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Five key elements to watch at the 2023 Goodwood Revival

The 25th Goodwood Revival is due to be held this weekend and, from birthday celebrations to iconic cars, there's plenty to look forward to at an extra special edition of the historic motorsport extravaganza

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Goodwood’s Motor Circuit, like other ex-RAF Second World War aerodromes repurposed for car racing in peacetime, was not Britain’s grandest venue in its contemporary era. Aintree, with its imposing horse racing infrastructure, claimed that crown. Yet the hospitality lavished upon visiting sporting greats by the petrolhead ninth Duke of Richmond & Gordon – Brooklands race winner and aviator Freddie March, for whom Castrol R was as much the elixir of life as champagne – made it the most sociable.

Parties at Goodwood House, his family seat since 1697, and cricket matches outside in the park, made it a magnet for the world’s top drivers, sporting cognoscenti and socialites. That tradition continues in the care of his grandson Charles, the 11th Duke, who as the Earl of March achieved his dream of reopening the track in 1998, following a 32-year hiatus.

Now, everybody is invited to the Revival, the peerless mecca of motorsport lifestyle set in a pre-1966 timewarp, which this weekend celebrates its 25th edition (2020’s was cancelled due to COVID) in Goodwood’s 75th anniversary year.

Shades of Nine Hours

C-type pilots will be looking to uphold Jaguar honour after period Aston Martin defeats

C-type pilots will be looking to uphold Jaguar honour after period Aston Martin defeats

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Racing from 3pm to midnight characterised Goodwood’s Nine Hour Sports Car Races of 1952, 1953 and 1955. All were won, against the odds, by David Brown’s Aston Martins against the mighty Jaguar XK120Cs - Peter Collins/Pat Griffith (DB3), Reg Parnell/Eric Thompson and Peter Walker/Dennis Poore diligently defeating the Coventry cats.

Friday evening’s race into dusk – named for Freddie March – boasts a similar dynamic. Jenson Button/Alex Buncombe, Sam Hancock/Fred Wakeman, Alex Brundle/Gary Pearson and Chris Ward/Nigel Webb saddle C-types; Darren Turner/Simon Hadfield and Martin Stretton/Urs Muller DB3Ss.

But Gregor Fisken/Jake Hill, Martin Hunt/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards and Bobby Verdon-Roe (with son Martin) in HWM-Jaguars, the Cooper-Jaguar T33s of Guy Harman/Nick Finburgh and Vanina Ickx/Katarina Kyvalova, plus the Allard J2s of Benoit Treluyer/Nick Jarvis and Simon Evans/Nigel Greensall will be after them. Italian marques may prevail though, with David Franklin/Emanuele Pirro in a Ferrari 250 MM and Richards Bradley and Wilson in the latter’s ex-Jim Hall/Carroll Shelby Maserati 250S.

ERAs vs BRM V16

ERAs are set to be among the veteran grand prix cars in action

ERAs are set to be among the veteran grand prix cars in action

Photo by: Motorsport Images

The influence of Raymond Mays and Peter Berthon upon motorsport pre- and post-Second World War is beautifully illustrated in Saturday’s Goodwood Trophy race. Their English Racing Automobiles and British Racing Motors always exude charisma.

Nine ERAs grace the field, among them at least five that were here on opening day in 1948. Mark Gillies starts hot favourite in Dick Skipworth’s R3A, but now that US-domiciled Irishman Paddins Dowling has the ex-Bira R5B ‘Remus’ in his stable he can expect a harder battle in which David Morris (R11B ‘Humphrey’), Americans Michael Gans (R1B) and event debutant Brad Baker (R10B), and Nick Topliss (R4A) should play roles. Duncan Ricketts’s E-type ERA GP1 has shown pace and petulance, but on form is a threat too.

But the awesome soprano soundtrack of a centrifugally supercharged BRM V16 – John Owen’s continuation car, now sorted – in the hands of Rob Hall will thrill, and demand earplugs. Opposition comes from Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in Jaime Bergel’s Maserati 4CLT, Richard Bradley (4CL) and Ian Baxter’s Alta.

PLUS: How F1's greatest sound has returned to the track

Single-seater showcase

Plenty of historic single-seater races will feature the likes of Maserati 250Fs

Plenty of historic single-seater races will feature the likes of Maserati 250Fs

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Grand prix cars of different configurations contest photogenic Richmond & Gordon Trophy and Glover Trophy races redolent of Goodwood’s internationals of yore. Maserati 250Fs, Lotus 16s and a Scarab – with a different balance of power in today’s sprints – populate the former, but won’t live with well-driven Cooper T53s, Lotus 18s and BRM P48 on a dry track.

PLUS: The front-engined "s*** beetle" that was born obsolete

Ferrari F1 alumnus Arturo Merzario (Derrington-Francis ATS) and US veteran James King (Brabham BT7) aim to come between Andy Middlehurst (Lotus 25) and a ninth victory in the 1500cc contest. Teenaged Historic F3 champion Samuel Harrison will be rapid in the ex-Denny Hulme 1000cc F2 Brabham BT10.

But the most competitive ‘monoposto’ action is likely to be found in the Chichester Cup Formula Junior race, for the 1100cc rear-engined cars of 1962-63. Horatio Fitz-Simon and Clive Richards have slugged it out all season in the FJHRA’s Lurani Trophy and UK championships, but add in Goodwood FJ winners Andrew Hibberd, Stuart Roach and Sam Wilson, plus Chris Goodwin, Switzerland’s Philipp Buhofer, Italy’s Tonetti brothers and wildcard Alex Brundle in a Lotus 27, and it should be another belter.

Magical Miscellany

Moss' Ferrari success will be honoured

Moss' Ferrari success will be honoured

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Two of the greatest marques are honoured by one-make races. The Lavant Cup is a V12 Ferrari fest. Numerically dominant are 250 GT Berlinettas, sisters to Stirling Moss’s 1960 and 1961 RAC Tourist Trophy winners. Drivers include five-time Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro and Monaco GP Historique F1 victor Martin O’Connell. F1 racer-turned-pundit Karun Chandhok races a 250 GTO, Gary Pearson and Rob Hall 250 LMs.

Friday favourite: Karun Chandhok on his favourite car

The Fordwater Trophy showcases two-litre Porsche 911s running on sustainable synthetic fuel – a Revival first! Tom Kristensen, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and historics ace Olly Bryant are among the stars.

Button is also out in Saturday’s pro leg of the St Mary’s Trophy saloon staple, which reverts to its 1950s timeframe. Le Mans heroes Richard Attwood, David Brabham and Andy Wallace are joined in Jaguar Mk1s by 2012 World Touring Car champion Rob Huff, but can anybody stop Romain Dumas in Bill Shepherd’s Ford Thunderbird?

New forces facing Cobras and Jaguar E-types – and the TVR Griffith of Guy Smith/Mike Whitaker – in Sunday’s RAC TT Celebration pack are Adrian Willmott’s Bizzarrini 5300 GT, co-driven by Andrew Jordan, and Duncan Pittaway’s Cheetah-Chevrolet, shared with Stuart Graham.

Poignant moments

Stewart is due to be reunited with a Tyrrell 006, 50 years after the combination won the F1 title

Stewart is due to be reunited with a Tyrrell 006, 50 years after the combination won the F1 title

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Of the on-track celebrations, the most poignant will be Saturday’s appearance of Sir Jackie Stewart in Tyrrell 006, with wailing Ford Cosworth DFV engine at his right foot 50 years to the day after he landed the third of his alternate-year F1 world championships in it in 1973. Be sure to visit the Tyrrell ‘factory’, transplanted to the paddock.

Race of my life: Jackie Stewart on the 1973 Italian Grand Prix

Nine years previously, JYS had won his F3 Cooper-BMC seat with Ken Tyrrell in an impressive test at Goodwood and dominated the 1964 season; he ultimately shared the outright lap record with his great friend Jim Clark, racing F1 BRM P261 and Lotus 25 respectively.

Talking Lotus, Colin Chapman’s marque shares its 75th anniversary with the circuit’s. A plethora of cars, from utilitarian 1948 Mk1 to stunning 1982 F1 Type 91, trace its history.

US legend Carroll Shelby, whose centenary is celebrated this year, was a great friend of Goodwood. His superb career showcase is bookended by the MG TC he raced in 1952 to a plethora of his Shelby Cobra brainchildren and the Ford GT40s he influenced.

Shelby's career will also be commemorated

Shelby's career will also be commemorated

Photo by: Motorsport Images

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