Following the opening of the Goodwood Motor Circuit in 1948 it became evident that running a race meeting effectively required a Race Control building. Initially, Race Control operated from a double-decker bus and later from temporary scaffolding. The historic Race Control building, which is so proudly preserved today, is essentially a single-storey wartime ministry-style structure made of red brick, which may have been taken from a surplus War Department building kit early in the Motor Circuit’s history. Another structure would be added to the flat roof and continually modified during the race circuit’s major activities, until it was closed in 1966.
© The Klemantaski Collection
Race Control acted as a central office with a view of the race circuit’s starting grid and pit area, from which the presiding Clerk of the Course, his Royal Automobile Club presiding stewards, and other officials could effectively control the running of the race meeting.
Goodwood’s Race Control building became the hub of circuit activities from 1948 to 1966, and since the launch of the modern series of Goodwood Revival meetings in 1998 it has recaptured its former glory. Not only are the rules of racing observed and administered from it, the all-important timekeepers with their millisecond recording equipment and print-out facilities operate from within its historic frame.
All of the great constructors and trophy-winning superstar drivers have graced Race Control in their dealings with the Goodwood organizers, or for prize-giving ceremonies on its podium. These include five-times Grand Prix World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, the first British World Champion Mike Hawthorn, plus other renowned names including Sir Stirling Moss, who won his very first serious circuit race here in the inaugural meeting of September 1948. Much of Great Britain’s motor racing history has been written in Race Control, amid much excitement, lots of tension and occasionally, of course, deep concern and (thankfully rare) grief.
Following Credit Suisse’s extension of its partnership with the Goodwood Revival in 2013 the Race Control building was carefully restored and re-opened on the Revival Friday. Credit Suisse Race Control now plays host to drivers and VIPs. The press are invited every year to the Credit Suisse Historic Race Forum. In a nod to tradition, prize-giving continues to take place from Credit Suisse Race Control.
Any motor racing circuit has at its heart its Race Control, and thanks to Credit Suisse the one at Goodwood survives today as one of the world’s longest serving, best preserved, and most iconic of them all.
Goodwood and Credit Suisse celebrated the swift progress of the Race Control building restoration with a topping out ceremony on July 8, 2013. Hosted by Lord March and Ian Dembinski from Credit Suisse, the guests included celebrated motor racing figures Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Mass, and Alain de Cadenet, along with pupils from the March Church of England Primary School, Chichester.
To commemorate the restoration of the historically significant Race Control building Lord March announced that artifacts representing special moments in motor racing history would be placed in a time capsule. The items selected for inclusion in the Credit Suisse Time Capsule were artifacts donated by Lord March, Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Mass, Alain de Cadenet, Emanuele Pirro, and Ian Dembinski, as well as the winning drawing competition entries from the March Church of England Primary School. Later, during the 2013 Goodwood Revival, the Credit Suisse Time Capsule was buried in front of the Credit Suisse Race Control building.