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2014 Goodwood Revival report


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2014 Goodwood Revival (September 12, 2015)

Connaught A-type, 2014 Goodwood Revival

This time around there were no big announcements like in the last two years, such as the Silver Arrows performing a race enactment or the return of the night race. However, the 2014 edition of the Goodwood Revival had plenty of smaller surprises in store. The BRM Type 15 out on track, a huge collection of Maserati 250Fs in a recreation of the Monza paddock, the Rover-BRM turbine car as a part of the tribute to Jackie Stewart. Add some very interesting one-off races to that – such as the all-Jaguar D-type and XKSS Lavant Cup, or the Shelby Cup this time catering to all sorts of American Ford V8 variants – and those who decided that they’d seen it and done it were wronged again. And then the weather was nice, too.

Atmosphere, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Teaching the young a few things about motor racing... (photo 8W)

The contrast with 2013 couldn’t have been bigger. Last year, the Revival was marred by persistent rain that persuaded many of the sharp-dressed visitors to seek shelter, often giving the grounds a sense of abandonment, but with pleasant weather all throughout the weekend, the Goodwood circuit was jampacked with people all wanting to be part of the fun. A large, joyful crowd all playing their part is what the Revival is all about, so the dry conditions were a welcome change to last year’s cold and muddy challenges.

And it wasn’t just the weather that was the complete opposite to last year’s. The traditional event-closing Sussex Trophy was moved all the way back to Friday afternoon to raise the curtain on a total of 15 races, effectively switching bookends with the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, that now would be the last race of the weekend. It was no bad thing seeing Listers race into dusk instead of D-types, and watching the action from Lavant having spent the entire Friday in the paddock taking pictures and talking to people put a great end to a fascinating first day at the Revival. In the end, the Keen/Minshaw Knobbly prevailed.

Nuthall/Wood, Lister Knobbly, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Not the Knobbly that won. The Nuthall/Wood Lister raced to ninth place. (photo 8W)

More pictures of the action on track, in the pits, on the grid and in the assembly area

Saturday started with the Goodwood Trophy for the pre-war and post-war Grand Prix cars and voiturettes that ran until 1951. Usually an ERA benefit, Mark Gillies was slightly made to work for his win, with Calum Lockie’s Maserati 6CM not that far away. Duncan Ricketts in the E-type GP1 made it to the finish this time, with Paddins Dowling and Nicholas Topliss further adrift in their ERAs, having a battle of their own.

The Chichester Cup went David Methley’s way in his Brabham BT6, although Jon Milecevic won the start. It was amazing how fast the Junior cars went around Goodwood. Methley’s fastest lap of the race, a 1.23.7, handsomely beat Nick Fennell’s best lap in the Glover Trophy for Formula 1 cars of the same era. Sam Wilson, finishing second in the Junior race with his Lotus 20, also bested the time set by Andy Middlehurst in the Lotus 25…

St. Mary's Trophy, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Almost four-wide through Lavant, that's how we know we are watching the St. Mary's Trophy. (photo 8W)

Both St. Mary’s Trophy races supplied the usual spectacle of touring cars going four-wide through Lavant. With five current BTCC drivers present and several more of ex-BTCC fame added to the bill this was expected to happen in the ‘pro’ race, but the owners – amongst them some very, very handy drivers as well… – didn’t disappoint either. The tourers have been a crowd favourite from the start, and the atmosphere in the ‘people’s paddock’ is a great contributor. Many teams followed Rae Davis’ lead and brought all sorts of decorative attributes to turn their corner into the cosiest place in the paddock. The sheer variety of cars helped too: Borgward, Gaz, Studebaker, Riley, Fiat, Standard were all among the most unlikely of racing cars pitching up against the Jag Mk1s and the fleet of Austins, themselves not the most racy-looking of cars. The Reid/Law Jag won on aggregate but by the slimmest of margins. The Austin A40 of father and son Mike and Andrew Jordan missed out by just four tenths!

Lavant Cup, Jaguar D-type, 2014 Goodwood Revival

The Lavant Cup presented the crowd with this endless stream of D-types through Madgwick. (photo 8W)

The two ‘themed’ races were great to watch as well. The Shelby Cup was an American V8 bonanza of mainly Falcons and Mustangs, but had impressive interlopers at the front of the field in the form of the Pirro/Wills Mercury Comet and the Bryant/Jordan Plymouth Barracuda. However, the Faulkner/Gardiner Falcon Sprint took best advantage of a safety car situation and won comfortably. The Lavant Cup for Jaguar D-types and XKSS cars saw a battle between Gary Pearson and Christian Gläsel’s D-types, with Pearson eventually adding to his already impressive tally of Revival wins.

The day ended with the big-banger sportscars competing for the Whitsun Trophy. McLaren M1Bs and Lola T70 Spyders headed the field, but Jay Esterer’s Chinook and Pier Enrico Tonetti’s Huffaker added some uniqueness to the frontrunners. Poleman Chris Goodwin won the battle in his M1B but had to work his way back to the front to do so. Tonetti came home second, but was awarded a 10-second penalty for ‘driving standards’, that is, not adhering to them. This elevated David Hart’s T70 Spyder into second place, a fine achievement for the Dutchman, who started eighth. Steve Soper took the spoils in his private GT40 battle with James Cottingham and Hans Hugenholtz.

Keith Ahlers, Billy Bellinger, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Billy Bellinger assisting Keith Ahlers as the Morgan man prepares to climb into his Cooper Monaco King Cobra. Chris Jolly in the other Monaco would have the legs of Ahlers, though. (photo 8W)

More pictures of the Revival paddock atmosphere

On Sunday, BRM V16 sounds acted as the Revival visitors church bells, having already been woken up by thunderous Merlin engines flying overhead. The first cars to take to the track to race each other were the small sportscars from the sixties, taking part in the Fordwater Trophy. Lee Mumford’s Ginetta G4 and Andrew Smith’s Porsche 901 – Smith seemed to be in every other race during the weekend! – were fighting over the lead initially, but it was Allan Ross-Jones who took the winners medal and the bubbly back to sunny Portugal, using his TR4 to beat Mumford by just over a second.

Allan Ross-Jones, 2014 Goodwood Revival

On Sunday evening, Allan Ross-Jones was a happy man after collecting the spoils. (photo 8W)

Arguably the most dramatic race finish came in the Richmond Trophy. Julian Bronson had the race all tied up in his Scarab, only to come to a halt two corners from the end. Roger Wills duly profited in his Lotus 16, while the top-three was completed by two cars that – like the Scarab – were overtaken by time. Without the threat of rear-engined cars spoiling the fun, Tony Wood’s Tec-Mec and Stuart Rolt’s Ferguson P99 came home second and third. The two Orosco Scarabs ended up in fourth and fifth, while Marc Valvekens fought his way up to sixth in his newly acquired Aston Martin DBR4, the very same car that ended Hubert Fabri’s career as a racing driver with a terrifying crash at the Revival in 2011. Seventh was the interesting Squalo-nosed Maserati 250F owned by the Rettenmaiers. The chassis ran with the sharknose in period, and as we understood this was the original nose. The more traditional nose has been kept, but Josef Otto Rettenmaier decided that the Squalo nose would make an exciting difference. And so it did.

Maserati 250F, 2014 Goodwood Revival

The interesting Squalo-nosed Maserati 250F. (photo 8W)

Another very interesting car present at the Revival was the 1965 Rover-BRM. The gas turbine machine that ran at Le Mans in the hands of Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart has been fully restored by the Heritage Motor Centre and was back in action for the first time since 1997. It made its return to action at the Le Mans Classic, featured at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power and was now part of the tribute to Jackie Stewart. The engine was less complicated because of having less moving parts, said the mechanics, but brought different challenges instead. Finding the mechanics with knowledge of gas turbines was one, getting the physics of its fuel burning right was another. The sound it produced was slightly different from that of the Lotus 56 Indycar that was part of the Jim Clark tribute last year: noisier, and more like a giant vacuum cleaner. Its paddock runs in neutral attracted lots of interested listeners.

Rover-BRM gas turbine car, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Plenty of on-lookers for the Rover-BRM paddock test runs. (photo 8W)

Meanwhile, another part of the paddock was gearing up for the headline event of the weekend, the RAC TT Celebration. The front row was occupied by two very well developed Cobras, which over the years have left the E-types and the GTOs behind. They sandwiched a very fast Italian car, the Bizzarrini A3C qualified second by Bobby Verdon-Roe. Both Cobra teams had made a driver switch in order to up the ante. In the Bryant machine father Grahame had vacated his seat to leave room for the quick Andrew Smith – yes, him again! – while David Hart had swapped Tom Coronel for none other than Sauber F1 reserve driver Giedo van der Garde. Despite potentially having the fastest team mate in the field, Hart never felt more unsure, he said, ahead of the start. Grahame Bryant in turn feared the Dutch Cobra more than anything else, although he thought some of the E-types would still be fast. Adding more spice to the contest was the fact that both teams were overdue for their first win.

RAC TT Celebration, start, 2014 Goodwood Revival

The start of the big race. (photo 8W)

More pictures of the stars of the Revival

At the start, the Bizzarrini instantly ruled itself out of the equasion by excessive amounts of wheelspin, turning the race to the first corner into a Cobra drag race. Hart, however, known for his great starts, pulled one off yet again and kept Smith at bay by crossing over to take the inside line into Madgwick. In the lead, Hart pulled out a five-second gap over Smith during the first half of the race, before the safety car was deployed. This was a logical moment for a driver change, so every car ducked into the cramped pits. For a moment, Hart looked stuck behind the Richard Meins/Rob Huff ‘CUT 7’ Jag, but the Dutchman kept his cool and motored towards an empty spot at the head of the pits. There, the switch with Van der Garde was made quick enough to keep ahead of Oliver Bryant, who had taken over from Andrew Smith.

Andrew Smith, AC Cobra, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Andrew Smith chased David Hart in vain during the first part of the RAC TT Celebration. (photo 8W)

As the safety car left the track, Bryant was right on it, tucking right in behind Van der Garde’s tail. The Dutchman may be a Formula 1 driver but he was still getting used to the feel of a Cobra on cold tyres, despite having raced the car at Zandvoort and some 15 laps of testing at Goodwood earlier in the year. The levels of grip were very different to what he was used to, he said, and being unfamiliar with double-clutching and rev matching didn’t help either. In his first time through St. Mary’s the Dutchman went slightly wide, allowing Bryant to really close up. This caused Van der Garde to leave his braking for Lavant a little too late, and he understeered off the track, handing Ollie Bryant a three-second lead on a plate.

The following laps, however, showed why a seriously quick driver will be quick in any car, as Van der Garde mercilessly closed back the gap to Bryant. He didn’t need to look for a way past either but simply grabbed the first opportunity that came up to pass Ollie for the lead. Soon, the Dutch Cobra was way up the road. Whatever chance Bryant still had was made academic when he pulled up at the side of the track with one lap to go. Van der Garde was having his own issues, though. After crossing the lines he confessed that he had done the final four laps stuck in fourth. Remarkably, his pace came down by just one second. With its gearbox truly demolished the car was unable to go for its lap of honour, but the victorious Dutchmen couldn’t care less. In fact, Hart said he was proud of his ‘little gearbox destroyer’… With the Bryant/Smith Cobra retiring, Joe Colasacco and Derek Hill took a fine second in the glorious Maserati Tipo 151 while the red E-type of Matt Nicoll-Jones and Robin Liddell – a strong crew of modern GT racers – finished third.

David Hart, Giedo van der Garde, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Cigars for the winners... (photo 8W)

Two more races followed. The Glover Trophy has been won by Andy Middlehurst since God knows when, and the Classic Team Lotus driver extended his unbeaten run at Goodwood by being triumphant yet again. His job was made considerably less easy, however, by a persistent James King, whose Brabham BT7 harried Middlehurst’s iconic ex-Jim Clark Lotus 25 to the line. The gap was just 0.250 seconds.

In the Freddie March Memorial Trophy Darren McWhirter’s Lagonda V12 Le Mans was similarly kept honest by Sam Hancock in the Cunningham C4R. Hancock had narrowly beaten McWhirter for pole, but in the race it was the other way around, McWhirter leading Hancock across the line by just under three seconds.

Andy Middlehurst, Lotus 25, 2014 Goodwood Revival

Andy Middlehurst had to fight hard for yet another Glover Trophy win. (photo 8W)

More pictures of the Revival atmosphere

So now it’s on to the Spa Six Hours – a very different challenge, in an atmosphere that is incomparable to that of the Revival. As Belgian Marc Devis put it, nothing can compare to the Revival, and he loved Goodwood as a ‘big-balls circuit’, but he still preferred the challenge of his home track. As a combination, the Goodwood Revival and the Spa Six Hours remain the best way to soak up the best of historic motor racing in the shortest possible period of time. All it takes is just two consecutive weekends in September…

And as a bonus, a collection of pictures shot on film using a period Zenit-E camera