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Goodwood Revival 2003 – live from Friday’s Practice

12.00 Goodwood, West Sussex, UK. With a slight lull in Friday’s untimed practice it’s time to report from this year’s extraordinary Revival event and, having see the paddock and some of the on-track action, pick some highlights of the weekend to come. This is of course a purely subjective selection and to those enthusiasts of front-engined Formula Juniors, I can only say; sorry!

The photo-gallery below will give you a taste of the entry, but on Saturday the Freddie March Memorial Trophy will include Aston DB3S, Jaguar C-types and Fraser Nashs. You can see the immaculate ex-works DB2 of Oliver Leyba here and ‘Mr Motor Racing’ Sir Stirling Moss will be driving Frank Sytner’s DB3S.

This year’s Fordwater Trophy is for small capacity sports cars of the Sixties and entries include Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason in an Alfa TZ1, Willie Green driving one of your correspondent’s favourite cars, an Alfa TZ2, Burkhard von Schenk in one of three Porsche 904GTSs racing, and a big welcome back to Barry Sidery-Smith in the MGB Le Mans car – only a year after his terrible accident at the Classic Le Mans.

Saloons feature large in the St Mary’s Trophy. It’s that man Moss again in a 1964 Mercedes Benz 300SE, while David Clark will be sharing his 1963 Ford Falcon with actor Rowan Atkinson. Fans of Gerry Marshall will not be disappointed – the great man is driving a Lotus Cortina, as is Desmond Smail, paired with works Audi sports car ace (and occasional TV star) Perry McCarthy. Tony Dron will be sharing a Jaguar MkII with Hugh Price, one of two in the race. The famous ‘BUY 1’ is a MkI.

The RAC TT Celebration is packed to the gunwales once again with the finest cars. After the 2002 clash of dates Ferrari GTOs are once again on the grid with Nick Mason and Joe Bamford (son of Sir Anthony)driving 3-litre cars and Tony Dron/Eric Heerema piloting their usual 330LMB, Lukas Huni/Carlo Vogele driving a 4-litre 330GTO . Likely winner will be an E-type, take your pick from the Fisken/Pirro, Mass/Franklin, Pearson/Fangio II entries. Don’t forget Project 212 Aston, your editor’s mount on his recent ride round the circuit.

Late Fifties sports cars are in the Sussex Trophy and no doubt last year’s winner, Ferrari 246S Dino mounted Dron, will be up against Peter Hardman in the 1959 LM winning DBR1 as well as Gary Pearson in a ‘D’ and Needell and Graham in Lister-Jaguars. Bonhams’ own James Knight is in a D-type, a successful Friday auction no doubt shaving a few seconds off his lap times.

Last race of the meeting is the Whitsun Trophy and for 2003 there are no less than 7 Ford GT40s entered. The familiar yellow car of John Mayston-Taylor, the Gulf one of Jackie Oliver mixing it with last year’s sensation Darren Manning in the ‘Essex Wire’ car and others. Don’t miss the Corvette in there. Shouldn’t that be in the TT race? Well two are, but this is a genuine ‘Grand Sport’, a car that could outdrag anything in its day and was really a front-engined Can Am car. 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Attwood has the task of encouraging it to go round corners…

And there’s planes and bikes, lots of other stuff and some really great outfits – make sure you go along, it really is the best Historic meeting in the world.

Text/Photos: Steve Wakefield