Although the Goodwood Revival 2017 ended on Sunday, September 10, spirits are still high. I really don’t know how the Goodwood organizers keep outdoing themselves year in and year out, but they’ve certainly done it again. The 2017 edition of this iconic Revival has to be the best one yet, with plenty of thrills and even a couple of spills. Thousands of spectators flooded the circuit expecting plenty of close action, and that’s exactly what they got. The circuit was also flooded with rain though, which made for an interesting turn of events over the course of the entire weekend.
A massive downpour of rain meant that the races on Friday were extremely dramatic. The track was so wet that at one point the organizers were considering cancelling the last event. Eventually, special trucks were sent out to dry the pavement and the race went underway. The highlight of the day, if you can call it that, was the rather big shunt a Ferrari 250 GTO/64 had (Video here). Its driver, racing for the lead with a 250 LM, lost control in the slick conditions and had to throw it into the barrier to avoid the other multi-million dollar Ferrari. He managed to save it and only bend the rear quarter, making the car salvageable. I doubt insurance companies have a figure that covers a Ferrari 250 GTO worth several dozen million dollars though.
The Kinrara Trophy Race, one of the best events at Goodwood Revival 2017, was turned out to feature real drama. Drivers showed incredible rain prowess, maintaining the incredible beats on the pavement throughout the entire race… most of them anyway. After some brilliant driving and a couple of sideways moments, Martin Hunt smashed a 1963 AC Cobra into the wall right outside the big sweeper. Thankfully he managed to clip the side and not just plough into it, meaning the car, and Martin, survived the impact. The biggest damage? His pride. Eventually Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw won the class in a Jaguar E-Type, making it a 1-2-3 E-Type victory.
The most iconic race of the revival though was easily the most entertaining to watch this year. Six GT cars swapped places throughout the entire race in some incredible wheel-to-wheel racing the sort of which we don’t get to see a lot nowadays. The 62’ AC Cobra driven by Michael Gans and Andrew Wolfe won the race in the event after an unfortunate penalty saw the 63’ Jaguar E-Type driven by Gordon Shedden knocked off the podium. The 65’ TVR Griffith 400 put on a good show on its own, with the driving god Mike Jordan behind the wheel. It wasn’t the fastest, but it did make a fitting tribute to the return of TVR this year.
The fastest lap of the weekend was set by Miles Griffiths in a Lotus 16, with a blistering time of 1 minute and 30.558 seconds. The quickest lady driver was Jenny Tinmouth in a Hansen Honda (1 minute 36.407 seconds). Richard Meaden and his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti won the Will Hoy Memorial Trophy (awarded to the greatest drive in a closed-cockpit car), and Ruben and Cattio Fangio took home the Spirit of Goodwood Award. Elsewhere Oliver Hart received the Rolex Driver of the Meeting award.
A Bonhams-organized auction was taking place parallel to the racing, with a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona selling the highest at 606,300 pounds. The weekend was at one point compromised by an armed robbery. Two machete and crowbar-wielding thieves attacked security guards and stole in excess of 75,000 pounds! The police are investigating the incident but they’ll have to go over security cameras and witnesses before they release any statement.
All in all, it was probably the greatest Goodwood Revival to date. The robbery was unfortunate, but thankfully no one got hurt. As for the AC Cobra and the 250 GTO, I’d say that they’re casualties of racing. You have to remember that these cars are meant to race. Before they were expensive rare collectables they were just regular race cars, like most of today’s GT3-spec vehicles. The Goodwood Revival is an excellent event which lets them stretch their legs, as the rest of us enjoy their beauty. It also helps when the drivers are incredibly talented and a bit crazy as well.
Written by Stefan Petrov with inputs from Antoine Dellenbach. Photography by Antoine Dellenbach.
The Atmosphere at Goodwood Revival 2017
St Mary’s Trophy