Early rising is not my hobby, but there are occasions that make early rising easy. Like travelling tot the Goodwood Revival. This year I leave for Dover from Dunkerque together with some car-enthusiasts. Then follows a touristic drive through Kent and Sussex. A Jaguar XK8 and 4 BMW’s (2 times a 318i cabrio E30, a E46 330i cabrio, a Z3 coupé 3.0 and a rather nervous Mercedes AMG).
British elegance and German built quality together underway to Goodwood. All car enthusiasts, so no negative words on the other cars. And let’s be honest; what can beat the pace and grace of a Jaguar?
We arrived in Portsmouth at our budget hotel in the evening and went to bed quite early. Friday at nine in the morning the vintage party starts at Goodwood. After a quick breakfast (no real English breakfast possible), we drive off to Goodwood. We are not the only one with this target. Huge traffic jams towards the parking lots on the lawns around the Goodwood track.
The arrival at the lawns around Goodwood is a happening itself. Many classic cars arrive with their owners wearing period style clothing. Tweeds, hats, wide skirts, RAF uniforms, old overalls. Everybody joins in to make the magical step back in time.
Finally we managed to get in, after being distracted by so many cars and people. Indeed we make a magical step back in time. All shops, car’s and staff are styled as if they are in the fifties. Even TESCO warehouse looks like those days.
I like it very much that also here, like in Zandvoort, I see an older racer having his wife on the team as assistant. He told me that his Cooper racer doesn’t race as well when his wife is nog present. His wife adds that she only polishes the car a little, but doesn’t make her hands dirty.
The Earl of March has done everything to make this happen. This year Ferrari is one of the central themes. Fifty panting Ferrari’s will race and be active outside the track. For example on Earls Court. A kind of British auto show from the fifties. Next Saturday we see them racing in the Lavant cup, which is reserved specially for pre-sixties sports car with drum brakes and a Maranello dress.
Furthermore we will see action from the most successful Le Mans racing driver ever: Tom Kristensen. He will race in the RAC Tourist Trophy. Kristensen, 48, has 9 victories on Le Mans on his record between the years 1997 and 2013. He was earlier on Goodwood and drove a AC Cobra. This year he will drive a Lister-Jaguar coupé in a race with top-GT cars with an total value of over 150 million pound. Incredible that there will be serious racing with these cars, taking possible damage for granted.
Dutchmen Adrian van Hooydonk will drive in the St Mary’s trophy. Nowadays he is designchef at BMW. Hij al ready was racing in Germany and The Netherlands. Two years ago in Zandvoort he told me that he was not qualified enough to race at Goodwood. Now he managed to get here and will drive amongst Mini’s, Jaguars, BMW’s and American V8’s. We are curious who will be the fastest driver. Tiff Needell, who drives also in this class, drives a Jaguar MKII. He told me that those high revving Mini’s very often are faster than the 6 of 8 cylinder powered cars. While a talked to them, he gave some free advice to a Mini-driver: Flat out in the corner and flat out on the straights.
The results of all the racing will be known Sunday, when all races have been done.