Keeping its core intact
2013 Circuit Revival Meeting report
- Mattijs Diepraam (words & pictures)
- September 18, 2013
- Goodwood - A delightful antidote, 2001 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam/Frank van de Velde
- Goodwood - Continental Grand Prix team in search for British excellence, a spoof period report on the 2003 Revival Meeting, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - Photographic impressions of the 2003 Revival Meeting, Friday's gallery, by Frank van de Velde/Mattijs Diepraam/Jeroen Bruintjes
- Goodwood - Photographic impressions of the 2003 Revival Meeting, Saturday's gallery, by Frank van de Velde/Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - Photographic impressions of the 2003 Revival Meeting, Sunday's gallery, by Frank van de Velde/Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - Indian summer for historic motor cars, 2005 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - Thrills and spins in Revival spectacle, 2007 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - Happy Anniversary, 2008 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam/Maarten Hoeben
- Goodwood - Revival of the fastest, 2009 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - Row, row, row your boat, 2011 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - The roots deliver the goods, 2012 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - Being part of it, 2014 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Goodwood - The cars are the stars, with stars in the cars, 2015 Circuit Revival Meeting report, by Mattijs Diepraam
Rory Henderson/Darren Turner, Ross Warburton/Andy Wallace
AC Cobra, Jaguar E-type lowdrag coupé
2013 Goodwood Revival (September 15, 2012)
On several moments during the weekend, the 2013 Goodwood Revival somehow felt bereft of soul – and the weather played a big part in that. Although the sun made a brief appearance on Saturday and Sunday morning, it was soon shoved out of sight by thick clouds, a chilly wind and the occasional outburst of torrential rain. Not since the 1999 edition had the Revival been plagued by this amount of meteorological ill fortune. People went hiding everywhere – or simply left. On Friday, the night race was watched by a handful of die-hards, while on Saturday, the grounds felt quieter than usual, as many one-day visitors for this family day out probably decided to stay put. And on Sunday, when the angry weather gods took charge once more, many visitors simply gave up and left early. Some who hung on – or at least tried to prolongue their stay – put on modern, wind-proof overcoats over their period dress.
And let's be honest, it wasn’t particularly fun getting blasted by a rough sea breeze on the spectator bankings at Madgwick or swamped by a storm front cresting the South Downs to reach Lavant. Having rain water stream down your back and into your shoes isn’t what people imagine as a part of the Revival experience. Those spending the nights on one of the campsites suffered a terrible time. Leaking tents, mud everywhere, BBQ plans that literally fell into the water. Not a lot of happy campers in sight during these days. Many left as early as they could on Sunday, some even skipped the final day.
Aston Martin DB4GT splashing down the main straight during the rain-hit RAC TT Celebration race. (photo 8W)
Having said all that, the Revival was soulless only to those neglecting to look beneath the (watery) surface. All campers eventually survived their ordeal, the rest of the visitors had ample space to find temporary shelter. It was just bad weather – what can you do? Go with the flow is usually good advice, even if that flow happens to be wet. So anyone paying attention could still warm himself with lots of glowing faces all round. Engines still sound the same when it rains, and cars are even better to watch.
Raindrops on the Ferrari 250 Drogo co-owned by David Hart and Hans Hugenholtz. (photo 8W)
That was certainly the case during the opening race of the weekend, the 90-minute Friday night bonanza called the Freddie March Memorial Trophy. The rain-shortened slidefest provided plenty of lovely images, even though the racing was cut short by half an hour after the Ure/Wigley Cooper-Bristol Mk2 went off at Woodcote. That car was an early leader after a storming start by John Ure, who kept John Young and the rest of the C-types at bay for a brave amount of time. The battle between Ure and Young was entertaining to watch until it was cut short by a safety-car situation after some 20 minutes, provoking many early driver changes. The Ziegler/Hancock duo certainly profited in their C-type, vaulting their car right to the front, where Hancock commenced an enthralling intra-C-type battle with Alex Buncombe, who had relieved John Young. Meanwhile, Silverstone Classic organiser Nick Wigley had taken over from Ure in the scruffy Cooper but he would be falling back from the two warring youngsters who also do battle in modern racing. Soon the war was over, however, as Buncombe stretched his legs in a fashion similar to his Le Mans Legend-winning ways. Just as at Le Mans, he proved simply unstoppable in the ever-increasing rain, eventually eeking out a huge lead over Hancock before the chequered flag was waved at two-thirds distance.
John Ure in the Cooper-Bristol Mk2 still leads John Young's Jaguar C-type in the opening stages of the Freddie March Memorial Trophy. (photo 8W)
Rain fell unabatedly into the night, turning everything apart from the roads and the track into one giant mud pool. Our own BBQ at RDR was swiftly turned around into a curry spectacular, with every guest snuggling up under an awning that proved too small to give everyone the seating space they wished for themselves. Getting back to our campervans and tents was even more eventful.
Saturday started with blue skies and sunshine, which provided a welcome opportunity for the period suits and overalls to hang out to dry. That’s why the Goodwood Trophy race was held in probably the best conditions of the entire weekend, as the bleak sun tried to hold on before dark clouds and a cold wind would again take over for the remainder of the day. As expected, the race once more turned into something of an ERA benefit, with David Morris and Paddins Dowling duelling for the lead once Mark Gillies’ example had fallen by the wayside. However, it was refreshing to finally see a Maserati drive a competitive race, Calum Lockie taking his 6CM to third. He said beforehand he would do some ‘ERA bashing’, and while he didn’t succeed in beating all of them he certainly managed to keep a fair few at bay. Award for most entertaining drive of the race went to faithful Frazer Nash exponent Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, who as usual drove his heart out in spectacular style. In Burkhard List’s quaint Frazer Nash Monoposto, PBE was sideways more often than not, very much to the joy of everyone watching at Madgwick or Lavant.
Patrick Blakeney-Edwards was his usual spectacular self in the Frazer Nash Monoposto. (photo 8W)
It was colder already when the Madgwick Cup for small sportscars of the fifties got underway. It would see the first of several backmarker dramas exerting a heavy influence on the outcome of the race. Here, Adrian van der Kroft was wiped out from the lead having been baulked by Tony Bailey’s OSCA around St. Mary’s. The Dutchman was forced to abruptly change course to lap the Italian car around the outside but this caused such a bout of oversteer that Van der Kroft hit the Olav Glasius-owned Lotus-MG MkVIII driven by Simon Diffey, which he had just lapped on the inside. As a result, VDK’s Cooper T22 was put into a spin and out of the race. Poleman Tony Wood, who had lost out to Van der Kroft at the start but pulled back to challenge the Dutchman, profited and ran out the race to a comfortable win. In the early stages, Gareth Burnett was briefly involved in the action up-front, but in the end finished a distant second.
The professional drivers’ part of the St. Mary’s Trophy for sixties touring cars proved to be a real show-stopper. Poleman Oliver Gavin (in Nick Swift’s Mini) baulked at the start, allowing Jackie Oliver in one of BMW’s fleet of 1800 TiSAs to take the lead. Soon though, he was swamped by Jochen Mass in Bill Shepherd’s thundering Galaxie. All eyes, meanwhile, were on Frank Stippler in Alex Furiani’s quick and nimble Alfa GTA. Having started a lowly 15th, the German hurried up the order and then passed Oliver and Tom Kristensen (in Michael Steele’s Galaxie) to take second place. ‘Stippy’ then chased after Mass, indeed overtaking him for the lead. Tom Kristensen in the red Galaxie was having the last laugh, though. Having saved his tyres in the early stages, the Danish multiple Le Mans winner now stormed past both Stippler and Mass, to leave Mass well behind, only needing to fend off Stippler for the win. This he duly did. Lavant brought huge drama for both RDR cars. First, Rob Huff lost a wheel on board of Des Smail’s Mini, then Nicolas Minassian got tangled up with Derek Bell’s Lotus Cortina and two other cars to become a non-appearance for race two, Nic’s Gordini suffering damage beyond swift repair. The Bell/Allenby-Byrne car would also be a no-show for the second race.
Frank Stippler's Alfa GTA challenging Tom Kristensen's Galaxie for the lead as Nic Minassian's Renault 8 Gordini and Derek Bell's Lotus Cortina bounce off each other at Lavant, rendering both cars non-starters in the second St. Mary's Trophy race. (photo 8W)
Philip Walker continued the theme of polemen fluffing the start, as he faltered from the line in the all-GT40 Whitsun Trophy. Further back, Joaquin Folch wasn’t having the happiest of opening laps either, travelling off-track three times in a row. It was Steve Soper who initially took the lead, but David Hart quickly took over. For several laps, Hart defended valiantly against the attentions of Emanuele Pirro, who then managed to create a 15-second gap once he got past the Dutchman. The Pirro/Lynn combination was looking good. However, Adrian Newey was by now running a very competitive third, and still had Kenny Bräck waiting in the wings. Indeed, Newey came in early to give Bräck ample seat time, and down from the leaderboard the Swede started setting some very competitive laptimes. His speed had been such that he held a sizeable lead once Pirro had handed over his Gulf-liveried car to Shaun Lynn, who was kept on his toes by Rob Huff, who was a lap down but harried Lynn all the way. This kept the Pirro/Lynn car in second place, leading home Martin Stretton who charged to the front in Diogo Ferrão’s car. The Hart/Hugenholtz GT40 fell back to sixth.
The Richmond Trophy race – this time separated from its Gordon Trophy twin – saw Gary Pearson take the 12th win of his outstanding Revival career. Driving the BRM P25 in which he was a previous winner, Pearson was handed the lead after Julian Bronson was thrown off the track at St. Mary’s, a communication error between himself and the about-to-be-lapped Wolfgang Friedrichs resulting in a Scarab-Offenhauser getting airborne in the scariest of ways. Approaching St. Mary’s and protecting a very small lead to Pearson, Bronson made the snap decision to pass the German on the outside, just as Friedrichs was making room on the inside. The wheels of his Aston Martin DBR4 interconnected with Bronson’s, sending the Scarab into a sideways flight to misery. How on earth the car did not end up in a multiple barrel-roll down the grass is still a mystery. This did happen to Andrew Ruhan’s Mini in the second St. Mary’s Trophy race, on a exactly the same spot, after having been hit into a spin by Ben Shuckburgh’s Alfa Giulia – but a Mini, fortunately, has a roof…
The Ford GT40 was celebrated in a one-make Whitsun Trophy race as well as by this specially created Le Mans paddock on the same spot where last year the Silver Arrows' Bremgarten paddock proudly stood. (photo 8W)
The day closed with a Chichester Cup race for rear-engined F Junior cars that saw an entertaining lead battle between Chris Drake’s Elva 300 and Andrew Wilkinson’s Lynx Mk3. On a circuit that was now very chilly, and in front of virtually empty grandstands, Wilkinson gave poleman Drake a hard time, as the lead sometimes changed hands several times per lap, before Drake finally asserted himself as the dominant driver in the fastest car.
A dry Saturday evening was followed by more sunshine on Sunday morning, but it wasn’t to stay. Still, the day’s opener, the Fordwater Trophy for production GT cars of the late fifties, provided quite the amount of spectacle, as the nicely patinated Healey 100/6 of poleman David Smithies had quite some work to do to gain back the advantage he so consummately lost during the opening laps. Another polesitter to ruin his first lap, Smithies suffered from two off-track excursions, effectively cutting out all the work for himself. Jochen Mass in one of the glorious Mercedes 300SL ‘Gullwings’ looked secure in the lead, but nothing was to stop Smithies from taking the win he seemed to have already lost. Lots of dramatic cornering was provided by Max Girardo in one of two Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France cars in the race. Especially through Madgwick he was a joy to watch.
The Gordon Trophy race was slightly less exciting, as Max Griffiths had it in the bag almost from the start. In the Cooper battle that followed Griffiths home, Jonathon Hughes, Rod Jolley and Will Nuttall provided lots of entertainment, though, with especially Hughes having an eventful race. After having gone off, the Cooper T53 driver charged back up to second place but then got stuck in gear, allowing old hand Rod Jolley to take back the place.
Chris Lunn sits in his Cooper T45 awaiting practice for the Gordon Trophy, as Neil Twyman's Cooper T45/51 (raced by Sam Wilson) and John Chisholm's Lotus 18 are pushed towards the collection area. (photo 8W)
After Rob Huff’s drama on Saturday, the second installment of the St. Mary’s Trophy brought more wheel-losing stuff. Now, Jörg Weidinger’s BMW and Guy Harman’s Abarth were forced to three-wheel off the track. With Frank Stippler having taken a competitive second place and Alex Furiani being quite handy with the GTA as well, the race was effectively a question of which Galaxie would be able to create the gap necessary to take the aggregate win. Fortunately for Furiani, the red Galaxie that had won in the hands of Kristensen was the least competitive of the two, so the Alfa driver simply had to manage the gap to Bill Shepherd in the car in which Mass had finished third on Saturday. This he managed with relative ease, so with two second places the overall win went to Stippler/Furiani.
Until that moment, the final day of the 2013 Revival had simply been cold, but all hell would break loose right in the middle of the headlining RAC TT Celebration race. David Hart took an early lead in the Dutch AC Cobra when the Bryant/Bryant Cobra was yet another polesitter neglecting to take advantage of their starting position. Their positions would be reserved at the end, though, as Tom Coronel snapped at the heels of the red and gold machine, having lost out big-time during the safety-car period that followed just moments after Hart had switched to Coronel. The Cobra battle was for the final spot on the podium, however, as Anthony Reid had charged to the front in the Lister-Jaguar started by Chris Harris, who had gained experience in the car on his debut at the Le Mans Legend. Far more spectacular, though, was Simon Hadfield who in Wolfgang Friedrichs’ Aston Martin Project 212 drove like a true rain master in a car that started 16th on the grid. When Reid went off twice during the closing stages, Hadfield was there to pounce. It was probably the most unlikely win of the weekend, but a well-deserved one.
Lotus 56 turbine Indycar was a striking if rather silent addition to the Jim Clark tribute. (photo 8W)
Rain continued unabatedly during the Glover Trophy race, so the potentially fastest race of the weekend proceeded at a slightly calmer pace. The outcome was the same as in the two previous years, though, Andy Middlehurst repeating his wet 2011 win and dry 2012 victory to make it a hattrick in the ex-Jim Clark Lotus 25 run by Classic Team Lotus – which had its hands full, since 2013 marked the 50th birthday of Jim Clark's first World Championship.
It’s now 45 years since we lost the Scot at Hockenheim, and many of his cars came out to perform a fitting tribute to perhaps the greatest natural driving talent the world has ever seen. Arguably the most spectacular addition to the field was the Lotus 56 turbine Indycar that Clark was scheduled to race in the 1968 Indy 500. Even without Clark, the car proved to be a tragic machine, killing Mike Spence in practice, Graham Hill crashing out of the race, and then dramatically falling just short of a fairytale win when the fuel pump shaft in Joe Leonard’s car snapped with eight laps to go while the American was in the lead. To underline the car’s faulty part problem, Art Pollard’s machine suffered the same fate only seconds later. It was wonderful to see (and not hear) the car drive around Goodwood, now with a proper fuel pump shaft, as was assured by the people of the IMS Museum (from which it is on loan) looking after the car. Another Indy gem was Clark's 1965 race-winning Lotus 38, proudly driven by fellow Scot and staunch Clark admirer Dario Franchitti.
This time, Julian Majzub's Sadler-Chevy didn't feature in the Sussex Trophy. (photo 8W)
In front of a practically deserted Goodwood Motor Circuit, Anthony Reid and Rob Hall presented the fans with a proper final motor race of the day. Reid prevailed in his long-nose D-type but in an echo of Saturday's opener, Rob Hall brought an Italian car to the fore once more, challenging Reid all the way to the line in his Maserati 300S, as the pair increasingly found patches of dry asphalt to put more distance between themselves and Richard Kent (Lister ‘Costin’), Emanuele Pirro (Lister ‘Knobbly’) and Nick Leventis (Ferrari 246S Dino) who went on to finish a distant third, fourth and fifth.
So, a Revival with a soul after all. In fact, in many respects the bad weather happened to be a blessing. With the people staying behind that came for the actual racing, spectating at the Revival’s closing races felt like a cold and damp March meeting at Snetterton, where you’re lucky to find 300 paying visitors wandering track-side. The clubby feeling was actually quite nice for a change, and something of an eye-opener – wow, the Revival can be about racing, and racing only, and still be good! For years, those overwhelmed by Revival perfection had to find their antidote one week later at the Spa Six Hours, where it usually rains and where the track’s run-down facilities add to a chaotic Transit-and-trailer atmosphere that is actually more period-appropriate than the mint accommodation and fancy dress at Goodwood.
Gary Pearson and Marc Devis sharing a laugh ahead of RAC TT practice. (photo 8W)
Now, Goodwood somehow felt like Spa, also helped by no small quantities by the weather transforming the campsites into a flood area. Believe me, it feels very much like Spa spending a Sunday evening all hunched up in a seventies Mercedes van munching on a couple of burgers, as the thunderstorm is trying to find its way in every time someone opens the door to join the already very cramped party. A very different experience from splashing out the champagne while waving a gentlemanly goodbye to all the priceless cars in the car park. In the right company, though, both activities supply equal amounts of happiness, and that's what matters in the end. Having said that, it would be the biggest of ironies if the Six Hours were in turn run under blazing sunshine and a clear starry sky.
Despite the weather, this year’s Revival was another success. The fact that the event is so well organized is only made more obvious in these adverse circumstances. It manages to cater to the varying tastes of a very large crowd, but it still keeps its core intact. Watching the Sussex Trophy out at the track, at a rain-soaked Madgwick, with hardly anyone else around, gave an entirely new meaning to that old Brooklands saying of ‘The right crowd and no crowding’. In fact, it was probably the original meaning.