For three glorious days, from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 September, the 2021 Goodwood Revival celebrated the engineering expertise, camaraderie and resourcefulness of previous generations. After a year away due to the pandemic, spectators, mechanics and competitors flocked to the West Sussex countryside to create this magical step back in time, with every one of the 50,000 visitors each day playing their role in honouring motoring traditions.
The Goodwood Revival forms an integral part of Rolex’s relationship with motor sport which spans more than 90 years, dating back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s record-breaking feats at over 300 mph (483 km/h) in the early 1930s. Since 2004, the Swiss watch brand has shared the Revival’s enthusiasm to protect and cherish the past by supporting the Rolex Drivers’ Club and partnering the event as the Official Timepiece.
“Everyone has been so desperate to see the Revival return, and it has come back with force in 2021. The collection of cars is as usual outstanding, and, likewise, the collection of people – it can’t be compared to anything else in the world, that’s why Rolex supports this event. It’s a privilege to attend and get swept up in the extraordinary detail of such a unique occasion, I absolutely love it,” said Rolex Testimonee for 53 years and three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart.
The devotedly maintained and nurtured pre-1966 vintage cars – still running as they were intended to half a century later – took to Goodwood Motor Circuit for 15 races across the event. The competitive action started on Friday evening with 30 closed-cockpit GT cars from the 1950s and 1960s racing into the sunset for the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy. Equally memorable was the John Whitmore Trophy on Saturday which featured 10 winning drivers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as champions from across motor sport, vying wheel-to-wheel in Mini Coopers. On Sunday, the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration entertained the crowds as the drivers and cars contended with mixed track conditions as well as each other. Most poignant of all were the daily tributes to Sir Stirling Moss, which saw around 60 cars from his incredible career gather to honour one of the sport’s most emblematic figures. Sir Jackie participated in the Tribute to Sir Stirling Moss parades and highlighting the importance of reflecting on the past at the Goodwood Revival, he says:
“Memory lane is a wonderful route to travel and the Revival does it perfectly – it continues to remember all those who are dear to it, just look at the incredibly fitting memorial for Sir Stirling Moss this weekend. The Duke of Richmond recognizes the significance of the past, and its effect on the present.”
The Goodwood Revival is more than the legendary machines and iconic heroes that grace the circuit; the nostalgic carnival atmosphere off-track captures the imagination of all who attend. Visitors both young and old are immersed in the lifestyle of previous generations and encouraged to experience the revive and thrive mindset of our predecessors. New to the event this year was the “make do and mend” area and the Dig for Victory allotment at Woodcote, embodying the essence of Goodwood. The evocative outfits, in varying colours, styles and fabrics, created an unparalleled scene witnessed nowhere else in the motor sport world.
The Duke of Richmond brought this year’s proceedings to a close on Sunday evening hosting the prize-giving ceremony from the Race Control balcony. To mark the spirit of the event and all those who participate, Rolex rewarded the Driver of the Meeting with an Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41. Taking the honours this year was Phil Keen following victory in the Whitsun Trophy and admirable performances in a number of other races.
“I feel very lucky to be able to drive cars at Goodwood, I think I might have been born in the wrong era. I’m shocked to have won this award and a Rolex watch, I’m absolutely lost for words and I can’t thank enough those who have helped prepare the cars and support me,” said Phil Keen.
At the Goodwood Revival, everyone in attendance contributes to make this event unique and in doing so ensures that motoring traditions are preserved for generations to come. Rolex supports this quest to momentarily stop the clock and appreciate the engineering know-how and lifestyle of yesteryear.
Photographs by Rolex.