Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Ah, Those Long Summer Days...

What long summer days? August was abysmal. Don't argue, you know it was!


Yes, I'm sorry Chuckie, I've been away from here for far too long. Lots to write about, but little time to write in. August saw lots of activity which I will post about over the next week or so. I promise.

So look forward to meanderings about NODA summer school, Wensleydale, my recent birthday and various theatre bits and bobs.

Today's topic of conversation is The Goodwood Revival.

The Revival is a race meeting, held at Goodwood motor racing circuit, near Chichester in Sussex. The circuit is built on the estate of the Earl of March who lives in Goodwood House and also owns Goodwood horse racing course. Lord March owns lots of property. Lots. Vast acres of English countryside.

But he's a good chap because every year he holds two meetings at the motor racing circuit. The Festival of Speed happens early in the summer. I've been a couple of times, but I don't find it that enthralling. Various racing cars charge up a hill course a mile or two long. It's not a circuit, so you see each car once. For about 10 seconds.

No. For me the Revival meeting is much more fun. The Friday is given over to practice laps, each driver trying to set a competitive time; then the races themselves happen on Saturday and Sunday. Each day you'll see around 9 races, plus some parades of cars notable for some reason (this year was a collection of cars raced by US driver Phil Hill in his long, distinguished career).

One of the best parts of the Revival is the fact that everything is done in a vintage style. The circuit closed for 'real' racing in 1966, so all the cars (and the planes and motorbikes - even the course rescue vehicles, fire engines and ambulances) pre-date that year.

The number of people who dress up in period costume is amazing. This year I didn't have time to find something appropriate and I felt out of place even wearing chinos and a shirt and tie.

And although I wasn't dressed in period we certainly arrived in style. I managed to cadge a lift with my friend Alan in his 1953 MG TD roadster (pictured).

But the highlight of any day at the Revival is definitely the racing. The saloon car race is exceptionally good fun. You wouldn't believe that a Mark I Jaguar and an Austin A35 would be neck-and-neck with each other after 12 laps (25 or 26 miles). In previous years I've seen a Morris Minor vying for the lead.

And this year's racing was even better. The Saturday was very overcast and rain fell in showers all day. Which meant the track was damp, but not soaked, all the time. Which, in turn, made the racing even closer and more exciting. And as we had ticket for the Lavant Turn grandstand we stayed dry and saw many cars taking both apexes sideways.

Can't wait until next year!


Delmonti said...

I've only got about 20 years left to live

PT said...