UK motoring events and festivals calendar 2019

Goodwood Revival 2023 guide: Here’s what to see and do at the fastest fancy-dress party on Earth

Handbags, gladrags and oily rags

Continuing the celebrations marking 75 years of the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit, the venue hosts the Goodwood Revival over the weekend of the 8-10 September, 2023. Described as the fastest fancy-dress party on Earth, the Revival is in its 25th year, and it sees attendees wear period attire from Goodwood’s heyday of 1948-1966 – in fact, if you don’t come dressed appropriately, and in the right car, you’re not admitted to the infield and paddock.

How to watch Goodwood Revival on TV and online

It’s not just about looking the part, though, because it’s the cars and motorcycles of the era that are being celebrated in the best way possible – by racing them. Classic machinery from the likes of Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, MG and many more will be competing in a range of events that celebrate the circuit’s history.

Each day of the Revival will see a parade of more than 200 period motorcycles opening proceedings, with machines from the likes of Royal Enfield, Indian, Harley-Davidson, BMW, BSA, Triumph and more taking part. It’s part of a celebration of all things two wheels, because it’s also the 100th anniversary of BMW Motorcycles, 120 years of Harley-Davidson and 130 years of Royal Enfield.

This year the Revival celebrates the racing exploits of Carroll Shelby, who would’ve celebrated his 100th birthday this year. The US star blazed a trail as a driver – winning the 1959 Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in an Aston Martin, alongside Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman – and as team boss of Shelby American Inc., which successfully raced AC Cobras and Ford GT40s through the 1960s, including more victories at Goodwood.

It’s not just Goodwood that is celebrating a 75th birthday, because Lotus has reached the same milestone. The Norfolk manufacturer founded by Colin Chapman will have a special showcase at the Revival, led by the Lotus 18 which Stirling Moss steered to the company’s first F1 victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1960. Cars driven by Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi are scheduled to make an appearance, too.

Plenty of famous faces descend on the Revival every year, and while we can’t guarantee who will be in attendance in 2023, the likes of former F1 drivers Jenson Button, Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill have appeared in the past. Celebrities from the worlds of TV and music will be in the crowds, too.

Damon Hill at 2021 Goodwood Revival

What races are taking place?

The Goodwood Revival will see 15 races on the timetable, with grids full of F1 cars, Le Mans racers, motorcycles and classic touring cars all lining up.

Freddie March Memorial Trophy

It’s the 70th anniversary of the 1953 Goodwood Nine Hours endurance race, and the Freddie March Memorial Trophy will consist of a grid full of period sports cars from the likes of Jaguar, Aston Martin, Austin Healey and Fraser Nash. There are driver swaps at the pit stops, while the racing takes place at sunset to make it a spectacular sight.

Goodwood Trophy

At the opening of Goodwood Circuit in 1948, the only racing cars available were pre-war machines, and this event celebrates those ‘Voiturette’ vehicles of the 1930s and 1940s, from makes such as Maserati, ERA, Alta and more.

Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy

Named after arguably the most famous motorcycle racer the UK has ever seen, this event sees famous faces from the worlds of MotoGP, World Superbikes, the Isle of Man TT and British Superbikes take to the track. The machinery alternates between the 1950s and 1960s each year, with 2023 seeing the latter era celebrated with bikes from MV Augusta, Honda, Suzuki, Norton and others.

Fordwater Trophy

It’s the 60th anniversary of the Porsche 911 and to commemorate, the Revival is hosting a one-make event for 30 early-era 911s which should deliver plenty of sideways action, thanks to the car’s rear-engined layout and skinny, grip-deficient tyres. This event also marks a new era for the Revival, with the whole grid being powered by 100 per cent sustainably sourced fuels, as a nod towards making the event an eco-friendly one.

St Mary’s Trophy

An annual favourite, the St Mary’s Trophy sees the best touring cars of the 1950s do battle this year. It will see machines large and small take part, with Jaguar MkIIs dicing with Austin A40s and Alfa Romeo Giuliettas, among others. It’s a two-part event, with the first race on Saturday contested by pro drivers from the world of modern touring cars, sports cars and even the American NASCAR series. Then the owners of the cars take to the wheel on Sunday for the final overall result.

Rudge Whitworth Cup

This year marks the centenary of the first running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 2023 Revival has a special event to celebrate the pre-war pioneers of the endurance classic. The race will last 30 minutes and feature a driver swap, while cars from Bentley, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Talbot and Sunbeam should be on the grid.

Glover Trophy

Non-championship grand prix racing was a highlight during Goodwood’s later years, and this event celebrates the 1.5-litre single seaters that competed between 1961 and 1965. The likes of Stewart, Clark and Hill would take to the wheel for the Glover Trophy, and their modern-day equivalents will race cars from the likes of Lotus, Cooper and Ferrari.

Whitsun Trophy

One of the fastest classes to race over the Revival weekend, the Whitsun Trophy grid comprises Ford GT40s, Lola T70s and McLaren M1As and M1Bs, with these rumbling V8-powered machines barely able to keep within the confines of the Goodwood Circuit.

Lavant Cup

For this year’s Lavant Cup, the grid will be made up entirely of Ferrari GTs from the 1960s, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Graham Hill winning the RAC TT at Goodwood. It’s likely to be one of the most expensive races of the weekend, as multi-million pound 250 GTOs, SWBs and LMs do battle.

Chichester Cup

The Formula Junior class was a breeding ground for future grand prix stars, and this race is dedicated to those small single seaters that raced between 1960 and 1963.

Richmond & Gordon Trophies

Early grand prix cars are celebrated in this race, where front-engined Maserati 250Fs, Ferrari 500s and Lancia D50s duke it out with mid-engined revolutionaries, led by the British Cooper marque.

RAC TT Celebration

The RAC Tourist Trophy is one of the flagship racing trophies to be awarded in UK motor racing, and between 1960 and 1964 it was raced for at Goodwood. This race is exclusively for closed-roof sports cars, and the grid comprises Ferraris, Corvettes, AC Cobras, Porsche 904s and Jaguar E-Type Lightweights for wheel-to-wheel action.

Sussex Trophy

The final race of the weekend is another sports car celebration, this time of the late 1950s. Expect Le Mans racers from the likes of Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lotus and of course Jaguar C-Types and D-Types galore.

Settrington Cup

One slightly leftfield event at Goodwood is the Settrington Cup, a race for junior drivers in vintage Austin A40 pedal cars that takes place on the start/finish line.

What else is happening at the Goodwood Revival?

There’s more to the Revival than just the racing, and to celebrate the event’s standing as a look back to the past, Goodwood has established an initiative called Revive & Thrive. This harks back to the post-war mentality of ‘make do and mend’ and is encouraging people to reuse and recycle old clothes that are suitable for the Revival paddock. This could be anything from dusting off an old suit to making your own dresses or accessories, just as long as it has an element of sustainability about it.

The Revive & Thrive Village will feature plenty of stalls, while talks and presentations will help attendees make the most of their own sustainability ambitions.

Funfair and music

Lots of events take place “over the road”, which is across the bridge from the track, including a fairground, roller rink and classic movies. Stages feature live big bands and swing music for those who like to jive and jitterbug.

Revival Car Show

If you come to the Goodwood Revival in a car from the golden era of the circuit, i.e. a pre-1966 or tax-exempt car, then you’ll be able to take advantage of complimentary parking. This will create its own car show, as a wide variety of machines line up in the period paddock.

Freddie March Spirit of Aviation

Before racing, Goodwood was an airbase during World War II, and this event is a concours competition for pre-1966 aircraft, held at Goodwood Aerodrome, within the confines of the circuit itself. Plane and helicopter flights will also be available to paying punters.

Bonham’s Goodwood Revival sale

On Saturday 9 September, Bonham’s will hold an auction featuring a variety of cars and memorabilia. The auction doesn’t cover Revival-period cars exclusively, although there are plenty of cars from that era included. Highlights include a 1973 Martini Porsche 911 3.0  RSR prototype, the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally class-winning Aston Martin DB2/4 co-driven by Maurice Gatsonides (the man behind Gatso speed cameras), plus a range of classic Land Rovers, Aston Martins from all eras, and historic racing-ready sports cars from the likes of Jaguar and Austin Healey – there’s even a 1952 AEC double-decker London bus going under the hammer.

Goodwood Revival dress code

As ever, period dress from 1948 to 1966 is encouraged, so anything along the lines of a WWII-era armed forces outfit, Teddy Boy get-up or a simple Tweed suit and hat or flat cap won’t look out of place on men.

For women, a Land Girl outfit, mini skirt combo or 1950s dress will work. But being creative earns extra points, and there’s usually a newspaper photographer or two taking photos of the best-dressed visitors.

Turn up in modern clothes and you’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons, and it rather spoils the ambience.

How much are tickets?

Both the three-day pass and general admission tickets for Friday and Saturday are all sold out, while tickets for Sunday are extremely limited at the time of writing. Single-day admission for Sunday starts from £96, with under-12s admitted free.

Grandstand tickets are sold out for Saturday and Sunday, but Friday grandstands are from £48.

Grandstand tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday from £75.

There’s not a huge amount of racing happening on Friday beyond the Freddie March Memorial Trophy, but the “over the road” activities will be getting into their stride that evening, so it’ll still be fun if you can’t get there any other day.

Click here to see the available Goodwood Revival tickets.

Where is the Goodwood Revival?

The Revival takes place at Goodwood Motor Circuit, just down the road from the Duke of Richmond’s house in West Sussex. It’s located just outside Chichester, around 60 miles from London.

How do I get to Goodwood without driving?

For those not keen to contend with traffic queues and parking, trains run regularly from London Victoria to nearby Chichester, though there are services too from Brighton and Portsmouth.

From Chichester station, a Stagecoach bus runs from the station to the racing circuit between 7am and 11pm each day, with tickets available on board.

Some people take taxis, either from Chichester station or from home. If you wish to do so, the drop off and pick up point is the entrance to car park D, on Kennel Hill near to the New Road roundabout.

Goodwood Revival 2021

What are the opening times?

Music, dancing and other activities begin “over the road” at 4pm on Thursday, finishing at 10pm.

For the rest of the Revival, gates open at 7.30am, and everything shuts down by 10pm, apart from Sunday when events “over the road” finish at 9.30pm.

Free car parking opens from 7am.

How to watch Goodwood Revival on TV and online

The 2023 Goodwood Revival will be shown live on ITV4 from 6pm to 8pm on both Saturday and Sunday of the event, with highlights from the day’s action. But if you don’t want to miss a beat, it’s being streamed live all weekend on the Goodwood Road and Racing YouTube channel – watch it here!

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