Continuing our musings and observations from this weekends Goodwood Festival of Speed…
Festival Ball Fireworks
On Saturday evening we popped down to Goodwood for a drink and to watch the Festival ball entertainment from a distance. The entertainment seemed to be a laser show with light lit dancers ‘fighting’ laser battles, this was followed by an awesome fireworks display which lit up the sky. We could just hear the sound of the Beach Boys playing in the distance but the wind was blowing the wrong way so it was very quiet.
Cartier Style et Luxe
One of my favourite bits of FoS every year is the Cartier Style et Luxe, Concours d’elegance. Judged on design and style by a panel of guru’s from many disciplines, the event always brings together a collection of unique and fascinating vehicles. There were 7 classes ranging from Junior Sportscar of the 1920’s, Pre-war Supercharged Mercedes, Coach Built Maseratis of the 50’s to the Development of the Modern Super Car.
This amazing 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet was captured by the Russians during the war and driven back to Moscow where it was seen driving around for many years.
The 1971 Mazda RX500, seen in the UK for the first time was developed as a mobile test bed for high speed safety. Powered by a 491cc single rotor Wankel engine it had a top speed of 125 mph – is this the faster ever ‘micro’ car? The rear lights were intended to turn green under acceleration, orange when cruising at a constant speed and red when braking. I loved this 1964 ATS 3000 GTS. Automobili Turismo e Sport was founded by Ferrari defectors Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlo Chiti with the aim of beating Enzo Ferrari at his own game. The company folded in 1964 and only a handful of cars were made. I don’t know where the Dragon on the bonnet badge comes from?The 2004 Peugeot 907 concept car had an incredible leather interior which smelt devine! The 1971 De Tomaso Mangusta has a wonderful name which I had know idea about. Mangusta is italian for Mongoose, an animal capable of killing Cobras – a subtile swipe at the famous AC/Shelby Cobra of the time.A 1969 McLaren M12 GTThe Best in Show was won by a rather unassuming Maserati A6 CGS Berlinetta, which I didn’t even take a picture of!
McLaren were very much in evidence this year not only with the F1 team but the Road cars had a big presence and for the first time, unveiled a new model at the Festival – this McLaren GT, their latest competition race car.
The McLaren 650S was making its Festival of Speed debut having been revealed at the Geneva Motor show in March. There was a great display of F1 and road McLarens lining the walkway to the Drivers Club. Maserati celebrating their 100th anniversary, were another company making a splash with the UK public debut of the Alfieri Concept, named after one of the Maserati brothers who founded the company. The Alfieri received the Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes at the upmarket Villa d’Este concours in northern Italy. The style of the moment seems to be for highlights of bright colours, this does look pretty good. Maserati had some great older cars in their display, the first generation Ghibli model from the 60’s, an original super car which now looks very small and simple compared with the modern versions. I never used to like this sort of car but I’m beginning to find them rather attractive. This 60’s first generation Quattroporte was probably one of the rarest cars at the event and one receiving the least attention. Paddocks
The paddocks are of course the place to see the cars close up but it is quite difficult to get pictures of them, barriers and people in the way plus they are often half in shadow, half in sunshine. This 1911 Fiat S76 was absolutely huge, built to capture the Land Speed record it achieved over 180mph in 1912 and hasn’t been used since 1914 until this weekend! Another fantastic huge beast was the Renault 40cv Montlhery Coupe built in 1926 which averaged 107.5mph over 24 hours at Montlhery. The 1935 Monte Carlo winning Renault Nervasport was beautiful and very very shiny. On the Monte the car had faced extremely harsh winter conditions, with icy roads and temperatures down to -20°C. It followed up with a win on the 1935 Liège-Rome-Liège race (4500 km in a single leg) and took second place in the Morocco Rally, behind Bugatti.
In my opinion the Martini branding is one of the most attractive ever seen in motorsport, seen here on the Jaguar XJ220GT once the fasted car in the world. It’s great to see the livery back this year on the Williams F1. The Audi Type C Alpine was glorious, particularly the lovely oil/fuel can on the running boards. Audi won the Austrian Alpine Rally three times in this model 1912-1914. For many years it has been traditional for cars to come straight from the Le Mans 24hr to Goodwood complete with dirt and damage. This year was no exception with several teams making an appearance including the winning Audi. Looking at how cramped the cockpit is I wouldn’t want to spend 10 minutes let alone a share of 24 hours inside.The Mercedes-Benz transporter is pretty awesome and love the fact that it was built to go fast; 105mph and sign written on the side in order to intimidate their competitors!Rally Stage
The forest rally stage cut into the chalk and woodland at the top of the hill is a great if dusty attraction. The rally paddock at the top is much quieter and more relaxed, much more like the earlier festivals. This year for the first time the rally stage was timed making it more competitive – possibly the reason it was red flagged so often! Nine times World Champion Sebastien Loeb was very quick in the Citroen DS3 WRC but I don’t know the final results. Also seen on the course the iconic Subaru Impreza WRC from 1997, a 1972 Lotus Esprit with ski’s on the roof, right up to modern cars.
In the air
The skies above Goodwood are also full of action with regular air displays including a Hunter & Canberra, Typhoon and the Red Arrows in their 50th anniversary year livery with Union Flag painted tails.
Of course it is the stars old and current that the people come to see, as the event has become bigger it is harder to meet your hero’s, rather than just mooching around the paddocks they are ensconced in the privacy of the drivers club and make timed appearances on sponsors stands. In the old days I always came away from the festival clutching a full autograph book and with ‘selfies’ in the camera, these days I can’t be bothered to try and run from stand to stand to try and catch a glimpse of a driver or push and shove in a scrum near the F1 paddocks to get my book signed. I was in the right place and the right place to see a few and at least amongst them a couple of my personal favourites Jochen and Emanuele …
Jochen Mass – F1 and SportscarsEx Red Bull F1 and now Porsche Sportscar driver Mark Webber 1970’s Ferrari, Williams and March F1 driver Arturo Merzario, he was one of the drivers who saved Niki Lauda from his burning car in the 1976 German Grand Prix.
Emanuele Pirro, F1, Touring car and Sportscar driver, winning Le Mans 5 times.Current Red Bull F1 test driver Sébastien Buemi takes a new Infiniti up the hill during the Moving Motorshow
The weekend ended with the timed shoot out, the aim to try to beat Nick Heidfeld’s fifteen year hill record of 41.6 seconds in a McLaren MP4-13 Formula One car. Since then the F1 cars haven’t been timed as they were thought to be too dangerous, the current cars cannot be run as it is deemed by the FIA to be ‘testing’.
The main contender was Sebastien Loeb in the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car. Unfortunately as the hill was running very late and Loeb had to leave he ran first. He made a good time but it was still three seconds off the record. No one else could come close and this made a bit of an anti-climax to the day.
|Sebastien LOEB||Peugeot 208 T16 ‘Pikes Peak’||44.60|
|Michael BARTELS||Maserati MC12 ‘Goodwood Cent 100’||45.82|
|Kenny BRACK||McLaren F1 GTR ‘Long Tail’||47.52|
We’d had a great weekend and decided for once not to stay for the prize giving as the afternoon was still running late. It had been another good year, we have never really watched the actual hill climb preferring to just wander around, chat to friends and generally soak up the atmosphere. My father had a brilliant day on Thursday and is still talking about it. It is through him that I got into cars and motorsport at a very early age spending much of my childhood standing in forests watching rally cars tear past or at Thruxton enjoying the destruction of Caravan racing. I suppose it wasn’t surprising that I ended up with a partner who has been car obsessed since he could talk. At least having a shared passion means we get to have great weekends together at events such as FoS, now we start looking forward to the best weekend of the year and one that Mario can join in… The Revival.