‘ Don’t bother com­ing un­less you’ve dug out some tweeds’

Performance Bikes (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Jezza can’t get enough of the Re­vival.

THERE’S NO OTHER place I’d rather be in Septem­ber than the Good­wood Re­vival. De­scrib­ing it as a step back in time doesn’t do it jus­tice; it’s like a multi-mil­lion pound movie set but much big­ger. Ac­tu­ally, a lot of the build­ings are tem­po­rary and built just for the event, though you wouldn’t guess it. Most of the cir­cuit’s build­ings stay in place, as does the aero­drome, al­though all the B52s and Spit­fires that fly over­head all week­end are flown back to mu­se­ums on the Mon­day. The cir­cuit, pits and race tower are as they’ve been since the be­gin­ning of rac­ing at Good­wood in 1948. The at­ten­tion to de­tail needs to be seen to be be­lieved and there’s a grid made up of more than £200 mil­lion of DB4’s SWB Fer­rari 250 and 330 GTOs, Jag E-types and Maser­atis. The bikes are pretty spe­cial, too! This year there was Troy Corser’s 1928 su­per­charged BMW, Manx Nor­tons, a G40 Match­less and the bike that Scott Smart raced – a 1944 Ve­lo­cette – was val­ued at £400,000... some­one was brave enough to let him ride it. Don’t bother com­ing un­less you’ve gone to the trou­ble of pick­ing up some tweeds, flat caps, boat­ing jack­ets or full 1940s mil­i­tary wear, though. A change for each day is rec­om­mended and a bonus is that the girls look amaz­ing in pen­cil skirts and stock­ings. I love the amaz­ing at­mos­phere: more than 100,000 peo­ple all smil­ing, laugh­ing, com­pli­ment­ing one an­other like we’ve all learned our man­ners again and not push­ing each other to get past. The feel­good fac­tor makes a pleas­ant change to nor­mal life. We are lucky enough each year to meet up with lit­tle cir­cles of race friends from two and four wheels, try­ing to out-dress one an­other, and rub­bing shoul­ders with the leg­ends of our sports: din­ing to­gether in Good­wood House with the Earl of Rich­mond, or shar­ing af­ter­noon tea in the rid­ers/driv­ers lounge with Jackie Ste­wart, Stir­ling Moss or Sammy Miller... Stop me if I’m name­drop­ping too much. This year, Troy Corser and his team-mate Herbert Sch­wab won the Barry Sheene me­mo­rial over­all on the 1935 su­per­charged BMW Boxer I men­tioned here last month. It was a sight to be­hold as this bike doesn’t go around cor­ners, it jumps and chat­ters around them. Just sit­ting be­hind Troy was one of the scari­est things I’ve ever done; I didn’t want to get close in case it all went tits up. How he stayed on it is a mir­a­cle; they de­served to win it with that ef­fort. John McGuin­ness and Glen English won the first race on Satur­day; JM ac­tu­ally made the holeshot with his dicky leg af­ter the Le Mans start, work that one out! He was made up with that as he didn’t have to buy the drinks, but he seemed out of sorts on the Sun­day... start­ing with a 10-sec­ond lead, they lost out by six at the flag. The BMW team stayed on for the Sun­day night, shar­ing their Bavar­ian beer with any­one who’d drink with them. Troy and the big Ger­man were in top form af­ter their first win.

Rac­ing to­gether at Good­wood is pretty awe­some, the crowds that fill the stands and the banks all the way around are all dressed to the nines, and wave their pro­grammes at you as you cruise past on the vic­tory lap smok­ing a huge Cuban cigar. If you’re lucky enough to make the podium, it feels like you’ve just won the 1954 Bri­tish GP. Shar­ing the vic­tory mag­num of Veuve Clic­quot with your com­peti­tors car­ries on to the ball on the Satur­day evening where plenty more is served. It’s a party like no other, if you are lucky enough to get in­vited. Past win­ners tend to be, so there’s some mo­ti­va­tion to pull your fin­ger out on track. I’ve been to a fair few par­ties in my time but noth­ing comes close to this. Ev­ery year is a dif­fer­ent theme; this year was Steam­punk, ev­ery­one made the ef­fort and the bike rac­ers were first on the floor and last to leave. We even had our very own lep­rechaun, Lee John­son, in a top hat.

WHO IS JEREMY McWIL­LIAMS? Ex-250 and 500 GP racer Jezza is also a KTM de­vel­op­ment rider, road racer and oc­ca­sional film star...

Steam­punk af­ter­party was one to re­mem­ber. Just look at Jezza’s eyes... if you can find them

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