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. Most people dress in period clothes. It is one of the world's most popular motor race meetings and the only UK event which recreates the golden era of motor sport 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.
The festival acts as a showcase for exceptional wheel-to-wheel racing around a classic circuit, untouched by the modern world and relives the glory days of Goodwood Circuit, which ranked alongside Silverstone as Britain’s leading racing venue throughout its active years. Between 1948 and 1966 Goodwood hosted contemporary racing of all kinds, including Formula One, the famous Goodwood Nine Hours race and the celebrated Tourist Trophy sports car race.
The festival includes Grand Prix cars from the Fifties and Sixties, sports and GT cars, as well as historic saloon cars and little-seen Formula Juniors. Many of these important historic racing cars are driven by famous names from motor sport past and present. Famous drivers who have taken part include: Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Sir Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, Derek Bell, David Coulthard, Damon Hill, Gerhard Berger, Martin Brundle, Bobby Rahal, Johnny Herbert, Wayne Gardner, Giacomo Agostini, Jean Alesi, Barry Sheene and Peter Brock, as well as Chris Rea and Rowan Atkinson (as Mr. Bean) in 2009.
The restored circuit is unchanged from its heyday and many visitors wear appropriate period clothing and no modern vehicles are allowed within the circuit perimeter throughout the weekend (except modern race fire and rescue vehicles). There are also theatrical sets that bring the past back to life including many historic aircraft.
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