Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, the Earl of March -- or simply Lord March, as motorsports enthusiasts know him -- has a good thing going. The Goodwood estate he oversees is home to the annual Festival of Speed, the retro-themed Goodwood Revival, and the Rolls-Royce assembly plant. The dashing noble's blood is infused with motor oil, it seems, and his enthusiasm is something he shares with the public through the events he organizes and hosts.
The Goodwood Revival is an annual vintage racing event held at the Goodwood Motor Circuit, and attention to period-correct detail is part of the fun. Many participants and fans dress in period-correct attire, turning the event into a glorious multi-day time warp. Now, back in the day, everybody smoked. It was glamorous and accepted. As we're all aware, modern times have brought with them a slew of nannyish rules (and even more nannyish people behind them) that have turned smokers into pariahs. Lord March (a non-smoker, FYI) notes that in many old racing photographs and films, the subjects are often captured enjoying a smoke. As such, he has declared this year's Revival to be a "Free Smoke Zone" in all outdoor venues, and the use of tobacco is encouraged to further contribute to the period authenticity of the event. Light up without angst, racing fans. Lord March is welcoming you with open arms.
[Source: Goodwood Motor Circuit]
LORD MARCH DECLARES THE GOODWOOD REVIVAL A FREE SMOKE ZONE
Screeching tyres and bellowing exhausts will not be the only things smoking at this year's Goodwood Revival, the popular historic motor racing event due to be held at the West Sussex motor circuit from 31 August to 2 September.
The Earl of March – creator of the Revival – has officially declared this year's meeting a pro-smoking event, with visitors welcome to 'light-up' in all outside areas, with the exception of the vehicle paddocks and pit lane, just as they would have done in the Goodwood Motor Circuit's racing heyday between 1948 – 1966.
Relishing the undercurrent of a less enlightened, less politically correct age, non-smoker Lord March says, "At the Revival we strive to recreate the golden age of motor racing just as it was back in the 1950s and 1960s. Old black and white images of the circuit show that almost all visitors, competitors and spectators alike, smoked. A cigar, cigarette or pipe is the perfect period accessory to set off the elegant 1950s and 1960s fashions worn by the majority of Revival race-goers," he adds.
When motor racing at Goodwood stopped in 1966, tobacco sponsorship on racing cars had yet to appear. Within two years though, it was becoming commonplace, with Colin Chapman, the pioneering power behind Lotus Cars, introducing Gold Leaf cigarette sponsorship on his revolutionary Cosworth DFV-engineed Lotus 49 F1 car.
This is significant in that Goodwood is set to mark the long and distinguished racing career of the influential Cosworth DFV engine in a series of special track displays at the Revival, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the most successful motor racing engine of all time.
A number of DFV-powered competition cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s will be brandishing period cigarette advertising, acting as mobile hoardings for various tobacco companies and brands, many long since extinguished. Among the 20 or so iconic racing machines that utilised this famous engine, visitors can expect to see the afore-mentioned Gold Leaf Lotus 49, as well as the 1972 John Player Special (JSP) Lotus 72, Embassy GH4 and 1976 Marlborough McLaren M23 F1 cars, plus the Gitane-sponsored Ligier JS2 Le Mans racer.
Off the track, a purpose-built Rambuster House will be selling finest Cuban cigars, with the winners of each of the Revival's 16 races being presented with a large cigar to help celebrate their victory. Smokin'...!
Entry to the Goodwood Revival is strictly by advance ticket only.