The Goodwood Revival is a vintage car and motorcycle racing festival in England. The event offers three days of racing for classic race cars and vintage motorcycles built before 1967. Most spectators add to the ambiance by dressing in period costumes.
What date is the Goodwood Revival?
The Goodwood Revival lasts for one weekend in September. The 2021 Revival will open on September 16th and include racing on September 17th, 18th, and 19th.
The Goodwood Revival is a separate event from the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Festival of Speed is a weekend hill climb and car show on the estate grounds at the end of June or early July. While some vintage cars compete in the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it is not exclusively vintage cars.
The history of the Goodwood Revival
The Revival takes place on the Goodwood Circuit, originally a perimeter track of the Royal Air Force’s Westhampnett Airfield. The 9th Duke of Richmond and Earl of March, named Frederick Gordon-Lennox and known as Freddie March, was a pilot and racing fan. During World War Two, he invited the RAF to build Westhampnett airport on the grounds of his ancestral home, the Goodwood Estate. After the war, he turned the airfield perimeter road into a race track.
In 1948, Freddie March inaugurated the new 2.37-mile race track with a lap in his Bristol 400. The Goodwood Circuit hosted racing events, including Formula One, until 1966. As the cars grew faster, March grew concerned about an accident on his small track. Eventually, he retired the circuit altogether.
In 1998, the 11th Duke of Richmond brought racing back to the Goodwood Circuit. The present Duke, known as Charles Gordon-Lennox, held the first Goodwood Revival on the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s inauguration of the track. He opened the event with a lap of the track in Freddie March’s Bristol 400. Since 1998, the Goodwood Revival has become the largest vintage race event in England, the only to be performed in period-correct clothing.
The Goodwood Revival weekend overview
2021’s Goodwood Revival features events on Thursday the 16th through Sunday the 19th. Friday is full of on-track practice laps while most racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Each car’s type and era dictates its racing class. Each class races throughout the weekend. Classes range from 1950s Formula One cars to classic Mini Coopers to prewar grand prix cars such as the Blower Bentley.
The Goodwood Circuit grounds are open on Thursday from 4 pm until 10 pm. There are no track events on Thursday, but visitors can get a jumpstart on the off-track revival attractions, which will be open all weekend long. Participants can visit the “Over the Road” fairground, which includes rides, food, a revival cinema, a dancehall, and shopping. Participants can also see “Revival High Street,” an open-air shopping center. Finally, visitors can dine at one of the Revival’s many catering stands, tea shed, or Richmond Lawn outdoor restaurant.
The 2021 Goodwood Revival racing schedule
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all feature vintage racing, as well as the off-track attractions. The Goodwood Circuit grounds open at 7:30 am and stay open until 10 pm. Friday’s on-track events include official practices for all of the car classes and track parades for specific classes at 12:20 and 3:50. Friday’s only race is the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy at 6:20 pm.
Saturday features three more track parades, with the first at 8:40 am. Saturday will also see eight races for various classes of vintage race cars. Saturday’s last official event will be an air show at 7:05 pm.
Sunday’s schedule is similar to Saturday’s but without an air show. The morning begins with a Holy Communion and track blessing. The day will continue with five track parades. The day will also feature eight separate races. The final event of the Goodwood Revival will be the Freddie March Memorial Trophy race at 5:20 pm on Sunday.
Do you have to dress up for the Goodwood Revival?
According to the Goodwood website, it is not “compulsory” to dress up at the revival. But almost all attendants do dress up. It is compulsory to wear a jacket and tie or a dress to visit the central paddock.
The Goodwood Circuit was active from 1948 through 1966. Revival participants dress in a range of styles from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Some wear vintage military uniforms; others dress up like Hollywood celebrities. Three costume style categories, according to Goodwood sources, are a “slick urban look,” a “gentrified country style,” or the “chocs-away military aesthetic.”
Some people go to great lengths to achieve their Goodwood look, even hunting down period-correct racing uniforms. Others blend in with nondescript jeans and t-shirts. Some even visit the onsite salons and barbershops to get made-up on the grounds. The overall result is a “step-back-in-time spectacle” that is unparalleled in the world of motorsports. Therefore, anyone wearing modern clothes to the Goodwood Revival will undoubtedly draw the wrong type of attention.