The Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex will soon echo to the sounds of hundreds of cars and motorcycles – not to mention the chatter of thousands of car enthusiasts – as the gates open on 16 September for the 2022 Revival.
For the thousands of spectators who attend, the hundreds who race there, and the many hundreds more who serve as marshals, operate shops and stalls, or play their part behind the scenes, the Revival is one of the biggest and most exciting motoring events on the calendar. It’s where you’ll see some of the best historic racing in the world, while transporting you back to another time – an increasingly appealing escape from the complexities of modern life.
In light of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, organisers say they will pay tribute by encouraging visitors to wear black armbands. With this year’s event nearly upon us, we’ve put together this preview to give you a steer on what to expect in 2022, and how you can enjoy the Revival to the fullest.
When is the Goodwood Revival?
The 2022 Goodwood Revival takes place between 16-18 September, and recalls with fondness the 18-year period where the Motor Circuit was active – from the immediate inter-war years of 1948 to its closure in 1966.
Gates open at 7:30am on Friday with the first on-track action at 10:05am courtesy of the Madgwick Cup. There’s just one race that day, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy at 18:25, the last timetabled event of the day, but after gates once again open at 7:30 on Saturday, you won’t have to wait too long for racing to resume, the Madgwick Cup again kicking off proceedings, this time at 10:10am. Saturday finishes after a Spitfire air display at 19:00.
On Sunday, it’s a 7:30am start again, with the first racing (the Chichester Cup) from 9:40am, and the last (the St Mary’s Trophy) at 17:35. Prize-giving takes place at 18:45.
Where can I buy tickets?
Online, via Goodwood’s ticket website, though as you read this you’re just about out of luck if you’re not already holding a ticket. Friday passes, with prices starting at £64, are listed as “just about to sell out”.
It’s also worth mentioning that, if you’re a member of the Goodwood Road and Racing Club, and can’t make the event, you can livestream the whole show from home.
What’s great about the Revival?
In Goodwood’s case, the “Revival” in its title is literal. Every year since 1998 – aside from 2020 when the pandemic postponed proceedings – pre-1966 racing has gone ahead, alongside a revival of the best fashion, shopping, and ephemera from the period.
Firms like Mars and Tesco reanimate old signage and old brands – and hot-rods, old garage scenes and period dress line the infields and surrounding pits into and out of the Revival paddock. But the real focus is on the racing, with 13 contests across 15 races over the three days of the Revival, spanning everything from motorcycles to Austin J40 pedal cars (and every class in between).
The word “magical” is overused with the Revival, but there really is truth to it. You’ll struggle to find another event with such nostalgia, or such a good-natured, high-spirited audience. People really get into the spirit of the event, and the sight of thousands of people dressed up – as some of the world’s best racing cars roar past – really is something to experience.
What can I expect to see at this year’s Revival?
Let’s start outside the track itself and work our way in, by discussing “Over The Road” first: comprising the Revival Car Show, a fairground and a cinema, you could easily spend a day gawping at the pre-1966 car park, which fills with more than 3000 historic vehicles from all over Europe. We did exactly that last year, and reckon it’s the world’s greatest car park.
You’ll also find Hagerty’s stand Over the Road, where there’ll be a very special car on display, a rare 1954 Pegaso Saoutchik Coupe, which you can find out more about in this profile of Jacques Saoutchik, the celebrated coachbuilder.
The racing is the main event, however, and the sheer quality of the driving talent has to be seen to be believed. There’s an enormous roster of famous drivers this year, including three Formula 1 champions – Jenson Button, Damon Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart. There will be 15 endurance racing drivers in attendance, with “Mr Le Mans”, Tom Kristensen among them. Max Chilton, who set a record Hillclimb time during this year’s Festival of Speed in the McMurtry Spéirling, will also be taking part.
Many of the championship names will be familiar to fans of the Revival – but if you’re unfamiliar, bear with us, as the full race itinerary can be found here.
One of the biggest changes this year is to the Lavant Cup, as the entire grid will this year be composed of MGBs. Organisers were inspired by an incredible ‘B battle at the 78th Members’ Meeting that you see above. An excellent 60th birthday tribute, wouldn’t you agree?
One of the highest profile races is the RAC TT, open to closed cabin GTs and prototypes from 1960-1964. Fast and eye-wateringly expensive metal goes to battle here, including the likes of the Jaguar E-types, AC Cobra and Porsche 904. The memorial trophies, held in honour of Sir Stirling Moss and Freddie March – for pre-1963 GT cars and late 1940s and early 1950s sports cars respectively – also return to the itinerary.
BRM fans should pay particular attention to the Goodwood Trophy for pre-and post-war Grand Prix and Voiturette cars. Almost 70 years to the day since a Type 15 V16 last raced at the Goodwood Trophy, BRM’s “Chassis IV” will hit the Motor Circuit, following an extensive and thorough rebirth of the BRM marque.
If the thought of open wheelers and GTs doesn’t appeal, the St Mary’s Trophy should see you right, as it caters for tin top saloon cars built between 1960 and 1966.
Quite apart from the rare cars on show, including the rare Saoutchik-bodied Pegaso coupe on the Hagerty stand, the children’s championship for the Austin J40 pedal car, the Settrington Cup, celebrates a decade at the Revival. Burlen Fuel Systems, owners of the J40 Motor Company, will launch its J40 continuation car at the Revival – and earlier this week revealed it has acquired the rights to the Austin trademark, promising exciting things in future.
Expect demonstrations of significant cars, too: parades will commemorate 60 years since Graham Hill won his first Formula One championship. That one’s a biggie – his son, Damon (who, let’s not forget, won the 1996 Formula One championship) will drive his father’s BRM P578, “Old Faithful”, around the circuit; Hill senior’s 1968 Championship winning Lotus 49 will also make an appearance.
Expect queues and delays leading to the circuit and on surrounding roads, as the Revival is enormously popular. We’d advise getting yourself a programme or downloading the Goodwood app – or tuning in to the restricted service licence radio station “Goodwood FM” for major updates; in recent years, headsets have been handed out on the gates.
Signage is pretty good for pre- and post-1966 parking, and the marshals are well up to directing you. Pack plenty of water and a coat good enough to shrug off any showers that might occur; there’s so much to see (not including the car park-based Revival Car Show) that comfortable shoes are crucial, regardless of whether or not they suit your outfit.
And while dressing up is strongly encouraged, it’s not essential – just remember that you’ll look a lot better among the well-dressed throngs in some trousers and a shirt than in your local football strip…