Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Goodwood Revival 2013: An Unofficial Guide

Words & photos - Mark Saunders

With less than a month to go, tickets for the 2013 Goodwood Revival meeting have already sold out. For those of you lucky enough to have got tickets, SuckSqueezeBangBlow's resident GRRC member Mark Saunders presents an unofficial guide to getting the best from your Revival weekend. And if you haven’t got tickets, read on - and get yourself in the queue for next year!

Goodwood Revival is quite simply the world's best historic motor racing event. An action-packed weekend of racing, aircraft displays, attractions and shopping beckon, and visitors are encouraged to dress up for the occasion. With more than 70% of Revival visitors now attending in period attire it seems a good idea to start here...
There is no actual dress code; the period guidelines are from 1939 when RAF Westhampnett (which later became the circuit) started, to 1966 when the circuit closed for racing. This is not a fancy dress competition so it's probably best to avoid the Elvis look! Think what you would have worn had you been to the circuit in period – for men, a shirt and tie, jacket, hat or flat cap and smart shoes. Or perhaps a military uniform – RAF seems the most popular but best avoid German military! And for the ladies, dresses, tights, fur, hats, scarves and handbags, WAAF’s or Land Girls - oh, and don’t forget the red lipstick!

The Revival weekend is spread over three days, with Saturday and Sunday as race days. That leaves Friday for practise, and a good day for soaking up the atmosphere, checking out the paddocks, attractions and shopping around the circuit. A '60s-style Tesco store complete with provisions is a good place to get a cheap sandwich, and you can use your Clubcard to get points too!

Watch out too for Haurel and Lardy performing routines, as well as the gorgeous GlamCab girls! This year there will be one race on the Friday to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Goodwood Nine-Hour races. Starting at 6.15pm, the race will run for ninety minutes into the dusk with car headlights ablaze.

Saturday and Sunday are the main race days, beginning at 8.30am with the band of the Royal Marines and a track blessing by the Canon of Chichester – himself a Goodwood fan. Over the two days races cover many categories from saloon cars, motorbikes, sports racing prototypes and Grand Prix cars. Highlights include the St Mary’s Trophy race, which this year is for saloon cars raced between 1960-1966, and the RAC TT Celebration race featuring one of the most expensive grid line-ups anywhere in the world. This year, however, the highlight for many will be the Whitsun Trophy race which will be a one-model race dedicated to the inimitable Ford GT40! This will be the first dedicated race in history for these iconic cars and will feature many significant and authentic examples.

As well as action on the ground, the Revival is well-noted for its aerial flying displays. Spitfires, Hurricanes, Mustangs and especially the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster bomber are welcome sights during the weekend. There are also planes on the ground in the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation enclosure.

2013 sees several anniversaries and tributes during the weekend. On track there will be daily parades celebrating 110 years of the Tour de France with a peloton of riders on period bikes. Look out for the odd familiar face! Aston Martin celebrates its 100th anniversary, and there will be a special parade of cars connected to the late, great Jim Clark. Add to this the Earls Court Motor Show, food, music entertainment, the Mods and Rockers, and of course the ‘rozzers’.

If all of this sounds great but you haven’t got a ticket, then why not come along to the pre-'73 car park? It's free to get in and has been described as ‘the greatest free car show in England’. Here you will find '60s Minis rubbing shoulders with likes of Austin Healey, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Bugatti, Bentley and even Morris Minors. There is a funfair, along with plenty of shops to browse. This is a day out in itself and one which many Revival-goers see but a small part of.

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