Monday 16th September 2013


Satorial SNAFU aside even the rain doesn't dampen Matt's first Goodwood

I had foolishly seen the 'revival' part of Goodwood's September extravaganza as focused on the motorsport. Oh sure, I'd seen a few minutes of people frolicking around in period gear on the highlights but never really credited it as being too significant. What an oversight!

Possible costume idea for next year Matt?
Possible costume idea for next year Matt?
To wander round the Revival is to step back in time. Indeed, if it wasn't for the ludicrously expensive grub and smartphones you really could be back in the 50s. The attention to detail of costumes, stands and adverts is phenomenal, and the enthusiasm of everyone is infectious. There were people bopping in the street, others marching in full military regalia and a doubles tennis match going on with no racket or balls; all of it slightly mad but hugely endearing.

But anyway, the cars. First off, an apology. Despite a rather fetching tweed jacket, a tie and a flat cap, I wasn't allowed into the paddock because of wearing jeans. [Matt, you and Garlick need to talk... - Ed.] Suffice to say next year's outfit will be both so spectacularly retro and formal that it will make Lord March himself envious. But it means I have no pictures this year of a quintet of Ferrari 250s lined up together. Sorry.

St Mary's Trophy was classic tin-top action
St Mary's Trophy was classic tin-top action
However, I did endure one hell of a soaking to watch them race in the RAC TT Celebration. My tweed is ruined, but what a race! Seeing Cobras, Corvettes, E-Types, DB4s and Ferraris being driven with balls-out vigour is an astounding thing to witness. When the rain did come, you just had to watch in awe as the drivers battled with the conditions, feathering the throttle and catching oversteer out of every corner. It was an unbelievable spectacle, and you won't ever hear a better automotive noise anywhere.

A hearty well done to our man Chris Harris too, sharing the Lister with Anthony Reid. And you thought he was just good for drifting... More on this later from the man himself.

Though the TT of course stands out, the St Mary's Trophy was also a stunning race. It caters for production saloon racers built between 1960 and 1966, with 2013 being significant as it marks 50 years of the Mini Cooper S and Lotus Cortina. Both are great to watch too, the Mini scurrying its way round each bend and the Cortina three-wheel oversteering almost everywhere.

Harris/Reid Lister at the pointy end of the TT
Harris/Reid Lister at the pointy end of the TT
This year was the first time I've been to either the Festival of Speed or the Revival, so to have visited both is a real privilege. Whilst the Festival strikes me as more commercial, there's a real sense of community with the Revival, undoubtedly helped by the dress code and the activities off the circuit. Lord March describes it as 'racing the way it used to be' but the Revival is so much more than that, as I've now discovered. The tweed will dry out, I just need some proper strides now and I'll be set for next year...




Photos: LAT Photo

Author: Matt Bird
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