atmosphere was as strong as ever. The array of machinery on display and out on track was magnificent with everything from pre-’66 front engined Formula Juniors to the titans of historic motorsport in the two driver, one hour RAC TT Celebration race which came to a climax basked in the sunshine of Sunday afternoon.
While the track action and festival atmosphere recalled the sounds, smells, clothes and tastes of the 1940s to ’60s, the events theme this year was was ‘Life in 1966’, the year Goodwood Motor Circuit first closed its doors to racing after the then owners refused to bow to pressure form the RAC to modernise the track to be safe with the faster modern machinery.
The theme included celebrations of Formula One’s 1966 ‘Return to Power’, Sir Jack Brabham’s third Formula One world title and career, and more broadly the English football team’s 1966 World Cup victory complete with a huge collection of period police cars!
As dusk fell on the first day of the Revival, a brand new and hugely exciting race began — the Kinrara Trophy. This two-driver race captivated fans for its full 1 hour duration, into the night allowing fans to drool and marvel at the glowing brake discs of cars as they anchored up into the chicane. As the Rolex clock tower completed its countdown it was Joe Macari and Rolex Testimonee, Tom Kristensen, who took the chequered flag.
Saturday’s wet conditions challenged drivers and riders, creating a wet and greasy track, with sensational sideways racing as the classic cars skimmed through the standing water. One such incident on the Saturday saw motorcycling ace Troy Corser skidding along the road when his BMW hit standing water over an inch deep and spat him off unceremoniously.
Sunday’s 1-hour RAC TT race proved to be the headline act as in previous years. E-Types and Cobras were quickest and most spectacular back then, and this was also how it played out in 2016: a 1963 E-Type driven by Chris Ward and saloon ace Gordon Shedden won the TT from two closely following Cobras — but only after a desperate attempt for the lead led to a spectacular crash for another Cobra driven by Giedo van der Garde.
The much-loved St Mary’s Trophy for touring cars was this year restricted to a 30 strong field of Austin A35s. All mechanically identical, they arrived with cylinder heads removed for scrutineering and duly delivered the ultra-close racing promised, a notable magic moment being the wide grins on David Coulthards face as he got to grips with the 1950s saloon and a spectacular roll during the final race on Sunday.
On the final day, clear skies allowed the 150,000-strong crowd of young and old spectators, united by their love of the automobile, to soak up both the sunshine and the unique atmosphere of this romantic time capsule in the English countryside.