Golden Goodwood celebrates Revival’s silver anniversary

Thursday 07 September 2023

The historic motorsport calendar reaches its absolute zenith this weekend (8-10 September) with the milestone 25th staging of the extraordinary Goodwood Revival – the most celebrated retro racing festival on Earth. Set in the rolling Sussex countryside, the Revival recreates all the golden eras of the evocative Goodwood Motor Circuit from between 1948 and 1966.

Every year legendary drivers (and riders) from the past relive their own halcyon days, lining up alongside a wealth of today’s stars as well as fervent enthusiasts keen to emulate their own heroes of yesterday.

However much Goodwood Revival is a celebration of the past, this year many entrants are also embracing forward-thinking technology.

Taking place on Saturday, this year’s running of the Fordwater Trophy is reserved exclusively for a field of 30 pre-1966 Porsche 911s running on wholly sustainably sourced fuels. Although a growing number of historic racers are switching to ‘drop in’ synthetic fuels ¬in their determination to continue celebrating to iconic cars from bygone epochs, this will be the first time that an entire grid of historic racers has lined up without a drop of fossil fuels in them.

In total, the packed programme is filled with no fewer than 17 standout showdowns. Kicking off the weekend on Friday evening, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy recalls the glorious days of the Goodwood Nine Hours with a spectacular, two-driver sportscar race at sunset.

Saturday’s highlights include the Goodwood Trophy for pre-war front-engined Grand Prix cars, the Lavant Cup (a race solely for priceless Ferrari GTs of 1960-66) and the first part of the crowd-pleasing St. Mary’s Trophy for 1950s’ saloon cars.

Adding to the sporting drama, spectators step back in time, dressing up in fifties-style clothes to marvel at the sights and sounds of the most significant racing cars (and motorcycles) which first competed at the picturesque downland venue in period.

Among those rolling back the years this weekend are 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, nine-time Grand Prix winner Mark Webber plus a host of fellow ex-F1 drivers including Mark Blundell, Max Chilton, Karun Chandhok and Pedro de la Rosa. Moreover, Sir Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and Damon Hill will also be seen on track over the star-studded weekend.

These luminaries will be joined at Goodwood by a long list of Le Mans winners – Tom Kristensen, Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell, Richard Attwood, David Brabham, Guy Smith, Emanuele Pirro, Jochen Mass, Dindo Capello and Roman Dumas to name but ten!

Renowned tin-top aces from both sides of the Atlantic will also be out in force, too. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson returns after thoroughly enjoying his debut 12 months ago – he will be renewing rivalries with BTCC top guns Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden, Colin Turkington, Andy Priaulx, Darren Turner and current champion Tom Ingram.

Sunday’s roster is every bit as rousing with the Sussex Trophy for World Championship sportscars from 1955-1960, Glover Trophy for 1.5-litre F1 cars from 1961 to 1965 and blue-riband RAC TT Celebration showcasing a feast of hard-charging AC Cobras and lightweight Jaguar E-types all doing battle for top honours in an epic hour-long race with owners sharing hot seats with VIP stars.

As ever the track timetable will also boast a number of special celebratory track parades – this year’s roster is paying tribute to Sir Jackie Stewart and Carroll Shelby as well as the 75th anniversary of Lotus.

With so much undiluted motor sport heritage to savour, unsurprisingly tickets for the Revival once again have completely sold-out well in advance – a live stream of the action, however, is available for those unable to attend.