All the action from Goodwood Festival of Speed
The 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed focused on legends of the race track including a special tribute to Michael Schumacher and a central feature focusing on Aston Martin.
Goodwood’s Festival of Speed is a stunning celebration of all aspects of motorsport and cars from across the history of racing and this year’s event was a spectacular success with new launches, records broken and plenty of sunshine.
The event which ran from Thursday to Sunday saw over 200,000 people attend for one of the biggest motor sport events of the year.
From a 1903 Mercedes Benz 60 HP to the unveiling of De Tomaso’s latest supercar, the P72, racing and car fans were spoilt for choice at this fantastic event situated in what is basically an English country garden (albeit a very big one with a 3.8km race track).
Before I even left the car park the range of classic sports cars on show had me stopping every few metres in the performance parking enclosure. Clearly, hundreds of owners and fans get here early and take their amazing motors out of the garage for such a special event and put them in the spotlight to whet visitor’s appetites.
As well as seeing rally cars, f1 cars, supercars, the latest EV’s and the best examples of the newest models of all types both on and off-road, at Goodwood you can watch them in action on a track that’s been home to many of the legends and current stars of the various classes and motor sports.
A word about the course—it’s the real deal, with a forest stage, tight bends, the famous hill climb (which has its own time trials), the flint wall and the final flag.
Premium ticket holders get to watch the action in one of the many grandstands. The atmosphere while watching the cars climb the hill before breaking hard into a turn is hard to beat with screeching brakes, whistling and spitting exhausts, the occasional spin, dust flying everywhere when the cars hit the verge and then the noise as they accelerate out of the turn.
The F1 paddock has different models from the history of the sport from the main manufacturers including Ferrari, McLaren and Williams and working models of the best of the early days of motor racing, including Mercedes-Benz from the 1910’s, 20’s and 30’s and different models of Bentleys.
There are pit lanes dedicated to different types of rally cars, including NasCar, but the history of two-wheeled motorcycle racing is on show too, with working models of Harley Davidsons from the early decades of the 20th century.
This year’s event salutes legends, focuses on racing drama and celebrates the drivers, manufacturers and car makers who have pushed themselves to the limit to win and meet the need for speed.
What was on show?
The Special Feature paid tribute to Aston Martin with a DBR1 accelerating up a track that ascends into the sky and there was a special event to celebrate Michael Schumacher’s silver anniversary of winning his first F1 Grand Prix.
There were dedicated stands from Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Volkswagen, Michelin, Toyota, Honda, Citroen, Aston Martin, Polestar, Lotus, BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini. Porsche, Land Rover, Jeep and Jaguar all had their own driving experience events.
Visitors got to see dedicated paddocks for drift cars, supercars, vintage models and Brooklands Paddock where auction house Bonham’s had some rare cars up for auction as well as the F1 pit lane, featuring a range of F1 cars from different manufacturers spanning decades of F1 history. There was also a forest rally stage and more driving experiences in The Arena.
Hill climb record
Every year drivers and manufacturers compete to set the fastest time up the hill. This year, Volkswagen’s new ID set a new Goodwood Festival of Speed record, not once but twice, smashing Nick Heidfeld’s 20-year record of 41:60 seconds, set in 1999 when he was an F1 driver.
This year VW’s ID beat it with a time of 41.18 seconds, averaging 101.4mph. When it went out a second time it shaved more than another second off its new record with a time of 39.90 seconds. The ID can accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.25 seconds, and reach a top speed of 168mph.
The event itself was officially opened by the Duke of Richmond driving a prototype of the new Land Rover Defender up the hill, clad in a camouflage pattern to hide its shape.
Supercar specialists De Tomaso gave a world premiere to its brand new P72 on Thursday. Developed over five years by designer Peter Brock, who also worked on the original De Tomaso P70, only 72 will be built each costing around €750,000 (AUD$1.2 million).
The world’s first new electric racing SUV was launched. The Odyssey 21, built by Spark Racing Technology, will compete in Extreme E, a new electric racing series, on courses in some of the world’s most remote areas to highlight the impact of climate change and promote the adoption of EV’s.
Another technological first that was on show at the festival was the first remote-controlled 5G car, a Lincoln MKZ created by Samsung.
Other first looks of vehicles for both track and road use included the Audi R8 LMS GT2, Porsche 911 RSR-19, Ford GT Mark II, McLaren’s new GT, Aston Martin’s Rapide E, Lotus’s new Evora GT4 Concept, the Honda e and more.
Ben Salisbury is an experienced journalist and has covered the automotive sector for Yahoo! and also writes about the business of selling cars covering the rise of the online marketplace.