I was lucky enough to race at the Goodwood Revival meeting in 2011 in the 50th Anniversary of the E-type race. It was a great occasion and I had been lucky enough to win the 40th Anniversary race with my old pal Malcolm Hamilton. Unfortunately it was not to be repeated but it was a fabulous race with the cream of the crop in the E-type world all in attendance.
The racing at this years event was a mixed bag as the weather really played up on Friday and provided the drivers with some really tricky wet conditions to qualify in for their races on Saturday and Sunday.
I think the highlight for me was the St Mary’s race with two terrific and entertaining races taking place on Saturday and Sunday. The battles all down the field provided a wonderful spectacle and especially the A40 vs Jaguar Mk1 on Saturday until the A40 pitted with an ailment and retired. It was no less frantic on Sunday and a race long battle between the 3rd and 4th placed A40’s was a joy to watch. Very close racing but no banging into each other just as it should be! The Alfa and A40 battle for the lead was also top draw and very entertaining.
Lord March who established the Goodwood Revival meeting 20 years ago is always keen to see driving standards maintained; although when you’re battling full on with another competitor it always pays to remember the very good drivers briefing given by the officials reminding drivers to play fair! I was lucky in 2011 as we had Win Percy overseeing proceedings and being Clark of the Course on the day we all received a really good chat by one of the masters of the sport (Win Percy raced and was a great competitor for Jaguar at Le Mans) on keeping it all safe and pointing in the right direction.
Occasionally drivers, no matter how experienced, will over step the mark and whilst we all want to see really close racing there is a fine line. There was an incident in this year’s big TT Celebration race whilst the leading Cobra and E-type were battling for the lead. It resulted in the Cobra exiting left at very high speed having been shunted up the rear. As a result of the incident, the leading E-type was handed a 30 second penalty that effectively cost the Jaguar team a potential victory. Nowadays drivers can’t get away with anything with all the cameras present both in cars and around the circuit (quite rightly too!). Lesson learnt by all I think, keep it clean and fair and you will get the result you deserve; what goes around comes around.
Hopefully all the best Classic Racing Cars and drivers in the world will be returning to Goodwood in 2018 to put on another wonderful spectacle for the thousands of spectators who attend the Goodwood Revival each year. This great event doesn’t happen by accident I’m sure, and a huge amount of effort goes into it from all Lord March’s Goodwood team including the voluntary Marshalls without whom this event wouldn’t take place. Keep up the good work guys and all those who really are passionate about historic racing and love this event. We praise you for putting on such a winning combination of historic cars and historic aircraft from a bygone era. It’s a gem in the calendar. Roll-on 2018!