Best of British Flair and Engineering

Lining up for the Ecurie Ecosse Parade at the Goodwood Revival
Lining up for the Ecurie Ecosse Parade at the Goodwood Revival

The best of British flair and engineering was celebrated at the 2017 Goodwood Revival. The international reputation of this annual automotive festival demonstrates the vision, professionalism and attention to detail of the Earl of March and his team, which keeps the motor racing enthusiast at its heart.

Shipley Arts Festival Director and motor racing enthusiast Andrew Bernardi
Shipley Arts Festival Director and motor racing enthusiast Andrew Bernardi

Last week I found myself in the excellent company of fellow motor racing enthusiast and Director of the Shipley Arts Festival, Andrew Bernardi. As we sampled the hospitality and Goodwood Ale in the GRRC VE tent we were transported back in time. The sound of happy voices competed with the bark of racing engines on the Lavant straight. Our spirits weren’t dampened by Friday’s wind and rain which added to the drama of this historic circuit.

As I made my way over the Sussex Downs early on Saturday morning the sky had softened with scudding clouds and the odd flash of blue. I was looking forward to the racing and seeing the Ecurie Ecosse Parade. The 60th anniversary of the Ecurie Ecosse win at Le Mans in 1957 was being celebrated at this year’s Revival. This plucky team with its Scottish blue and white racing livery first won Le Mans in 1956. Driver Ron Flockhart won again for them in 1957, this time with co-driver Ivor Beub. The tiny outfit took on the might of Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin to win under the leadership of the Edinburgh wine-merchant, accountant and gentleman driver, David Murray. The reliability of his D-type Jaguars won Ecurie Ecosse the race, testament to the best of British engineering and flair.

Designers Oliver and Alison Winbolt at their Splined Hub Jaguar stand
Designers Oliver and Alison Winbolt at their Splined Hub Jaguar stand

‘Over the Road’ I ran into my old friends and fellow motoring enthusiasts Oliver and Alison Winbolt. Oliver has had a remarkable career in international automotive design and engineering and has worked for many leading marques including McLaren and Mercedes. He is one of a cohort of talented automotive engineers and designers who emerged from the Sussex firm International Automotive Design (IAD) in the 1980s. Today he restores and rebuilds classic Jaguars for the discerning enthusiast. His firm, The Splined Hub, is based in Oundle, Northamptonshire but it is clear that he is delighted to return to Sussex. Their stand is a beautiful piece of set design which matches the drama of the Goodwood Revival with two exquisite customer E-Types and a Mk II saloon on display.

I am glad that the Goodwood Revival celebrates the motoring enthusiast whether they are participants or spectators, as well as the best of British automotive engineering old and new!

As the smell of Castrol and the noise and drama of the motor racing fades from the Sussex autumn landscape we set out for home reliving the excitement of the weekend in our conversations and imaginations.

To contact Oliver Winbolt go to www.thesplinedhub.co.uk. For more information on Goodwood’s motor racing events and to register for updates on the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival go to www.goodwood.com.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.

Sussex Celebration of Motorsport at Goodwood

Nick Mason in the 1936 Auto Union Type C
Nick Mason in the 1936 Auto Union Type C

The 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed once again played host to many of the biggest names in motorsport. An extraordinary display of automotive design and excellence, dating from the early 1900s to the present day, sped up the now famous Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb.

Andrew Bernardi celebrating the sights and sounds at Goodwood Festival of Speed
Andrew Bernardi celebrating the sights and sounds at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Last weekend I joined Shipley Arts Festival Director, Andrew Bernardi, at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed. As many of you will know Andrew is as passionate about cars and motorsport as he is about music. A longstanding member of the GRRC, Goodwood Road Racing Club, there was much to delight his senses in this annual spectacle.

Part of the extraordinary BMW display on the lawns of Goodwood House
Part of the extraordinary BMW display on the lawns of Goodwood House

This year the 100th anniversary of BMW was celebrated. German rivals and Le Mans winners, Porsche, were also much in evidence, as were Mercedes, with Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg attending this exceptional Sussex celebration of motorsport.

Rolls Royce, McLaren, Jaguar and Bentley were amongst the stars of the British contingent moving at pace up this celebrated climb.

One of the highlights for me was Nick Mason’s spirited drive in the revolutionary 1936, 6.0 litre supercharged V16 Auto Union Type C. He is highly regarded not only as Pink Floyd’s drummer but also as a true connoisseur of racing and sports cars. Based here in Sussex, Nick is no stranger to the race track having competed at Le Mans on numerous occasions. The car’s extraordinary torque and 500bhp can spin the wheels at 100mph and presented him with a wonderful driving opportunity. The Auto Union’s outing at Goodwood marked 80 years since this car first appeared at Shelsey Walsh and Donnington.

Marino Franchitti driving the Ford GTE LM
Marino Franchitti driving the Ford GTE LM

Another anniversary was being celebrated by Ford. No one could have dared to dream that Ford would return to Le Mans in 2016, 50 years after the incredible GT40 Le Mans win in 1966, and take a class win. Marino Franchitti drove for Ford at Le Mans this year and took the wheel at Goodwood of a Ford GTE LM on the Goodwood hill climb. Although the new car bears some family resemblance to the GT40 its revolutionary aerodynamics, carbon-fibre monocoque design and twin turbo engine defines it very much as a car of the 21st century.

The weekend had the atmosphere of a huge motoring party.

As the reverberation and exuberant sound of racing cars and bikes at Goodwood Festival of Speed ended the cacophony of sound, the smell of racing oil and tyres and the spectacle of speed and colour fades to memory and thoughts turn to the evocative 2016 Goodwood Revival. This year’s three-day event will be held on the 9th -11th September. The Goodwood Revival celebrates the halcyon days of motor racing with the accompanying glamour of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. For more information or to buy tickets visit www.goodwood.com.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.