Despite all the Joy, anger, celebrations and protests over the EU on Friday, the Goodwood Festival begun its three main days unaffected with barely a mention of political goings on elsewhere at what is an international event.
This year’s event theme is “Full throttle – The endless pursuit of power” and this has influenced the cars which are going up the hill over the three days. However several manufacturers are celebrating anniversaries and have brought lots of cars along to celebrate.
BMW are celebrating their centenary and have a huge range of F1, Sportscars, GT’s and Touring cars at the festival. They also are the subject of the central sculpture which features a 1999 Le mans winner, a 328 Mille Miglia roadster and the BMW powered Brabham BT52.
On the Hill there are plenty of BMW powered F1 cars from the 1980’s including Brabhams, Benettons and an Arrows. Also on display in the F1 paddock are further Brabhams from Bernie Ecclestones private collection. This is the first time they have been seen in public for many years. BMW also have a history of their M performance cars on the cricket pitch and a further display including an exhibition on their art cars in the stable yard.
Onto Modern F1 and seven current F1 teams are present; Ferrari, Force India, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault and Williams. Unfortunately due to testing restrictions they are limited to using two year old cars.
On top of this there are various other F1 cars from all the different era’s including Jenson Button’s title winning Brawn which has been newly rebuilt for the festival. Contract obligations mean Button is unable to drive it himself but Martin Brundle is taking it up the Hill all weekend. Don’t expect any heroics though, the team have no spares so Brundle is having to take things very carefully.
Back to the anniversaries and Renault are celebrating 110 years of Motorsport competition with all sorts of cars from throughout their history. There are also Rallying Renaults present on the rally stage but more on that in another article.
Ford are celebrating fifty years since their historic Le mans victory (Plus a week since this year’s victory in the GT class only last weekend.) There will be various versions of the iconic sports car plus the current GT car will be present straight from its winning trip to Le Mans.
The BTCC has it’s best representation ever as seven cars take to the hill. Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden share the works Honda Civic, Jason Plato drives the works Subaru Levorg, Championship leader Sam Tordoff drives his BMW 1 series with Andrew Jordan in the Pirtek Sponsored Focus. MG have both drivers Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook sharing driving duties while Adam Morgan drives his Wix Racing Mercedes. Last but not least is the Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet, shared by Kelvin Fletcher and Hunter Abbott. They will have their own competition shoot out with in the main event on Sunday where there will be a prize for the quickest NGTC Btcc car up the hill.
Touring car fans can also see various historic touring cars on the Hill. The WTCC has two static cars on show which are being turned into “art cars” during the weekend.
Drifting is present again this year with the biggest line up of cars ever including a Sauber F1 based drift car although it’s not yet been confirmed if this will be able to take to the hill. If not it will be on display in the infield. Top british female drifter Michelle Westby is at the show but sadly not driving. She is working for Maxis at the off road field half way up the hill.
From the US comes a large display of cars from Nascar with several cars from the main championship charging up the hill along with several pick ups from the truck championship.
Speaking of trucks we also have a Mercedes racing truck and a Kamaz truck from the Dakar rally.
The regular Supercar run continues with all sorts of amazing supercars and hyper cars including the world Debut of the Bugatti Chiron. This year it’s joined by two other categories; First glance, where you can see the debut of all sorts of new cars and Race cars for the road featuring specialist machines such as the Aerial Aton, The Praga and the BAC Mono to name but three!
We’ve just touched on a few of the highlights here but there are also a whole host of other competition cars from all eras.
Also the regular favourites are back with the infield being full of a huge amount of trade stands and stalls selling everything Motorsport and Motoring related and plenty of things that aren’t!
The Cartier Style et Luxe Concours is on the lawn next to the house (More on that in a future article) The GAS (Goodwood action sports) arena features displays from Motorcross and BMX you can find that just beyond the cricket pitch.The moving Motorshow building remains with further manufacturers cars on display and behind that is the Goodwood air exhibition village.
The Rally stage takes place in the woods at the top of the hill and then just down from that is the off road field and the activities area where you can participate in all sort of Motoring and Motorsport activities on both two and four wheels.
The world of politics and government may be in total disarray outside Goodwood but inside Goodwood the Motorsport world is in total unity! By Marc Waller