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Success for Goodwood Revival (copyright image)

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23rd September, 2010

  • The 2010 Goodwood Revival sells out before the event and achieves a capped 134,000+ visitors
  • Visitors included actor Rowan Atkinson and astronomer Sir Patrick Moore
  • The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is marked with a tribute
  • Goodwood honours John Surtees and 60 years of BRM racing cars
  • Spectacular historic motor racing and air displays
  • Shoppers descend on the Revival Market, including a period 1960s "Tesco" store to buy family favourites from the past

Over 134,000 motor sport enthusiasts and retro-fashion enthusiasts flocked to last weekend’s Goodwood Revival (17th-19th September) in England to join in the fun and celebrations at the world’s largest historic motor race meeting.

The Goodwood Revival is firmly established as a ‘must attend’ event, with visitors travelling from around the world. Many spectators came dressed in their finest 1950s and 1960s fashions, with tweed jackets and pleated skirts abounding in the early northern autumn sunshine.

On the track John Surtees – the first and only World Champion on two and four wheels – was honoured 50 years after his very first race in a car, which took place at Goodwood in March 1960.  A stunning collection of more than 25 vehicles associated with his racing career paraded in his honour, led by the great man driving and riding a variety of cars and motorcycles from his racing past. Additionally, a record gathering of racing BRMs paraded each day to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this very British racing marque taking its initial racing victory – which took place at Goodwood – in 1950.

The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was marked with a fitting and emotional tribute. In its former guise of RAF Westhampnett, Goodwood was a Battle of Britain airfield during World War II, and nine veterans who were based at the West Sussex site returned, some for the first time in 70 years. Two returned especially for the occasion from Canada, and another from Australia. A moving tribute was paid by the Goodwood Revival’s founder Lord March on the grid with the nine veterans, joined by a Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft, with the Battle of Britain Memorial Fight, the Band of Her Majesty the Queen’s Royal Marines and a cannon fire salute made by the Royal Horse Artillery. Also on the Goodwood grid was the actual Bentley 4.5-litre owned by Billy Fiske, who was also honoured. Fiske was the first American to volunteer for the RAF, and also the first US airman to be shot down and lose his life. He is buried on the edge of the Goodwood Estate at the Boxgrove Priory, where a stained glass window in his honour is also located.

On the track, the quality of motor racing was exceptional throughout the Revival weekend, with many nail-biting races and some thrills and spills along the way. Racing highlights included the thrilling St Mary’s Trophy for 1950s saloon cars, with Derek Bell and Grant Williams taking hard-fought victory. The £150 million car grid for the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration also made for exciting competition, with Jean-Marc Gounon and Peter Hardman taking the victory in Anthony Bamford’s Ferrari 250 GTO 64.

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Andrew Smith claimed the honours in the Whitsun Trophy for late-period sports-racing prototypes. An action-packed race saw the four leading drivers break the Revival lap record, with Smith achieving a staggering 1:18.9 lap time. Driver of the event was awarded to Nick Wigley who drove an excellent race in The Gordon Trophy to climb from a starting position of tenth to win in his 1959 Cooper-Climax T51.

Some great period fashions helped seal the unique, fun atmosphere of the 2010 Revival. On the Richmond Lawn a 1950s-style circus with clowns, wrestlers, a Hall of Mirrors, and even a bearded lady, also helped the great vibe, as did the live bands, dancing and comic film sets and 1950s holiday camp. The remaking of a typical early 1960s British street scene, with a bus depot, car park and Tesco supermarket, proved to be hugely popular, with Revival shoppers coming over ‘all nostalgic’ at the sight of period packaging and house hold brands that had long been forgotten. Opal Fruits and Marmite in the correct period packaging proved to be in great demand.

The world’s only remaining airworthy Hawker Demon aircraft from 1937 was voted the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation winner by a panel of celebrity judges, including Rowan Atkinson, whilst an Aston Martin DB4 was the public’s choice for the most desirable Grand Touring car in the Earls Court concours d’elegance.

In all, the 2010 Goodwood Revival was a great success, with Revival-goers already talking with excitement and anticipation about next year’s event. Confirmed dates for the 2011 Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed have yet to be finalised. These will be published by Next Car in the coming weeks, with 2011 tickets going on sale on November.


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