Goodwood Revival 2004 - Preview
Johhny Herbert and 1955 long-nose D-Type
Goodwood, Tuesday 3rd August. With just four weeks or so to go to this year’s race meeting, the Sussex track was reverberating to the sound of jazz bands, vintage aircraft engines, and of course the most fantastic racing machinery, like the 1955 Jaguar D-Type of Johnny Herbert.
In case anyone needs reminding, admittance to the 2004 racing event, like the ‘Festival’ hill-climb in June, is by advance ticket only. It’s very easy to do, you can go online or ‘phone them directly, the details of which are printed below. On Press Day, Lord March reported that the message was being received and understood, and that bookings were looking very good for 2004. Our advice would be to reserve a grandstand seat as well, the meeting is so good (and it will be busy) so it’s nice to have a ‘base’ to go back to, having looked at the paddock, car displays and trade stands.
As last time, a feature of Press Day is the opportunity to ride the circuit in one of September’s competing cars, driven by an expert picked from one of the top-drawer drivers likely to be racing on the day.
If last year’s ride in Aston Martin Project 212 was a hard act to follow - and the car was on hand again, looking immaculate as ever after its hard drive at the Le Mans Classic - what better car to choose than the big Aston’s contemporary, ‘CUT 7’? The famous low-drag ex-Jaguar Experimental Department E-Type campaigned by Dick Protheroe in the early ‘60s. And the driver? German sports and saloon car ‘ace’, winner of the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix - Jochen Mass.
Let’s get one thing straight, he does not, nor ever did, live on a boat in the South of France! Having flown in specially from his house on the Cote d’Azur, and dressed casually in lightweight suit and loafers, the great man merely took his jacket off, borrowed a helmet from the racing school’s supply on hand for journos, and after a few sighting laps was ready to roll.
Like the Aston, the E-Type is surprisingly roomy inside for a couple of big chaps - once you’re actually in. The tiny doors, low roof and roll-cage making ingress and egress undignified, to say the least. Instructed by his team to keep the revs down (this was, unlike the proper meeting, a ‘silenced’ day at Goodwood) Mass uses the time-honoured professional race driver’s skills of working the big car up to a reasonable speed - and then not slowing down very much for the whole lap of the super-fast Sussex circuit. First corner Madgwick is approached pretty quickly - the car is 30bhp down on its ‘sister’ dark green car that Mass will actually be racing in the TT, and it must be a good 60bhp adrift of P212 - so it doesn’t explode from the chicane the way the Aston does, but Mass takes an unusual line, seeming to brake and turn simultaneously, so before you know it he’s sliding the car through Fordwater and down into St Mary’s using the same technique. The left-hand part of St Mary’s is dealt with by hard-on, second gear acceleration and just holding the car in a drift (no opposite lock). Down to the 90° Lavant corner and on to the straight. Again, it’s very undramatic - but very quick, and one can almost sense the aerodynamics of the car working as it flys down the straight to Woodcote and the start/finish line to begin another lap.
Braking for Woodcote is very late indeed, again all seeming to be in a curve, so the car is ready to make short work of that little straight before the Chicane and on past the pits.
E-Type Jaguar 'CUT 7' queues behind Aston Martin P212 in the Goodwood pits
It’s all an absorbing process watching such a fantastic driver at such close hand. He’s only slightly fazed on the last lap when the rear brakes start to play up (the car is running high at the back, and lost traction in braking means locked rears) so that the entry to St Mary’s is accompanied by a big slide with a handful of lock, as is Lavant when we are confronted with the wonderful site of the 1930s De Havilland Rapide biplane making its landing approach to the circuit, his concentration lapses and another half-spin results - effortlessly dealt with of course.
In all, a tremendous experience to sit with the man who has been racing the best cars in the world since the early ‘70s.
“There is nothing else like Goodwood” says the relaxed German “Lord March has done such a fantastic job, the organisation here, the whole event; it’s top class.” His path to Formula 1 was via the Surtees team, for whom he also drove Formula 2 cars, and he quotes these as being some of his favourites. “The early Ford Capris were good fun - I can remember testing these at Goodwood in 1972! You only had one pit then, look at it now!” Of more modern machinery, the last CLK Mercedes run in the DTM and World Sports Car racing were ‘really good cars’.
And modern Formula 1? “It’s not the same. They are like footballers, with all the money and personal endorsements. Really like David Beckham, fantastic drivers but not the same sport.”
There will of course be many other ex-F1, sports-car and celebrated club drivers at the event. A short preview can only scratch the surface, so a visit to the Goodwood website is a must. Other features new-for-2004 include a ‘Revival EXPO’, a ‘whole new shopping experience’ outside the circuit but linked by a dramatically designed bridge over the road. This, with the implementation of the ticket-only policy, will mean more room for all, and better value for money, by moving some of the event outside the circuit.
Lord March has also had a considerable success in securing Swiss watch manufacturers Rolex as title-sponsors of the Drivers’ Club - see separate story.
The Revival’s scheduling has been changed, so Saturday and Sunday are now all racing, while proceedings on Friday will be timed practice only, plus of course the Bonhams Auction on Friday afternoon, when the amazing Milligen collection will be sold, amongst many other cars. Full preview on the auction nearer the time.
The feature races will be there as usual, and this year the St Mary’s Trophy for racing saloon cars will be split into two parts, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. This time the period is for 1950s cars so expect to see some door-handling of Mk VII Jaguars, Austin Westminsters and an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire (of all things) driven by Sir Stirling Moss, Derek Bell, John Fitzpatrick et al, (Gerry Marshall’s also down to drive an Alvis Grey Lady, which should be fun). The DKWs are back, with Aston Martin specialist Desmond Smail likely to be paired with Johnny Herbert in a reprise of their Audi-backed, 2002 exploits.
The Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration is the main attraction. Held on Sunday only, the one-hour, two-driver event for closed cockpit GT cars is a ‘must-do’ for anyone unfamiliar with the Revival. Expect the same sort of action we usually get, with Ferrari 250 SWBs and GTOs battling it out with Aston Martins, ACs and Jaguars. For Anglo-American fans the big news this year is that it’s hoped two of the original Daytona Coupés will be there, as well as the Willment Cobra Coupé, and it may well be that original Cobra pilot, Bob Bondurant is available to compete.
Gerry Marshall will be driving this Austin-Healey 100S in the 'Freddie March Trophy'
Richard Sutton gives Johnny Herbert some driving tips. We think Bonhams' Jo Olley is going to enjoy herself as a passenger...
Another new feature in 2004 is the addition of a pre-war race, for cars raced at Brooklands under the Brooklands Automobile Racing Club supervision, which after WW2 became the British Automobile Racing Club - based at the Sussex circuit. Single-seater fans will enjoy the three races for cars dating from pre-1954 (Goodwood Trophy), via 1954-1961 (Richmond and Gordon Trophies) to the ‘end-of-an-era’ 1500cc, rear-engined F1 cars in the Glover Trophy.
For those - post-'Le Mans Classic' - with a taste for Ford GT40s there will be more than half a dozen in the Whitsun Trophy, while expect to see more D-Types, Listers and Astons in the Sussex Trophy - always an exciting event, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy taking place as usual for Goodwood Nine Hours-type cars such as the Jaguar C-Type and Aston Martin DB3S. There’s also a motorcycle race on both Saturday and Sunday, the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy.
And of course everyone will be dressed up in 1940s and ‘50s clothes, the catering on-site is second to none, and the circuit’s life as a WW2 airbase is celebrated with amazing air displays by vintage aircraft such as the Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang.
It’s going to be good again.
Susie Moss hears from Jodie Kidd, how her husband, Sir Stirling, drives the Goodwood circuit
Stars of the Bonhams Auction, the 1929 Mercedes 38/250 SSK, and 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
To book your tickets for the Revival, please either telephone the Booking Office on +44 1243 755055 or buy on-line by visiting the Online Shopping & Tickets section of www.goodwood.co.uk. You will also find the latest news, press releases and a timetable of events.
The website is updated over the whole event, in real time, so if you can't make the whole weekend, every day's action is recorded for you.
Text and Photos; Steve Wakefield - Classic Driver