Renowned businessman Theo Paphitis will trade his suit for a set of fireproof overalls on September 11-13 to make his debut at the Goodwood Revival. One of the most recognisable businessmen in the UK, Paphitis is best known for appearing on the hit BBC Two show Dragons' Den, and for taking Millwall Football Club out of administration and all the way to the FA Cup Final during his stint as chairman.
A string of business achievements include reviving the fortunes of notable high-street brands La Senza and Ryman Stationery, as well as setting up the Small Business Sunday initiative.
The self-confessed car lover, who joined forces with Formula 1 podium finisher Mark Blundell to become chairman of sports agency MB Partners in 2013, is now putting his skills to the test on the racetrack. Having gained his racing licence during the winter, Paphitis has been racing a classic Ford Anglia this year, and has already finished on the podium. He will race the same car at Goodwood in the St Mary's Trophy for 1960s production saloons. His co-driver will be factory Toyota FIA World Endurance Championship driver Mike Conway, who will also be making his Revival debut.
Conway, 31, is a race winner in the two most prestigious championships outside of F1 – the WEC and the IndyCar Series – and has sprayed the victory champagne on some of the most famous and challenging circuits in the world, including Monaco, Long Beach and Macau.
Paphitis and Conway will be joined at the Revival by Blundell – himself a winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours and several IndyCar races during the 1990s. Blundell and his co-driver Kerry Michael will share a Ford Lotus Cortina in the St Mary's Trophy – a two-part, two-driver race featuring a current or ex-professional driver in every car.
They join a strong list of drivers and riders already confirmed for the event, which includes Tom Kristensen, Richard Attwood, Jackie Oliver, Emanuele Pirro, Jochen Mass, Anthony Reid, Jason Plato, Andrew Jordan and Stuart Graham and will be bolstered by yet more big names in the coming weeks.
Theo Paphitis said: "I'm incredibly excited to be making my Goodwood Revival debut in September. I started racing this year purely with the Revival in mind as it's such an incredible event at which Lord March makes sure everything is right, down to the tiniest of details. With Mike Conway as my team-mate, I think we can have a respectable finish, although that will be tough against the cream of historic racers – not least my business partner, Mark Blundell! I just don't want to be saying 'I'm out' at any point of the race."
The GOODWOOD REVIVAL
Staged every September since 1998, the Goodwood Revival is the world's largest historic motor racing and vintage culture event, with a sell-out crowd of nearly 150,000 attending in period clothing each year. Held at the Goodwood Motor Circuit, the only motor sport venue on the planet to remain preserved in its original form, the Revival attracts visitors, racers and celebrities from all over the world. Highlights of the 2015 event, which takes place on September 11-13, include 15 races for racing cars and bikes built up to 1966, a special tribute to motor sport legend Bruce McLaren, the Freddie March Spirit of Av
iation concours d'elegance, numerous air displays, Best-Dressed, the Revival Car Show presented by Stewart Miller and Peter James Insurance, an authentic Revival High Street, and the Over the Road entertainment area.