Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018
- August 1, 2018
- Posted by Marc Enger
Held on a vast West-Sussex private estate, there were never really humble beginnings for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Nevertheless, few people in June of 1993 will have imagined to what scale and importance the event would grow out to.
Today, the Festival of Speed is one of the absolute highlights on the motoring calendar and consists of four action packed days. To celebrate the 25th anniversary or Silver Jubilee, the 2018 edition looked back at some of the many highlights of the past year. Fittingly, the first car on the hill this year was the same Ferrari 166 MM of Sally Mason-Styron that had also made the very first run back in 1993. Additionally, there were celebrations amongst others for Porsche’s 70th and Lola’s 60th anniversaries. There was also a firm look ahead with brand new electric supercars and even autonomous racing cars taking to the hill. One of the founding partners, auctioneer Bonhams, marked the occasion with a hugely successful GBP 32 million sale on Friday. Ultimatecarpage was on hand in scorching conditions to capture all the action on the hill with this 320-shot gallery as the result.
Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance
A set fixture at the Festival of Speed is the Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance. This year’s edition featured a record breaking eight different classes, which included relatively modest Citroen 2CVs but also a McLaren F1. The latter was featured in the class dedicated to supercars that were new when the Festival of Speed was new. Porsche’s 70th anniversary was also not overlooked with a class for early four-cylinder engined machinery that included a 550 Spyder and also a Devin D. The 2CV class was a fitting tribute to a car that has been the classic car that increased in value the fastest during the last few years. This was underlined by an example from 1965 with delivery mileage that recently sold for $75,000. The Jaguar XK engine is also 70 years old this year and this was marked with a special class for custom bodied Jaguars. Grabbing the most attention was undoubtedly was the barn-find Michelotti XK140 that was recently bought at auction by Jaguar Land Rover Classic. At the end of the weekend, the very diverse line-up of judges picked the rare Monteverdi 375L of Colin Mullin as the best of show.
Electrified Hill Climb
At its core, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is an old-fashioned hill climb, held on the road that runs up the hill in front of Goodwood House. At one point, Formula 1 teams were eager to show off their machinery and in 1999, Nick Heidfeld, in a McLaren MP4/13, set a track-record of 41.6 seconds that has has never been broken since. Today, many cars are merely demonstrated but there still is a competition element to the event for some of the participants. This year, these ranged from early Mercedes and Sunbeams through to a dedicated shoot-out for contemporary BTCC machinery. The most highly anticipated car that was due to set a timed run was the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak car that Romain Dumas had used a few weeks earlier to shatter the outright hill climb record at Pikes Peak. The French ace certainly did not disappoint and during practice set the third fastest time ever on the hill. Unfortunately, the track was very dusty throughout the weekend, so there was no chance for a record attempt. During Sunday’s shoot-out, Dumas was fastest again and duly became the first Goodwood winner with an all-electric machine. Peter Dumbreck was second in the electrified NIO EP9 that has one MW of power available.
For the 25th anniversary celebrations, event host, the Duke of Richmond, invited some of the greatest cars that had starred in the past. While this may have seemed a little repetitive for regular visitors, it is hard to argue against inviting legendary machines like the fabulous Eagle Mk1 or the Monte Carlo winning Lancia Delta S4. Further highlights included the 60th anniversary celebration of Lola, which also was a tribute to founder Eric Broadley and longtime patron Martin Birrane, both of whom have recently passed away. Among the great Lola products that starred in the special class were the very first Lola, a Lola T70 and also machinery built for third parties like the Honda RA301 Formula 1 car and Nissan R90CK Group C racer. As in the concours d’elegance, the 70th anniversary of the Jaguar XK engine was also marked on the hill. The stars of the XK parade included a very rare appearance of the 1953 Le Mans winning C-Type and also the 1956 winning D-Type from the Louwman Museum, which has been a regular at Goodwood since 1993. As always, there were also many famous drivers on hand to drive their cars. This year Emerson Fittipaldi was reunited with his World Championship winning McLaren M23, while Steve Soper was back behind the wheel of the BMW M3 that he drove to the outright victory in the Spa 24 Hours and described to us as his favourite ever racing car.
Porsche at 70
The Gerry Judah designed central feature in front of Goodwood House was dedicated to Porsche this year as the German manufacturer celebrated its 70th birthday. Bolted the tallest ever structure built for the Festival of Speed, six genuine Porsche racers towered over Goodwood House. In addition there were five special Porsche classes, which included road and racing cars built by the legendary German manufacturer. These ranged from the very first Porsche 356 through to the 911 RSR that had taken a class victory at Le Mans just a few weeks earlier. There were also several outright Le Mans winners on hand, which included the very 917 K that had clinched Porsche’s very first Le Mans win in 1970. Particularly impressive was the line-up of early 911 Carrera RSR racing cars, which included ex-works, Martini liveried machines but also the 1973 Sebring 12 Hours winning car. This RSR was reunited with the rather inconspicuous Hurley Haywood, who remains one of the most successful Porsche racers of all time with five outright victories at Daytona, three at Le Mans and two at Sebring. Also on hand was the 919 Tribute that recently shattered the lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife
For many visitors, one of the absolute highlights is the Michelin Supercar Run as it allows us regular folks to see and hear the latest supercars that we in the past could only read about in magazines. In the last couple of years many supercars actually made their public debut at Goodwood. Among them this year was the truly spectacular Brabham BT62 track-day machine. Developed and built in Australia, the car demonstrated by David Brabham sported a livery that was a tribute to the 1977 Swedish Grand Prix winning BT46. Perhaps the most unusual car on the hill was the Aston Martin Cygnet V8. It is exactly what the name suggests, a V8 version of the Toyota Aygo based Cygnet. To create this car a V8 Vantage was shortened to such an extent that a Cygnet silhouette body could be draped over the chassis. McLaren specialist Lanzante used this opportunity to reveal their latest GT version of the P1 GTR, while Porsche re-imagineers Singer debuted their latest creation complete with the Williams-engineered four-litre engine. Declared the favourite supercar of all by public referendum was the Apollo Intensa Emozione, which produced a glorious V12 soundtrack on the hill.
Now boasting four full days of action, the Goodwood Festival of Speed was bigger than ever before. Under perfect blue skies the 160,000 spectators were treated to a non-stop show both on and off the track. While it is too much to cover with just two photographers, our friend from ultimatecarpage picked out all the highlights of the on-track action for this 320-shot gallery.
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Report by ultimatecarpage.com