For 24 years, the Goodwood Revival has celebrated the heritage of motor sport, recreating the romance and innovation at the heart of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Next week, from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September, Goodwood Motor Circuit will rewind the clock to a time when dedication, skill and exquisite craftsmanship saw the rapid development of the mainstream modern automobile. Now, many decades later, these meticulously preserved machines are tested to their limits on track for this generation to appreciate. Rolex recognizes the importance history plays in the makeup of motor racing, as the sport continues to showcase world-leading technologies. The Swiss watchmaker has been the Official Timepiece of the Goodwood Revival since 2004, when it became Title Sponsor of the Rolex Drivers’ Club.
This year, a trio of icons will be honoured at the Revival in its quest to uphold the legacies of drivers, teams and cars that inspire the motor sport world and beyond. Spectators will witness once-in-a-lifetime parades to mark ‘Ferrari’s 75th anniversary’, ‘100 years of the Austin 7’ and ‘60 years since Graham Hill’s first FIA Formula One World Championship™’. Notably, each day, a fleet of over 40 of Hill’s racing cars will take to the track, including his ‘Old Faithful’ 1962 championship-winning BRM P578, which will be driven by his son and fellow World Champion, Damon Hill.
The Goodwood Revival continues to attract esteemed figures from a variety of motor sport disciplines, with IndyCar legends Jimmie Johnson and Scott Dixon switching Indianapolis for Goodwood, as they make their racing debuts this year. They will join Goodwood regular, Dario Franchitti and 15 former winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including reigning champion, Brendon Hartley, and Rolex Testimonee, Tom Kristensen. Discussing how it feels to compete at the Revival, the nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Kristensen says:
“At the Goodwood Revival, you race alongside some great drivers, who have the same passion for motor sport. There is a lot of camaraderie amongst us all, and enormous respect for the heritage of the cars and the circuit, which creates a very special atmosphere.”
Returning races will feature alongside brand-new ones, with 13 different contests split into 15 races, showcasing everything from motorcycles to Austin A40s. New to the spectacle is the first ever all-MGB contest, along with returning favourites such as the closed-cockpit RAC TT Celebration and arguably the most beautiful race of the weekend, the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy – with Rolex Testimonee, Jenson Button headlining both races.
Having made his Revival debut in 2021, Rolex Testimonee and 2009 FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion, Button says:
“I’m really excited to be back at the Revival, especially as this year I’ll be driving Adrian Newey’s Jaguar lightweight E-Type. Racing here is an amazing experience, with so many of the best drivers in the world competing and pushing these magnificent cars to the limit. Over the weekend, the Rolex Drivers’ Club becomes a second home for us; it brings people together from across motor sport, in an unbelievable setting. With everyone dressed from another era, it’s like a time capsule; you can’t believe it until you see it.”
From the style on track, to the 150,000 glamorous visitors who flock to the Sussex Downs in period dress, the Goodwood Revival captures the Golden Era of motor sport in magnificent fashion. For the first time, the event will stage the ‘Revive and Thrive’ village, where renowned artists, artisans and vintage specialists will lead workshops, sharing their knowledge and expertise. Bringing the celebrations to a close on Sunday afternoon, the Driver of the Meeting is awarded an Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 – one of the world’s most recognizable timepieces.
A legend of Goodwood, who not only raced at the circuit in the 1960s but regularly attends the Revival, is Rolex Testimonee, Sir Jackie Stewart. The three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion, who has been part of the Rolex family for over half a century, reflects:
“Rolex and the Goodwood Revival have a wonderful relationship because passionate watch and car enthusiasts understand the immense privilege of owning something very special, with great history. Motor vehicles have become an integral part of the way we live, racing drivers have become household names and tracks have become world famous. When looking back at this fabulous era for motor sport, a time which also saw the launch of the iconic Rolex Datejust in 1945, we can learn so much.”
ROLEX AND MOTOR SPORT
Rolex’s close ties with motor sport date back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, when he became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier (483 km/h) at the wheel of his car, Bluebird. Since then, Rolex’s presence in motor racing has grown steadily, its support extending to revered endurance events such as the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2013, Rolex became associated with Formula 1®, the pinnacle of motor sport, having supported Rolex Testimonee Sir Jackie Stewart since 1968. The three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion has been joined by fellow high achievers from the world of motor sport: Tom Kristensen, the record nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner; Mark Webber, the multiple Formula 1® race winner and 2015 FIA World Endurance Champion, and, most recently, Jenson Button, 2009 FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion. The brand also has a global appreciation for classic automotive events steeped in elegance, beauty and tradition, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Goodwood Revival.