It was a weekend of motorsport at Autocar – while our team were putting in a sterling performance in the Britcar 24 hour race, I was taking part in the best Goodwood Revival meeting since the circuit was reopened to racing a decade a go.
If you asked what was the best moment, you’d probably get a different answer from every one of over 100,000 spectators who crammed into Goodwood in a dazzling array of flat caps, military uniform and period costume.
Some were in the air, where everything from Spitfire and Mustang fighters to Lancaster and Vimy bombers could be seen, others on the track – alone in the world in retaining an unchanged layout from its glory days.
The perpetual crowd pleaser Grant Williams driving his Mk1 Jaguar at incomprehensible angles in the St Mary’s Trophy was one; the howl of the British straight sixes mingling with the shriek of the Italian V12s and thunder of the American V8s in the TT race another.
And no one who stayed on until Saturday evening will ever forget the sight of the special 1.5 hour Freddie March Memorial Trophy race for 1950s sports racing cars, held at dusk to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Revival and the sixtieth of Goodwood as a race track.
Headlights blazing, they raced into a perfect sunset on this, the most evocative and historic race track in the country.
But for me at least, it is always the drivers. The oldest surviving F1 world champion, the 82 year old Sir Jack Brabham, flew in from Australia to be there while SirStirling Moss first described being in his 80th year as ‘a pain in arse’ before showing once again that age is no barrier when you have guts, determination and talent like his. In among the demonstration laps, book signings and public appearances, he qualified and raced three cars in a schedule that would have taxed a man half his age.
And where else would you see Emerson Fittipaldi, Martin Brundle, Nick Mason, Henri Pescarolo, Brian Redman, Richard Attwood and Bobby Rahal not just as the same meeting, but in the same race?
And for those of you tempted to think that Brundle might have gone soft sitting in his commentary box, you’d think again if you saw the way he flung an E-type around the track to record the fastest lap of the Blue Riband TT race.
All in all it was a miraculous weekend, blessed by fine weather and the some of the finest cars and drivers alive today. If you have but one drop of oily blood in your body and go to just one car-related event next year, make sure it’s this one