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Goodwood, Chichester 14th-16th of September

This year's Goodwood Revival is history. After three fantastic days the revival came to an end with the final of the 16 races, the Sussex Trophy for sports car from 1955 to 1960. This is always one of the highlight with a superb line-up of Aston Martin DBR1, Jaguar D Type, Maserati 300S and Lister-Jaguar and keeps the spectators track side to the last minute of the Revival Meeting. As reported earlier this was again sold out well in advance giving Lord March and his organization team another successful event in its 15th edition.

After a long classic car season the 4 weeks in September see a peak of events before it dries out for the winter time. Although there are a few more event coming the Goodwood Revival is for many the culmination of a long summer. Beside the regular racing in the common race groups and the legendary ambience the revival features year by year some special celebrations and marque races that prevents the event from repeating itself. Even those who have visited all the previous editions and think that they have seen already everything were surprised again by the displays and parades of the 15th edition featuring 75 years of the Silver Arrows in the UK (debuting 1937 in Donington), 50 years of the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO and 50 years of the AC Cobra.

A few years ago the Goodwood Festival of Speed saw an equal amount of Silver Arrows with some of them running up the hill but this time not less than 9 of the 10 German pre-war racers on Show were running on the track at the same time, this might be the largest gathering of this ultra-rare machinery since their last race in Belgrade 1939. This was without doubt a highlight of the Goodwood history and it is difficult to imagine what might top that in future editions. This alone would have been worth to visit the revival but in addition about a dozen of Ferrari 250 GTO took the track on all three days as well, also in a Parade. The speed was very different as some of the owners of these sports racers enjoyed the empty track to the fullest whereas others took the name parade more serious.

Beside the GTO another icon is celebrating its golden jubilee, the AC Cobra, masterpiece of the late Carroll Shelby and one of the main rivals of the GTO in period. After the Jaguar E-Type race last year this year saw again a single type race for the American sports car with no less than 30 of them on the track. After the race in their motherland a few weeks earlier in Laguna Seca the Cobras were taken to their limit this time on the very fast track by many experienced professional drivers in this 2-driver race. Some of the American owners might have been surprised by the competition in Goodwood as a race win over here is still an achievement most of the historic racers are looking for. After the qualifying was dominated by last year's RAC Trophy winning Daytona Coupe (proving the advantage of this closed design over its open variations) this car just made half of the distance on Saturday giving victory to the following car of Hall/Wolfe.

Further races included again the Brooklands trophy for pre-war sports cars that is run every second year. In this race a diverse grid was lined-up with the fast Alfa Romeo 8C Monza and Talbot 105 but also more uncommon entries like a Bentley 4 ½ Litre Saloon that showed best the definition of body roll. After a very interesting race on Sunday morning the victory was taken by Max Werner in the ex Scuderia Ferrari 8C Monza over the Talbot after a superb last lap when he re-took the lead in the chicane after a hard breaking with a jumping rear wheel.

But this was not the only exiting race as nearly all the races had their moments and a few safety car sorties were necessary to cool the drivers down.

Beside the racing the Revival is very well known for its atmosphere that is unmatched by any other classic car event in the world. Every year a good portion of the spectators join in to dress in period fashion making the event a “Magical step back in Time”. Unfortunately one does not see all the places of interest when looking at the races as the race program is action packed from morning to the evening, this year the Friday even saw again the race from the Freddie March Memorial Trophy running into the dusk. But still after that people had the chance to party in the “village” over the road until 10 o´clock with rock ´n´ roll and beer.

As already mentioned the Earl of March pulls another theme out of his hat year by year and one can be curious what it will be in 2013 but a rough guess would be the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin that might be one of them. But we have to wait a few more months for the presentation of next year´s program to know for sure.

At the moment we have put together a small selection of pictures trying to give you an impression of the Revival Meeting (although picture cannot really give justice to this event without being there) and later we will have a more detailed look into the races.

Text & images ... Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de