Postcard from the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed

2B Consulting Automotive LimitedThis years theme was “Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game-Changers’’

Now in its twenty-fifth year, and with more than 190,000 visitors over the four days; the Festival remains an unrivalled celebration of human endeavour, on two, four and more wheels. With multiple exhibits from global motor manufacturers, “factory” museums and renowned, private collections, combined with stars who have influenced motorsport …the event remains unmissable, whatever your preferred discipline!

Celebrating fifty years of achievement and success in multiple guises in Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone’s career was the focus of Gerry Judah’s sculpture outside Goodwood House, with five race cars, secured atop a fifty tonne, circuit-like superstructure…..

Goodwood-Festival-of-Speed-2017 (205)
Additional celebrations included:

  • 110th anniversary of the opening of Brooklands motor circuit
  • Ferrari S.p.A.’s 70th birthday (below)

  • Fifty Years of the Cosworth DFV
  • Forty years of the Williams F1 team
  • Silver Jubilee of the Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Twenty years since Tom Kristensen’s first Le Mans win
  • Twentieth anniversary of the introduction of the World Rally car
  • Bonhams Auction

The three established paddocks, located either side of the House, were separated by entrants of the Cartier Style et Luxe Concours …. and with an eclectic entry of vehicles, ranging from a 1903 Stanley Steamer, via the globe’s best known Rolls Royce, “AX201”, to the overall winning, Ferrari 250 GT Series I PF Cabriolet – there was a car to suit every taste! Catching my eye, were the “Sluggard” (a 1911 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, which that same year was driven from London to Edinburgh and back in top gear, followed by a Brooklands speed trial… which it completed, at 78mph!), the unique Bertone-designed, 1961 Aston Martin DB4 “Jet”, and my favourite, Gerhard Thomas’s 1964 Maserati 3500GTi Sebring Vignale. Closeby, BMW Group occupied the stables, presenting an eclectic display of “art cars”, “styling” concepts and production favourites…including another design masterpiece, the 507 V8.

The adjacent supercar paddock, featured cars from thirty-seven manufacturers, displaying either production models, prototypes or design concepts – Ferrari Northern Europe presented a 488 Spider, 599XX Evo, California T Handling Speciale, FXX Evo, FXXK, GTC4Lusso and La Ferrari Aperta whilst very popular with visitors, was the competition inspired Aston Martin Vulcan, and my favourite, the all new, Fittipaldi EF7. Personal award for most ungainly car on display, goes to the Nissan Bladeglider, and I never even mentioned the gawdy ZenvoTSR!!

On the “hill”, Ferrari enthusiasts saw demonstrations from the F1 Scuderia’s test driver, Marc Gene in the 2009 F60; five-time Le Mans winner, Emanuele Pirro was quick in the Dallara-built 333SP racer, Annette Mason piloted the family 512BBLM, Evert and Quirina Louwman shared their collections’ 1952 Grant Piston Ring Special, former British hillclimb champion David Franklin was expectedly very rapid in Dennis Singleton’s 275GTB/C, Lawrence Stroll looked controlled in his immaculate P3/4 and 512M, which he shared with Sir Jackie Stewart and Brian Redman, historic racing regular, Franco Meiners, demonstrated the unique 312B3S “Spazzaneve”, James Cottingham and Dudley Mason-Styrron celebrated forty-five years of class-winning Le Mans success with their Daytona Competition coupe’s, whilst wife Sally, celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of her first ‘climb of the Goodwood Hill, in her 166 Barchetta.

Highlights:
Day 1 on the Goodwood hill climb

Day 2 on the Goodwood hill climb

Day 3 on the Goodwood hill climb

Day 4 on the Goodwood hill climb

With the F1 season almost at halfway point, seven teams stopped off en-route to Austria, to entertain in the balmy sunshine of the Sussex countryside – McLaren, Renault, Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and Force India produced “doughnuts” aplenty, with biggest cheers reserved for 2016 Champion, Nico Rosberg in the 2014 spec , MGP W05. Elsewhere, “Flying Finns” Rauno Aaltonen and Mikko Hirvonen were amongst the many famous names who took part on the rally stage, first designed by their compatriot, Hannu Mikkola.

The popularity of the Festival of Speed, can be seen from the number of famous drivers and riders, past and present, who relish the opportunity to be reunited with their original charges – this year, the Martini-sponsored Drivers Club welcomed, amongst many others Sir Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Tom Kristensen, Damon Hill, Nico Rosberg, Arturo Merzario, Allan McNish, Bobby Labonte, Mike Skinner and riders Giacomo Agostini, William and Michael Dunlop, Troy Corser, Trevor Nation and Sammy Miller.

My highlights – there were many:
– best known by enthusiasts as the “shark-nose”; the 1961 Ferrari 156 helped the Gestione Sportiva and Phil Hill respectively, secure their first constructors and drivers World Championships. Sadly non of the original chassis remain, but more recently constructed, exacting replica’s attracted much attention in the main paddock, as Hill’s son Derek and twice Targa Florio winner, Arturo Merzario, were entrusted by owner Jason Wright, to demonstrate the 1.5 litre V6-engined, single seaters.
– Designed by the recently departed Eric Broadley, the 1963 Lola MK6GT is seen by many as the forerunner of the legendary Ford GT40. Mating a large capacity V8 engine to a Colotti gearbox mounted amidships, the prototype first appeared at the January 1963 Olympia Racing Car Show in London and made its competition debut at Silverstone four months later. Owned since 1965 by Allen Grant and recently rebuilt, the Lola attracted much attention over the weekend in the 1960-1981 Sports Racers class.
Timed Shootout (watch it all below)

With Ron Hope(below), Terry Grant and Mattie Griffin amongst many others, entertaining the crowd…. the Festival of Speed is a unique celebration of “car and bike culture”, and innovation….roll on the next twenty-five years!!!

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