Goodwood Revival Race Meeting 2002 - Review

From the first practice of the event on Friday, to the closing race on Sunday afternoon. By way of on-track parades, thrilling air displays and magnificently costumed spectators, Goodwood once again proved it is the best historic motor racing event in the world.

New for 2002 was the twilight race on the early Saturday evening, recollecting a time in the mid Fifties when Aston Martin, Ferrari and Jaguar would regularly battle away in the Goodwood Nine Hours. Watching the cars coming down the Lavant straight, sliding through first Woodcote corner and then the chicane one could only imagine the events of forty odd years ago with Moss, Salvadori and Hawthorn driving the very same cars. Victory in this event went to the very experienced pairing of Frank Sytner and Willie Green in an Aston DB3S. The race was a great success and, as ever, by coming up with new ideas each year the Goodwood team, led by Lord March himself, have managed to keep the ongoing momemtum of the event. Something that other events' organisers have found so hard to do.

On the Sunday another change in format saw the St Mary's Trophy race for saloon cars restricted to cars no newer than 1959. Out went the big American metal and Lotus Cortinas and the crowd, (if one can use so common a word to describe spectators at Goodwood), were treated to MkI Jaguars being relentlessly pursued by Austin A35s driven by former stars such as ex-GP driver Jackie Oliver. Victory went to the Jaguar of Derek Bell and Grant Williams in BUY 1, the ex-Coombs car, with a similar car second. Oliver was third and Tony Dron, reunited with his Ford Zephyr was 7th.

Goodwood Revival Race Meeting 2002 - Review With other races for single seaters and motorcycles of all ages happening, the next big contest was the RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration for GT cars of the early sixties. Despite lacking the usual ranks of Ferrari GTOs this year, (due to a clashing engagement in France), the race produced its normal fireworks. French ex Grand Prix drivers Patrick Tambay and Henri Pescarolo were paired together in a Shelby Cobra hardtop and had the most almighty battle with the ex-Coombs E-Type Jaguar 4 WPD of Emmanuelle Pirro and Gregor Fisken. The Frenchmen won the day despite a valiant effort by Pirro to keep the grey, almost matt primer, coloured car in front.

Goodwood Revival Race Meeting 2002 - Review The Sussex Trophy, for 1950s sportscars was won in magnificent fashion by Classic Driver's own Tony Dron in the beautiful Ferrari Dino 246S. As usual the sheer power of the Listers and D-Types left the little Italian car behind at the start, but, I am told by spectators, Dron really produced the goods and in an enthralling battle with Le Mans (and works Jaguar) veteran Win Percy, he was able to slip the red car ahead at one of the fastest corners of the circuit on the very last lap. Well done Tony.

The meeting closed with a race for 'big-banger' sportscars of the type that were just appearing at the time the circuit closed in the sixties. This was one of those occasions when a full time F1 driver made it look easy and BAR tester, Darren Manning, drove the ex-Essex Wire car to a flag-to-flag victory.

What more? Oh, an original Battle of Britain pilot, Raymond Baxter, (who was also the voice of motor racing on the BBC prior to Murray Walker), commentated with authority on the air displays by Mustangs, Spitfires and a Hurricane. 1970's motor cycle legend Barry Sheene rode a superb couple of races despite his current ill-health. The spectators rose to the occasion once again to dress up in the most extraordinary selection of clothes, and there was a plethora of stands selling books, photographs and models to pore over.

To sum Goodwood 2002 up in one word? Glorious. And no doubt it will be even better next year.

For full details of all the recents events at Goodwood please visit their excellent website www.goodwood.co.uk where you can see photos, reviews and download results in PDF format of the whole meeting.

Gallery Photos by:Charis Whitcombe/Steve Wakefield. All main shots by the kindest permission of Roger Dixon and remain his strictly copyrighted material.

The Gallery;