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4T : Events News Vintage & Youngtimer News

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18 September 2012


A capped 146,000 motor sport enthusiasts and retro-fashion fans flocked to this weekend’s Goodwood Revival (14-16 September) to join in the fun and celebrations at the world’s largest historic motor race meeting.

The Goodwood Revival is firmly established as a “must attend” event, with visitors travelling from around the world. The vast majority of the spectators came dressed in their finest 1940s, 50s and 60s fashions, with tweed jackets and pleated skirts abounding in the early autumn sunshine.

A once-in-a-lifetime gathering of Silver Arrows saw a lively demonstration each day of the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union racers vigorously tackling the Goodwood circuit. When resting, the cars were housed in their own distinctive paddock, constructed specifically for the 2012 Revival, and accurately recreating the paddock shelters of the Bremgarten circuit’ home to the Swiss Grand Prix in the 1930s.

Ten Silver Arrows in all arrived at Goodwood – certainly a once-in-a-lifetime gathering.

“This event will never be repeated”, stated Thomas Frank, head of Audi Tradition. “It’s an indescribable feeling, with our Silver Arrows here glistening in the sun.”

The event was also special for five-time Le Mans winner Frank Biela. The seasoned Audi factory driver is a bit of a veteran here, having taken part with Audi and the Auto Unions here at Goodwood’s own Festival of Speed on several occasions. “This is my first Revival, and the atmosphere here tops it all,” said Biela. “It is a great honor to take part in such a historic race here, and it’s great how the Silver Arrows have arrived to such an audience.”

Another veteran pilot of the Silver Arrows at the Festival of Speed is Pink Floyd drummer  Nick Mason. Nevertheless, Mason agrees that the appearance at the Goodwood Revival is really something special for car enthusiasts. “At the Revival you get a feel for just how the car races were 75 years ago.”

Thomas Bauch is one of the mechanics who ensure that these historic racing cars deliver a perfect show. “The fuel must be filled before the start, the oil levels are checked and the coolant water heated,” Mason explains what happens behind the scenes and leading up to the race. Audi Tradition maintains Ingolstadt’s collection of Auto Union Silver Arrows at its own facility not far from the company’s main headquarters.

The quality of motorised racing was exceptional throughout the Revival weekend, with many nail-biting races and some thrills and spills along the way. For the Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows, this marked the first time in more than seven decades that these cars were back on track together. Their silver bodywork gleamed in the sun, while the cars roared again across the tarmac.

The Silver Arrow session comprised five laps at speed, passing a total of 150,000 visitors. As the session ended, Nick Mason was the first to return to the historic-looking pit stalls at the wheel of an Auto Union D-type dual compressor.

Thomas Frank is elated after a successful show. “This exhibition here at Goodwood commemorates the victory of our legendary racing driver Bernd Rosemeyer in the British Grand Prix of 1937 – and 75 years later we have that same atmosphere in order to better reminisce.”

The £175 million car grid for the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration also made for exciting competition, with the mighty Jaguar E-type “Lightweight” of F1 stars Martin Brundle and car owner (and Red Bull Racing designer) Adrian Newey. The result was all the more remarkable as Red Bull design chief Newey spun off at St Mary’s on the first lap as Gary Pearson challenged on the inside aboard his similar car. Newey had to watch the entire field go by before he was able to return trackside!

 

Some great period fashions, including a sea of colourful outfits being displayed on the Richmond Lawn cat walk each day, helped seal the unique, fun atmosphere of the 2012 Revival, as did the live camels, helping to form part of the Lawrence of Arabia desert scene at the Rolex Drivers’ Club. A new Goodwood initiative Ð Over the Road Ð saw Revivalists eating, drinking and dancing into the night as a giant street party with pubs, live music and dance lessons continued until 10pm each evening. In the Revival High Street and Market areas, business was so brisk that many store holders sold out of their entire stock for the weekend by Friday afternoon, and had to return to their HQs to replenish their stocks of hats, cheese, dresses, and so on…

The Freddie March Spirit of Aviation, in association with Midair, is now firmly established as a highlight of the Revival. This prestigious concours d’elegance for historic aircraft  (named after Lord March’s grandfather) grew even larger and ever more popular this year, with the worthy winner being the Beech Staggerwing, entered by William Charney. The stunning 1938 Bentley 4.5-litre Embiricos was the publicÕs choice for the Best British Sports Car in the Earls Court concours.

In all, the 2012 Goodwood Revival was a phenomenal success, with Revivalgoers already talking with excitement and anticipation about next year’s event. Confirmed dates for the 2013 Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed have yet to be finalised, but these will be announced in the coming weeks though, with tickets for the 2013 Goodwood motor sport events going on sale on Thursday 1st November.

[words by Goodwood and also by Audi Tradition, compiled by Fourtitude]

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