Goodwood Festival of speed (photo by Marc Waller)The 20th Goodwood festival of Speed had its first day of action on Friday with glorious sunny weather making for an excellent day out.

With this being the 20th anniversary, the theme for this year is the celebration of this. Because of this, there are cars of all ages on the hill with cars from the 19th century on display right up to the latest F1 cars from this season and almost anything you could imagine in-between.

The oldest design here is a recreation of an 1803 London steam carriage. Design by Richard Trevithick, it was the world’s first self-propelled vehicle. The original was sadly destroyed but this recreation by Tom Brogden shows what it would have been like.

From the very first to the very latest as Bentley launched their Continental GT3 car. The car has been development for several months now and the car shown off today, once homologated by the FIA will enter races during the rest of the 2013 season to further its development. It will then the full Blancpain GT series in 2014. There is a possibility we may see this car compete in British GT before the end of this year.  The car has been a project between engineers from Bentley Motors and the team M-Sport, run by former rally driver Malcolm Wilson. Board member for Engineering from Bentley Motors, Rolf Frech, spoke on the Goodwood live stage at the launch;

“The Continental GT3 exploits the incredible performance beneath the skin of every Continental GT. We’ve removed over 1000 kilograms of weight, reconfigured our 4.0-litre V8 to produce 600 bhp in race specification, and developed a comprehensive aerodynamic package to ensure that we perform competitively. We are now looking forward to getting the car on the track and proving its potential.”

The list of cars on the hill this year is almost like a “greatest hits of Goodwood” with many favourites from the past making a return. Bob Riggle’s ‘Hemi under Glass’ is here to once again wheelie his way up the hill along with several other dragsters.

Goodwood Festival of speed (photo by Marc Waller)Goodwood Festival of speed (photo by Marc Waller)The Ford Transit that was used as the XJ220 development mule returns although this time is too well known to repeat the previous trick of masquerading as a Goodwood estate van.  The ever quick Justin Law charges up the course in it.

Another quick van is here in the form of the Ford Supervan 3. Created in 1985 from the previous 1982 Supervan 2, it’s actually a C100 Group C race car chassis with a Transit style fibreglass body shell on top. It was given an engine upgrade in 2004 with a supercharged cosworth V6. It’s being driven up the hill by another festival favourite; Anthony Reid who is always 100% committed having won the contest last year in the Chevron GR8 GT3.

Running the wrong way down the hill once again as part of the 20th anniversary celebration, the soapbox racers make a return. Discontinued in 2004 for safety reasons, The contest used to be entered by many top names from the world of motoring and motorsport. There was a theoretical budget of £1000 but many appeared to have undergone wind tunnel testing and were made of suspiciously expensive looking materials.  Some of the most memorable creations will be doing demo runs on Saturday and Sunday.

Goodwood Festival of speed (photo by Marc Waller)Goodwood Festival of speed (photo by Marc Waller)More festival stars back again this year are the stars and cars from the wacky races. In previous festivals they used to make a run up the hill themselves but with the packed timetable now limiting time, they are parked up next to the house entertaining the crowds.

The stable yard has a photographic exhibition of some of the great stars and cars that have been part of the festival over its 20 year history.

There are festival favourites in the air too with the Red arrows performing once again and the Avro Vulcan making fly pasts.

Goodwood Festival of speed (photo by Marc Waller)Goodwood Festival of speed (photo by Marc Waller)There is also the forest rally stage but we will be showing you more on that later in the weekend.

The festival runs until Sunday but all tickets are now sold out. By Marc Waller

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