Racers ready to thrill at Glorious Goodwood

Track's revival celebrates Halcyon era of Racing
James Wood will be in action at the Goodwood Motor Circuit this weekend in this 1959 Lotus 15    (Picture James Beckett)James Wood will be in action at the Goodwood Motor Circuit this weekend in this 1959 Lotus 15    (Picture James Beckett)
James Wood will be in action at the Goodwood Motor Circuit this weekend in this 1959 Lotus 15 (Picture James Beckett)

The Goodwood Revival is set to take place this weekend, and once again promises an action-packed weekend of track action at the Goodwood Motor Circuit write Colin and James Beckett.

Cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's Revival is the first to take place since September 2019, and the retro-themed event promises to provide a superb array on historic motor racing for a packed capacity crowd.

Themed in the period of the 1930s to the mid 1960s, all visitors to the event are encouraged to wear costumes from the era of when Goodwood was either an active Battle of Britain RAF airfield, or from its time as one of Britain's leading race circuits. Closed as a race venue at the end of the 1966 season, Goodwood remained shut to visitors for many years, until Lord March, the current Duke of Richmond and Gordon, recommenced racing activities with his nostalgia-filled Revival event in 1998.

Vale-based racer, James Wood, will race in three races across the weekend, driving sports and saloon cars. A regular at Goodwood events, including the Festival of Speed and Members' Meeting, Wood will race an AC Ace in the Sir Stirling Moss Trophy on Friday evening, before switching to a Lotus 15 sportsracing car for Saturday's Sussex Trophy, and then an Austin A35 in the popular St. Mary's Trophy on Sunday.

Friday's tribute to Sir Stirling Moss, a racer regarded as 'Mr Goodwood', will be the first such race since the much-loved racing maestro passed away during early 2020. Wood will share driving duties in the AC Ace with the car's owner, Annette Mason. Wood will face stiff opposition in the event, as also scheduled to be on-track in the one-hour race is former F1 world champion, Jenson Button. Button will be making his Revival debut this year, and will drive a Jaguar E-Type as team-mate to friend, Alex Buncombe. Wood's appearance in the St. Mary's Trophy is also a two-driver affair, with his partner being former Le Mans 24 Hour racer, Marino Franchitti. Franchitti will also drive a Maserati 250F Grand Prix Car in the Richmond Trophy.

Other local interest centres on Mark Gillies, who is entered to drive Dick Skipworth's superb ERA R3A in the Festival of Britain race on Saturday for Pre-War Grand Prix cars, while Stephen Skipworth will drive his Aston Martin Brooklands in the Revival's Brooklands Trophy - a car Gillies has raced on numerous occasions.

* Torrential rain during the second of Sunday's two Intelligent Money British GT Championship races at Oulton Park made for difficult driving conditions, as racers contested the penultimate event of their 2021 season. The Cheshire parkland track hosted two one hour races on Sunday afternoon, with Britain's premier GT championship once again providing superb on-track action.

Race victories went the way of Kevin Tse and Tom Onslow-Cole (Mercedes-AMG GT3) and Michael Igoe and Phil Keen (Lamborghini Huracan GT3). Vale-based racer, Andrew Howard, finished both races placed ninth overall in his Beechdean Aston Martin Racing-entered Aston Martin Vantage, sharing driving duties once again with Aston Martin factory-supported racer, Jonny Adam.

The duo endured a difficult weekend, after Howard crashed heavily at Shell Oils Hairpin during Free Practice on Saturday. The Beechdean team battled to get a car on-track for Sunday, with a fresh chassis collected from the Prodrive team and delivered to Oulton Park for engineers to build into a raace ready car. Placed ninth in the Drivers' Championship, with one race at Donington Park remaining, Howard's hopes of claiming the 2021 British GT title are slim, but he said, "This was not the best weekend for us. The car was badly damaged during the crash, but the whole team pulled together and I am proud of their work to get a car ready for Jonny and I ready to race on Sunday."

* Pitstone's Alex Kapadia will be in action at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium this weekend, driving an LMP3 car in the latest round of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS).