Goodwood glory years for motor racing (1948-1966)
Goodwood estate has a very long history. You can read a lot about them on their website. In there, it is mentioned it was Frederick, 9th Duke of Richmond, Lennox, Gordon and Aubigny (1904 - 1989) who created the racing track. He was a good fan of cars and planes, he served in World War II in the Royal Air Force and when he was back, he turned the wartime Westhampnett airfield into the Goodwood Motor Circuit in 1948.
Between 1948 and 1966 Goodwood hosted contemporary races of all kinds, including Formula One, the famous Goodwood Nine Hours race and the celebrated Tourist Trophy sports car race.
First and last official race in Goodwood Circuit
It was in a windy morning (according to the local press) on the September 18th, 1948 when the first race took place. It was organised by the Junior Car Club and sanctioned by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. The winner of the first race was P. de F. C. Pycroft, on his 2,664 c.c. Pycroft-Jaguar. Stirling Moss won the 500cc race (later to become Formula 3), followed by Eric Brandon and "Curly" Dryden, all of them driving Coopers.
On the other hand, it was in sunny but not very hot day (according to the Met Office) on July 2nd, 1966, when the last race meeting took place. It was the owners decision not to add chicanes to the track (in order to control the increased speed of the more recent cars of the age) so the track had to close down for race meetings.
It is a circuit where anyone with pedigree at that time had to drive in. You can rent it out these days and if you are lucky enough to try it, please enjoy it. Look for the Apex and throttle !!!
Actual races - Goodwood Festival of Speed
Goodwood hosts some of the finest classic car events on earth. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an annual hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles held in the grounds of Goodwood House in late June or early July; the event is scheduled to avoid clashing with the Formula One season, enabling fans to see F1 machines as well as cars and motorbikes from motor racing history climb the hill.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed was founded in 1993 by Lord March in order to bring motor racing back to the Goodwood estate,a location marked in British motor racing history books. Shortly after taking over the estate in the early 1990s, Lord March (who later became Duke of Richmond) wanted to bring back motor racing to Goodwood Circuit, but did not have the necessary permit to host a race there. Therefore, he instead hosted it on his own grounds. With a small selection of entrants made up of invited historic vehicles, the first event that took place on Sunday 13 June proved to be a success, taking in a crowd of 25,000 despite a date clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. After the first event's date clash, Lord March would ensure that the event would never be allowed to clash with either Le Mans or Formula One races. In 1994, Saturday was added, making it a weekend event. In 1996, Friday was added, making it a three-day event. In 2010, the Moving Motor Show was added on the Thursday.
In the early years of the Goodwood Festival, tens of thousands attended over the weekend; it currently attracts crowds of around 100,000 on each of the three days it is now held. A record crowd of 158,000 attended in 2003, before an advance-ticket-only admission policy came into force; attendance is now capped at 150,000.
The Goodwood Revival is a three-day festival held each September at Goodwood Circuit since 1998 for the types of road racing cars and motorcycle that would have competed during the circuit's original period—1948–1966. The first Revival took place 50 years since the 9th Duke of Richmond and Gordon opened the motor racing track in 1948 driving around the circuit in a Bristol 400, then Britain's state-of-the-art sporting saloon. Most people dress in period clothes. It is one of the world's most popular motor race meetings and the only United Kingdom event which recreates the golden era of motorsport from the 1950s and 1960s.
There was some opposition to the re-introduction of racing at the circuit, but a numerically strong lobby in the form of the Goodwood Supporters Association helped to lead eventually to approval.
To me it is probably one of the best shows you can see with classic cars. Not only because you can see an amazing wealth of cars of every decade, but also because of the involvement of the organisation and the public. If you want to attend and do it properly, please get ready to dress up accordingly.
Goodwood Estate and its facilities
Although Goodwood House was built circa 1600 and was acquired by Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond in 1697, it's racing history are more recent. The house and its grounds are the site of some of the finest race for classic car fans: the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, whilst elsewhere on the estate the Goodwood Circuit motorsport track hosts the annual Goodwood Revival and also the track can be rented out for events too, and Goodwood Racecourse hosts "Glorious Goodwood" and a number of other (horse) race meetings along the year. The estate also includes the Goodwood Golf Course and a cricket pitch, home to Goodwood Cricket Club.
The landscaped park and woodlands of Goodwood are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
What a UK Jewel !!
Front grid picture with 15 Ferrari GTO thanks to 2thetrack.com and the chicane one thanks to auto express