Goodwood Revival 2017: Slippery when wet

Sometimes, the weather completely transforms the character of an event, and sets a stern test for all involved. Unsettled conditions and strong rainfall, especially at the start, had just such an effect on the Goodwood Revival 2017. It was quite a challenge both for the drivers and for the spectators keen to see what was happening on the racetrack.

Defying wind and rain: These Scottish pipers especially celebrated Ecurie Eccosse.

But Goodwood, being British through and through, made the best of it, with everyone showing courage, fortitude and good humor. The weather seemed to reward the positive attitude, showing an improvement later in the weekend, with dry moments and sunshine cutting through the clouds.

On the racetrack, strong rainfall and even a thunderstorm temporarily turned the course into an aquaplaning test track. Up for seeing some multi-million dollar Ferraris driving sideways? Goodwood Revival 2017 had several such spectacular moments. The real highlight, though, came when Jackie Stewart piloted Fangio’s Maserati 250F, maybe one of the most iconic GP cars of all time. And talking of cars as heroes, the Goodwood Revival 2017 gathered together over a hundred Fiat Cinquecentos, turning Chichester into a corner of Tuscany. The speed may have been less breathtaking, but it was a truly impressive spectacle.

A winning smile and impressive drive: Goodwood´s frequent racer Julien Mahjoub in one of his pre-war cars.

Time for old hands

The lack of grip and poor visibility were an advantage for those most familiar with their cars. In other words, the Goodwood Revival 2017 was an event for the old hand. Goodwood veteran Chris Ward, for example, won this year’s Whitsun Trophy, reprising the skills he demonstrated on the same slippery course last year in his Ford GT40. The Brooklands Trophy was a showcase for pre-war cars: Niklas Halusa, one of the passionate Austrian Halusa brothers, came in first with a fantastic 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C Mille Miglia. He was followed by Mark Gillies in an Aston Martin Brooklands and Thomas Kern, son of Mercedes-Benz compressor collector Peterheinz Kern, in a Mercedes-Benz 710 SSKL.

Freddie March Trophy turned into a duel: Rob Hall (Aston Martin DB3) and Chris Ward (Cooper T33) in the most epic fight of Goodwood Revival 2017.

Fisken & Kristensen

In the Kinrara Trophy, renowned London classic car dealer Gregor Fisken shared the cockpit of his Jaguar E-Type with touring car driver Tom Kristensen. They were beaten into second place by Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw (in another Jaguar E-Type). Another well-known driver at the Goodwood Revival 2017 was Tony Wood. He won the Richmond Trophy in a Maserati TecMec. Wood and his father Barry have been around the Goodwood circuit several times, in the Maserati and in other cars including a Lister-Jaguar Knobbly and a Cooper Bristol.

After years of DNF with crashes and mechanical problems, Ludovic Caron finally celebrates a finish.

So, was Goodwood Revival 2017 just another racing event for the mature gentleman? Not at all: 18-year-old Oliver Hart fought for the lead in the RAC TT competition; only an engine failure stopped him winning in his Cobra. He was awarded Rolex Driver of the Meeting for his impressive performance. With such whole-hearted drivers coming through, the future of historic racing is safer than ever.

Here are some more of our best shots of Goodwood Revival 2017:

All pictures courtesy and © Julien Mahiels.

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