One of the big parts of the festival this year is celebrating 70 years of Ferrari and as part of this, one of the batches of cars going up the course is deciated to only Ferrari cars. There are cars from the very start in 1947 all the way up to this year and the new La Ferrari Aperta.
Not only did they all run up the Hill but several of them then returned to Goodwood House where they parked around the central Bernie Ecclestone sculpture. They were then serenaded by an orchestra playing the Italian national anthem before two giant Ferrari 70 flags were unfurled while fireworks went off overhead and smoke generators pumped out loads of the stuff. The drivers and Ferrari mechanics plus VIPs then posed for a photo along with Lord March.
Friday was the first day that the full line up of competition cars took to the hill with the usual eclectic mix of cars with machines from the early days, all through the last century up to the present day. There are cars from all forms of racing with F1 and single seaters, Sports and GT cars, Touring cars, Nascar and Indycar and even drifting is now well represented after 2016’s drifting debut. Motorbikes are heavily featured as always with a big group of machines from the history of the sport.
The overall theme of this year’s festival is “Peaks of Performance – Motorsport’s Game Changers” so many of the cars are ones that bought something new to move performance to another level or changed Motorsport. The drift cars are a perfect example as a whole new branch of Motorsport was created with the advent of drifiting. Another example is the Penske Mercedes Indycar PC23 of 1994 which exploited a loophole in the regulations and used a push rod engine to dominate the Indy 500 and took Al Unser Jr to the title. There are also cars like Nigel Mansell’s Williams Fw14B which he used to take his championship win in 1992. The car was totally dominant and took nine wins out of sixteen which was a record at the time.
There are hundred more examples of machines just like this as well as others which were banned before they could even compete like Audi RS002. Built to compete in new Group S Regulations in rallying. When Group B regulations were scrapped on safety reasons, the group S regulations went too even though they hadn’t yet featured in an event. This left Audi’s new car without anywhere to compete and it has barely run since. The Festival of Speed is one of the few chances to see this unique car. This is just three of the many cars you can see on the Hill, fourty of which will go for the shoot out for the best time on the hill, the final of which will be on Sunday.
Of the Hill the Cartier Style Et Luxe is taking place on the lawn, as it has at every festival. This year cars are entered in seven classes; Full steam ahead – 120 years of the Stanley Motor carriage, Maranello’s masterpiece - Various examples of Ferrai’s legendary 250 type model, The Best car in the world- Rolls Royce’s Silver Ghost, Add Vantage Mr Brown – Examples of Aston Martins from the David Brown era of the company. Trident Tested – Examples of classic Maserati Gt’s , Game Changers – Cars from the genesis of the hypercar and last but not least (except in terms of size!) Cheeky Cinquento – Celebrating 60 years of the Fiat 500.
There are 15 judges from Celebrities like Rowan Atkinson and Nick Mason, through designers and fashion experts like Gordon Murray, Ian Callum and Lucy Yeomans (Editor of Net-a-porter) and there are also some famel competitors, Carmen Jorda, currently development driver for Renault F1 and former rival of Alice Powell. Also Catie Mannings 2016 Ladies FIA European Rally champion.
They have the difficult but not unpleasant task of choosing winners both from the classes and overall.
Over at the other side of the Festival FOS air is taking place. One of the newer elements of the show, FOS air is a mini airshow with stands from various aircraft manufacturers, Aircraft charter companies, an exhibit on Space flight featuring astronaut Tim Peake (sadly not in person) and opportunities to have a go at flying yourself –sadly not on the day! There are also helicopter flights over the site and as usual there are air displays over the weekend from the Red Arrows and planes like the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The festival has another two days left to run with Saturday and Sunday traditionally being the two busiest days as they sell out of tickets before the event even starts.
If you are coming along, the weather forecast is looking positive. If you aren’t you can watch online via the Goodwood website, watch on tv via Sky or catch up on GR.We will also feature a gallery from the festival on our FB page. If you are on FB and you haven’t already liked it, you really should, as on top of exclusive photo galleries, there are also news stories which you won’t see on the main page. By Marc Waller