2010 Goodwood Revival Marks Battle of Britain 70th

Published: 01:35PM Sep 17th, 2010
By: Web Editor

Tickets for the fantastic 2010 Goodwood Revival sold out days before the event which attracted some 134,000+ visitors. The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was marked with a moving Goodwood tribute on Sunday 19 September, while racing honours were paid to John Surtees and 60 years of BRM racing cars on the circuit.

2010 Goodwood Revival Marks Battle of Britain 70th

Photos: Jarrod Cotter

John Surtees was the first and only World Champion on two and four wheels and was honoured 50 years after his very first race in a car, which took place at Goodwood in March 1960. A stunning collection of more than 25 vehicles associated with his racing career paraded in his honour, led by the great man driving and riding a variety of cars and motorcycles from his racing past. Additionally, a record gathering of racing BRMs paraded each day as well to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this very British racing marque taking its initial racing victory – which took place at Goodwood – in 1950.

The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was marked with a fitting and emotional tribute. In its former guise of RAF Westhampnett, Goodwood was a Battle of Britain airfield during World War Two, and nine veterans who were based at the West Sussex airfield returned, some for the first time in 70 years. Two returned especially for the occasion from Canada, and another all the way from Australia. A moving tribute was paid by the Goodwood Revival's founder Lord March on the grid with the nine veterans, joined by a Spitfire and Hurricane, with the Band of Her Majesty the Queen's Royal Marines and a cannon gun salute made by the Royal Horse Artillery. Lord March arrived on the Goodwood grid in the actual Bentley 4.5-litre owned by Billy Fiske, who was also honoured in the tribute. Fiske was the first American to volunteer for the RAF, and also the first US airman to be shot down and lose his life in World War Two. He is buried on the edge of the Goodwood Estate at the Boxgrove Priory, where a stained glass window in his honour is also located. After a minute's silence a flypast by three Spitfires and a Hurricane provided a fitting conclusion to this significant tribute.

On the track, the quality of motor racing was exceptional throughout the Revival weekend, with many nail-biting races and some thrills and spills along the way. Racing highlights included the thrilling St Mary's Trophy for 1950s saloon cars, with Derek Bell and Grant Williams taking hard-fought victory. The £150 million car grid for the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration also made for exciting competition, with Jean-Marc Gounon and Peter Hardman taking the victory in Anthony Bamford's Ferrari 250 GTO 64. Andrew Smith claimed the honours in the Whitsun Trophy for late-period sports racing prototypes. An action-packed race saw the four leading drivers break the Revival lap record, with Smith achieving a staggering 1:18.9 lap time. Driver of the event was awarded to Nick Wigley who drove an excellent race in The Gordon Trophy to climb from a starting position of tenth to win in his 1959 Cooper-Climax T51. The exciting Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy motorcycle race featured 1950s bikes and a Le Mans-style running start, with Ian Bain and Steve Brogan claiming the overall honours, though many eyes were on ex-500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner, who made up for a lack of track time in the first part of the race to scythe through the order on Sunday to take victory on the road in Part 2.

Some great period fashions, including sea of colourful mini skirts on Ladies Day (Saturday), helped seal the unique, fun atmosphere of the 2010 Revival. On the Richmond Lawn a 1950s-style circus with clowns, wrestlers, a Hall of Mirrors, and even a bearded lady, also helped the great vibe, as did the live bands, dancing and comic film sets and 1950s holiday camp. The re-creation of a typical early 1960s British street scene, with a bus depot, car park and Tesco supermarket proved to be hugely popular, with Revival shoppers coming over 'all nostalgic' at the sight of period packaging and household brands that had long been forgotten. Opal Fruits and Marmite in the correct period packaging proved to be in great demand.

The world's only remaining airworthy Hawker Demon aircraft from 1937 was voted the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation winner by a panel of celebrity judges, including James Martin and Rowan Atkinson, whilst an Aston Martin DB4 was the public's choice for the most desirable Grand Touring car in the Earls Court concours d'elegance.

In all, the 2010 Goodwood Revival was a great success, with Revival-goers already talking with excitement and anticipation about next year's event. Confirmed dates for the 2011 Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed have yet to be finalised. These will be announced in the coming weeks though, with 2011 tickets going on sale on November. www.goodwood.co.uk

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