Goodwood Revival 2024: now powered by sustainable fuel

Published: 29 November 2023

 Classic racers to be powered by modern eco fuel
The cars won’t require any modifications, either
Change serves to secure the event’s future

The 2024 Goodwood Revival will be a landmark event in next year’s motorsport calendar. That’s because every car in every race throughout the weekend is set to be powered by sustainable fuel.

Goodwood has sanctioned that every competitor must use a fuel that has a minimum of 70% sustainable components. Porsche has already done the proof-of-concept testing. At the 2023 Goodwood Revival, it supplied a special batch of synthetic fuel to power an entire grid of pre-1966 911 racers – and the race was just as spectacular as those powered by traditional petrol.

The decision will serve as further proof that eco-friendly petrol (be it ethanol-based fuel created from crops or synthetic fuel crafted in a lab from raw carbon and hydrogen) can be used to extend the lifespan of our classic cars and reduce their carbon emissions with no adverse effects on their performance.

Classic Porsche 911 racers in the Fordwater Trophy race at the 2023 Goodwood Revival

Goodwood has an all-star roster of supporters for the change, too. Key ambassadors include Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Rowan Atkinson. Atkinson is particularly supportive of the move, saying: ‘I used synthetic fuel in my racing Jaguar at Goodwood this year and found it to be not just as good as the pump petrol used previously but in performance terms, superior to it in every way.

‘It’s perhaps unsurprising that if you synthesise a fuel from first principles, you’re going to make a better product than that produced by just applying heat and pressure to some black gunk you dig out of the ground.’

Now scroll down for some highlights from the 2022 Goodwood Revival. Our round-up includes pictures from the event, insights from our reporters on the scene and some video clips of the most exciting races from the weekend.

Goodwood Revival 2022: the CAR round-up

The 2022 Goodwood Revival has wrapped up after a successful weekend of high-octane historic racing, glorious September sunshine and some moving moments as West Sussex paid tribute after the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Be sure to flick through our gallery above to see plenty of captioned pictures – or carry on reading for a guided tour around the best bits of the Revival weekend.

Black armbands were worn by many drivers and spectators, while the parade of priceless cars was punctuated by special memorials to the Queen – from a minute’s silence each evening to the more informal, and occasionally ursine, marks of respect dotted around the Goodwood estate.

Memorials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II abounded at Goodwood Revival 2022

If anywhere could pull off a sensitive homage to the late sovereign in a motorsport setting, it was Goodwood – and so it proved. This remains a classy, upper-crust event with impeccable taste, a point not lost on the tens of thousands of attendees, nearly all of whom were sporting period, pre-1966 clothing.

One of the first sights upon entering the main gates was the aftermath of a UFO crash – a visual gag conjuring up the post-war intrigue with flying saucers and martians. A very Goodwoodian detail that set the tone for what was to follow.

In many ways it’s a metaphor for the Revival: you disappear down a rabbit hole as you pass through the turnstiles, transported to a past world, far, far away from traffic jams and broken electric car chargers.

However, look past the actors and costumes and, really, the Goodwood Revival is all about the greatest cars and people from the motorsport canon – and there was no shortage of droolworthy talent to pore over in the packed schedule from 16-18 September.

Highlights of the Goodwood Revival 2022

A tribute to Graham Hill sparked a family reunion on track: son Damon drove some of his dad’s grand prix racers, including the 1962 championship-winning BRM, while grandson Joshua piloted the Lotus 49. F1 design legend Adrian Newey was also on hand to drive his own 49. It’s a noise that CAR magazine won’t forget in a while.

Hill was one of a long list of famous drivers – professional and amateur – in attendance at the 2022 Revival: from Jenson Button and Karun Chandhok to Pedro de la Rosa and Rowan Atkinson (below), while the entry list to the Freddie March Memorial Trophy sounded like a Who’s Who of touring car greats.

Rowan Atkinson a firm regular at the Goodwood Revival: he did not disappoint in 2022

Goodwood provided a warm-up act to the Le Mans 24 hours’ 100th birthday next year, hosting the special centenary trophy and 15 drivers, who have won motorsport’s toughest challenge 44 times between them – from André Lotterer and Neel Jani to Romain Dumas and Tom Kristensen.

These drivers are well versed in wringing a racing car to within an inch of its redline, yet in nursing it safely over the finish line. No wonder the racing was infrequently processional and more often spirited.

Track action

The RAC TT Celebration featured some extraordinarily close encounters and the number of spins, offs and occasional smashes into the chicane (it’s polystyrene, not brick despite appearances; who knew?) proved that the Revival is a genuine A-lister on the historic motorsport calendar.

Your correspondent walked the circuit for the first time and wholeheartedly recommends this pursuit – for affording new vantage points, for burning off the greasier breakfast options and for discovering fresh parts of the Goodwood estate you’ve never visited before.

Only at Goodwood Revival would you find a Bristol picnic. LJK Setright would have approved...

For instance, the members’ car park is a must-see: the sight of a posh picnic beside an impeccable 1952 Bristol (above) epitomises the spirit of Goodwood. If you need a break from the track action, browsing the public car parks is always full of surprises – parked a few cars down from the Bristol was an original Mercedes Gullwing whose bonnet sported Stirling Moss’s signature…

The Duke of Richmond doesn’t stand still and this year’s innovation was the Revive and Thrive zone, a kind of upmarket, retro twist on make-do-and-mend. It’s a neat way of fusing ecological imperative with the post-war spirit of giving things a second and third life (although greens would surely still question this event’s high-revving carbon footprint).

Revive and Thrive celebrated the ecological principles of make-do-and-mend

It’s this attention to detail and constant evolution that has carved out a reputation for the Goodwood Revival in the motorsport – and society – calendar.

This is a special event that many prefer to the vast Festival of Speed for its visceral on-track racing; yes, it remains an event with an elitist aftertaste, but the essence of Goodwood remains a strong draw to the motorsport fan and casual visitor alike.

That the 2022 Goodwood Revival was blessed with dry weather and some superlative sunsets just added to the magic, tinged as it was with the backdrop of national mourning. How fitting that crowds were transported back to the heyday of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. I think that many visitors might just prefer the world then to now.

Scroll on to watch some of the action via the official Goodwood YouTube channel.

You can watch the St Mary’s Trophy in full here:

And if you’d rather watch the big beasts of 1960s motorsport, check out the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy here in the official video:

By Luke Wilkinson

Deputy Editor of Parkers. Unhealthy obsession with classic Minis and old Alfas. Impenetrable Cumbrian accent