The $250 million race: Goodwood Revival live-streaming history this weekend
Every year, Charles Gordon-Lennox, 11th Duke of Richmond, 11th Duke of Lennox, 11th Duke of Aubigny, 6th Duke of Gordon and rabid automobile enthusiast, holds a fancy dress party at his Goodwood Estate in West Sussex.
Best known for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Goodwood Estate plays host to several wonderful events, but there are none quite like his Goodwood Revival, where you won't get past the gate unless you are wearing costume in keeping with the period during which his family's motor racing circuit was active on the international motor racing stage: 1948 to 1966.
The Goodwood Revival has been running annually since 1998 and it grows in stature and professionalism each year, to the point where you can now watch the entire proceedings on YouTube for free in high definition.
Whilst the expert commentary is very knowledgable about the racing, the mix of entertainment from every aspect of the post-war period, is quite diverse.
So if you have a spare hour or 10 this weekend, it's well worth a look, because the facility is there to watch each day's proceedings by moving back and forth on the time line to watch the events you are interested in.
In addition to the on-track action featuring car and motorcycle racing from different classes and periods of the postWW2 era, through Bonhams' official Goodwood Revival auction, to just soaking up the atmosphere of the pits and paddock of a race circuit from a bygone era.
There's also a strong aviation theme to the three-day festival, with a tribute to the British Royal Air Force (RAF), which iscelebrating its centenary year. During WW2, RAF Westhampnett was built on the Goodwood Estate and played a key role in winning the Battle of Britain, a pivotal aerial campaign that defended the UK against large-scale aerial attacks during the Blitz.
There were even hair-dressing facilities on site where you could complement your -in-period attire with the hair-styles of the day.
There are a few "tells" that prevent the experience from being feature-film authentic, because everyone is carrying the latest in still and video capture devices, the racing drivers wear full race harnesses and the latest helmets, and there are modern roll-cages fitted to most of the cars, but ...
... everything else is very authentic, with a nod to the "induced epidemic" fashion of the day going beyond just the clothes.
Hence the Goodwood Revival is a celebration of many aspects of life as our parents and their parents knew it, and as the winner of the Kinrara Trophy, Emanuele Pirro so beautifully put it, "Lord March has a wonderful time machine."
That's Lord March at left above, with British media personality (and dedicated petrolhead) Chris Evans and his wife Natasha Shishmanian.
The highlight of the first day was the Kinrara Trophy, held for pre-1963 GT cars, with a line-up estimated at $250 million in value including a Ferrari 250 GTO, and even rarer Ferrari 330 GTO, nine Ferrari 250 GT SWBs, four AstonMartin DB4 GTs, a pair of Austin Healey 3000s, two AC Cobras, and eight Jaguar E-types.
The race took place over an hour at dusk on Friday and if you think these gentelmen drivers weren't "playing for keeps" because they were driving cars ranging from $500,000 to one hundred times that amount, you would be very wrong.
From the get-go, though racing was clean, it was decidedly serious and racing incidents occur even with the best of intentions.
That's a Ferrari 250 GTO getting rear-ended at the start of the race above, which resulted in the car eventually retiring from the race.
Popping around the corner to Joe's for a cheapie bog-and-spray isn't really an option when your car is worth more than a tropical island.
The fastest car in practice for the race, by a full second a lap, was the fabled Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan built for Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata's Scuderia Serenissima Republica di Venezia (SSR) racing team by Giotto Bizzarrini at the company created by the breakaway Ferrari employees of the early 1960s.
ATS (Automobili Turismo Sport) took a Ferrari 250 GT SWB and remodelled it entirely, presenting the Count with a car that was as powerful as a 250 GTO, but had a smaller frontal area, lower drag co-efficient, and weighed considerably less. So low was the front of the Breadvan that the venturis of all six Weber carbs protruded, and a plastic cover was needed to prevent them sucking in low-flying birds.
The Breadvan has had a remarkable history, having been loaned by the Count to his friends such as Fiat owner Gianni Agnelli, and Gunter Sachs, who famously used the it to lead the carabinieri in a high speed chase that resulted in the car being confiscated.
In the end, the Breadvan prevailed in the Kinrara Trophy event, but not before swapping the lead a dozen times with the E-Type Jaguar of Keen and Minshaw.
If you have some time free this Saturday or Sunday, the entire nostalgic Goodwood Revival festival is being broadcast free on YouTube and ... awesome entertainment.
Many thanks to Charles Gordon-Lennox for creating two such magical events and freely sharing them.
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