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2019 Goodwood Revival report


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2019 Goodwood Revival (September 13, 2019)

Gary Pearson/Andrew Smith, Ferrari 250 GTO, 2019 Goodwood Revival

Three days of bright sunshine aided by a cooling sea breeze on the final two days turned the 2019 edition of the Goodwood Revival into a joyful experience enjoyed by what seemed to be more people than ever – even the Friday was as busy as a weekend day. It was also one of the most behaved Revivals of recent times, the drivers taking heed of the warnings ushered beforehand to produce 15 displays of exciting but clean motor racing. The event was marred by a few heavy shunts but all of them were unprovoked.

For many, the highlight of the weekend already took place on the Friday, with the Kinrara Trophy taking a few dozen of the most beautiful pre-63 GT cars into sunset. The race would see Dario Franchitti’s comeback to competitive racing, but when the Ferrari 250 GT SWB he shared with Dutchman Hans Hugenholtz developed an issue during qualifying, the Scottish multiple Indy 500 and Indycar champion was relegated to the back of the grid. His fight through the field was great to watch but most eyes were on Carlos Monteverde’s Ferrari 250 GTO dominating from start to finish in the hands of Gary Pearson and supersub Andrew Smith. Dusk was as gorgeous as last year’s, and so hardly any visitor left early.

Andrew Wareing, BRM P261, 2019 Goodwood Revival

Focused work on Andrew Wareing's BRM P261. (photo 8W)

On Saturday morning, everyone was immediately wide awake from a great fight for the lead in the Fordwater Trophy. In a Lotus Elan that for a change was the heavier car of the two, Robert Barrie stuck to his guns to hold off Nick Swift’s Mini Marcos all the way to the line, the pair having beaten pole-sitter Josh Files’ Triumph TR4 from the line.

The first bike race followed at noon but those only interested in four-wheel racing had to wait until 2pm before they could witness the second race of the day – in a demo and qualifying session-filled programme that was stretched out to go from 9.30am to 18.30pm. The same would apply to the Sunday – and those forced to leave early after the RAC TT now had to miss three races instead of two.

Lady at the 2019 Goodwood Revival

Revival atmosphere at its best. (photo 8W)

However, the first St. Mary’s Trophy was all worth it, even though it took a while to get going after John Haugland crashed his Volvo on the opening lap, leading to a lengthy caution period. Once the green flag was waved, Romain Dumas in Bill Shepherd’s Ford Thunderbird took on Karl Wendlinger on his Goodwood debut in the Studebaker Silver Hawk shared with Patrick Watts but the American fight at the front soon came to an end when Dumas had to retire the Thunderbird, a trail of smoke signalling the demise of the car’s gearbox. Wendlinger went on to take a debut win but was then stripped of it when the Studebaker was found to be illegal. This handed to win to Emanuele Pirro in the Alfa Giulietta Ti, but ultimate glory would go to Saturday’s runner-up Nic Minassian, whose partner Mike Jordan finished it off with convincing victory in the owners’ race on Sunday.

The Goodwood Trophy for pre-51 Grand Prix cars and voiturettes saw Mark Burnett shake off an entire phalanx of ERAs to win in the Alta F2. He was helped by the fastest ERA, R3A driven by Mark Gillies, being among the first casualties of the race. The Glover Trophy for 1961-’65 GP cars followed a similar pattern, as Andy Middlehurst ran off to yet another win in the Lotus 25, unbothered by the usual challenge of Joe Colasacco’s Ferrari 1512 that soon faded.

Lukas Halusa/Emanuele Pirro, Jaguar E-type lightweight lowdrag, 2019 Goodwood Revival

Sun setting on the Lukas Halusa/Emanuele Pirro Jaguar E-type lightweight 'lowdrag'. (photo 8W)

The day’s crowning glory when to the Sussex Trophy that delivered on its reputation by treating the crowd to arguably the most exciting race of the weekend – not even a safety-car break caused by Geraint Owen crashing (or being crashed) in his Lister-Chevrolet ‘Knobbly’ couldn’t spoil a finely poised lead battle between Roger Wills’ Lotus 15, Sam Hancock’s Ferrari 246S, Jon Minshaw’s ‘Knobbly’ and David Hart’s ‘Costin’. Wills prevailed.

On Sunday morning, youngster Peter de la Roche ran away with the Earl of March Trophy for 500cc F3 cars, his Cooper-JAP Mk5 well out on his own after the rival Norton-engined Mk11 of George Shackleton was forced to retire on lap 4. The race was bereft of the presence of Brian Jolliffe, whose violent F1 crash at Zandvoort took him out of action – which was a shame, as the fiersome octogenerian could well have been a factor.

Mike Whitaker/Mike Jordan, TVR Griffith, 2019 Goodwood Revival

Late-night work on the Mike Whitaker/Mike Jordan TVR Griffith. (photo 8W)

The combined Richmond & Gordon Trophies began with Sam Wilson (Lotus 18) and Nick Padmore (Lotus 16) fighting for top honours but when Padmore’s 16 succumbed early on the win was emphatically Wilson’s.

The biggest entertainment of the Sunday was undoubtedly provided by the all-Bentley Brookslands Trophy race, the cars starting with their roofs up, which had to be taken down during their mandatory pitstop – all very much early Le Mans style. Up until the pitstops, the race was truly on but towards the end Martin Overington drew well clear in his glorious Bentley 4½ Litre Blower.

Ewen Sergison, Maserati 6CM, 2019 Goodwood Revival

Glorious curves on Ewen Sergison's Nigel Griffiths-entered Maserati 6CM. (photo 8W)

Lunch done, the crowd flocked around the track again for the RAC TT Celebration that for the first half was led by Nic Minassian in the Tojeiro shared with Oli Hart but then a badly timed safety car halfway into the race put paid to their chances before a fuel-pressure issue curtailed the Dutch effort for good. Profiting from the safety car were the Cobras of former Audi stablemates André Lotterer and Romain Dumas, Lotterer hunting down and passing Dumas for the win, having taken over at the stops from team mate Chris Wilson. Another former Audi factory driver finished third in the Lister-Jaguar Coupé, Benoît Tréluyer also helping the crowd forget the absence of every BTCC driver, as each and every one of those were busy racing at Knockhill.

Mike Whitaker’s TVR Griffith was another car that fell victim to the safety car but Whitaker got a reprieve in the Whitsun Trophy – only Karun Chandhok in the McLaren-Chevrolet M1A stayed ahead of Whitaker’s Lola-Chevrolet T70 Mk1 Spyder. The final race of the weekend saw Gary Pearson take an incredible 14th Revival win, with John Pearson’s other D-type making it a Pearson 1-2 in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, that along with the Whitsun Trophy swapped end-of-Sunday places with the Glover Trophy and Sussex Trophy.

Chris Beighton/Patrick Watts, Sunbeam Lister Tiger, 2019 Goodwood Revival

Chris Beighton/Patrick Watts Sunbeam Lister Tiger tigering away at the start of the RAC TT. (photo 8W)

Arguably the most interesting demo was that devoted to the Cooper Car Co, but the Stirling Moss and 1959 TT tributes brought out some amazing cars too. It hadn’t been hard to notice that this was the busiest Revival in its 22-year history – and some people were heard muttering about ‘the right crowd, and no crowding’ being a distant memory now. It will be interesting to see how the event manages to retain its original spirit with the arrival of ever more spectators whose primary goal for the weekend is to have a great day out. For now, the Revival is still able to cope with all of that.

Full gallery: more pictures of the 2019 Goodwood Revival