The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 is underway

The 2018 sculpture in front of the house (Photo by Marc Waller)The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 is underway as the festival this year celebrates it’s Silver Jubilee, having been first held in 1993.

A number of manufacturers are celebrating anniversaries as well this year. Land Rover are seventy this year with their first vehicle launched back in 1948. This was celebrated today with a parade of Land Rovers up the Hill from the very first to the most recent V8 model.

Also celebrating seventy years are Porsche and they’re celebrations literally can’t be missed as part of it is being the subject of the Goodwood Central sculpture for 2018.

As usual the Sculpture is the creation of British Artist Gerry Judah who has been creating the sculptures for 21 years.

This year’s Porsche Sculpture is one of the tallest ever at fifty two metres and stands impressively in front of the house, towering over the entire event.

One single, narrow spine, starting at only 12cm wide on the ground, shoots vertically to explode into seven pointed spindles, on which six iconic Porsches sit dramatically at each end, with the seventh spindle pointing sharply into the sky. The 2018 feature is said to embody both Porsche’s engineering excellence and the speed and dynamism synonymous with the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The design and creation of the Central Features is a complex process, starting with initial concepts and sketches by Judah with extensive collaboration from engineers Diales, culminating in the construction and erection by Littlehampton Welding who are a local company to Goodwood.

Gerry Judah’s other creations can be seen in settings as varied as the Imperial War Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral and the India High Commission as well as international locations such as Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea and an entrance sculpture outside the Porscheplatz Museum in Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart.

The Sculpture becomes an integral part of the celebrations when a parade of many of Porsches Iconic cars parks around it in front of the house after their runs up the hill. Live music is then played and two giant Porsche 70th anniversary flags are unfurled accompanied by a brief firework display.

Thursday has traditionally been the moving motorshow day but this year has seen some changes. With visitors now only able to go up the hill as passengers driven by professional drivers, the amount of cars has been reduced and instead many of the cars that will drive up the famous hillclimb for the rest of the weekend get a first run out. This has the effect of turning the day into almost a taster day showing some of the highlights of the forthcoming weekend.

The world launch of the 600LT attracted the crowds (Photo by Marc Waller) The Mclaren F1 was a new car when the first festival happened (Photo by Marc Waller) The Porsche moment in front of the house was popular with the crowds (Photo by Marc Waller) Land rover celebrates seventy years - this is one of the Final Defenders - A supercharged V8 (Photo by Marc Waller) Puff the magic wagon with Bron (Photo by Marc Waller) This years Le Mans winner in the GT class here as part of the 70th anniversary (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

Even some of the rally cars which will spend the weekend on the forest rally stage were seen having a run up the hill in the morning, including “Puff the magic Wagon” the historic Austin Maxi driven by female Rally driver Bron Burrell, both in period and here at the Festival. She had finished as the top female in the 1970 London to Mexico rally in the car. Bron bought the car back many years later and in the last few years has had the car restored to original condition. You can see Bron and Puff on the Forrest rally stage all weekend along with many other rally car from past and present.

As usual the festival is the venue for many uk and even world debuts of cars. This year’s big star is the Mclaren 600LT designed as an ultimate Mclaren for the road.

With it being the silver Jubilee, several of the entrants are cars that have been favourite from past festivals but with plenty of unseen machinery too, the entry looks as exciting as ever. Even the Cartier Style et Luxe has some classes reflecting the 25th anniversary with a class for road cars that would have been exciting new cars back in 1993 such as the now iconic Mclaren F1 road car.

It’s looking like another exciting weekend is in prospect and unusually, it’s not yet a sell out with some tickets still available online for the event. By Marc Waller

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