270 Photos: Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011
I’ve run out of superlatives to describe this event, each year the anticipation builds as the weekend draws closer and each year the festival surpasses all my expectations. This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed has been no exception. A stunning setting and near perfect weather , a galaxy of stars from every form of motorsport you could think of, the best collection of rare, historic racing, rally and supercars gathered from around the world, all make the Festival of Speed THE event of the year on the motorsport calendar.
This year’s theme ‘Racing Revolutions, Quantum leaps that shaped motorsport’ brought out some of the rarest and most innovative racing machinery ever built. The quest to be the fastest or to win has driven motor racing since the internal combustion engine was invented. This festival told the story of the backroom boys, the thinkers, the dreamers, the pioneers, the engineers who initially were armed with slide rules and drawing boards to answer the question “I wonder what would happen if?…” Their modern counterparts with computers, equipped with CAD and CFD software still dare to ask that same question, still push the boundaries with innovation and solutions and still continue the quest to gain that extra tenth of a second.
Once again Jerry Judah created a magnificent sculpture for the carriage circle at the front of Goodwood House. Standing over 90 feet tall the homage to the Jaguar E Type, dominated the goodwood estate sky line. Possibly the most iconic of all sports cars, a car that Sir William Lyons didn’t like and didn’t think would sell and a car that Enzo Ferrari described as the most beautiful car in the world is celebrating its 50th birthday this year hence the giant representation taking pride of place at the festival. E Types were evident in almost every aspect of the festival, with the exception of the rally stage! Several purred past the sculpture during the weekend from Bob Tullius’ SCCA Group 44 monster, to the rebuilt low drag coupe that took the life of German Peter Lindner at Montlhery in October 1964 and plenty more to feast your eyes on notably in the Style et Luxe arena, more on that later.
One Hundred years ago, on the then recently built Indianapolis motor speedway, Indianapolis; a race called the ‘International sweepstakes’ took place. The 500 mile race on the 3.2 million brick paved track was one by Ray Harroun at an average speed of 74.602 MPH, driving a Marmon Wasp. The car being the first recorded to be fitted with a rear view mirror the race is widely believed to be the first to see the use of a pace car. This year, the Indy 500, was won by Briton Dan Wheldon driving a Dallara Honda with an average speed of 170.265 MPH his win made all the more remarkable when you consider his drive was a one off as he doesn’t have a full time seat this season! Goodwood brought a slice of Americana to Sussex with a Pageant to celebrate the history of this greatest of races. Guitar hero Jeff Kollman heralded the show with a rendition of the ‘star spangled banner’ Fender style, plus a marching band, followed by a parade of historic Indy cars, the oldest being the 1913 Peugeot L45 which in 1916 won in the hands of Dario Resta, the newest a Dallara Honda of Target Chip Gannassi Racing that Scott Dixon took to victory lane in 2008. Other Indy highlights included the extraordinary Lotus 56B gas turbine powered 4 wheel drive car resplendent in Day-Glo orange STP oil treatment colours that it wore in 1968 when Joe Leonard put it on the pole Lord March took the wedge shaped machine up the hill and was astonished by the power of the car. Damon Hill’s son Josh took Lola CEO Martin Birrane’s recreation of Graham Hill’s Lola-Ford T90 ‘Red Ball Special’ 1966 winning car up the hill, complete with the ‘family’ Oxford Rowing Club colours helmet. Fourteen Indy drivers were present, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Unser, Al Unser Jr, Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Rahal, Dario Franchitti, Arie luyendyk, Helio Castroneves, Dan Wheldon, Eddie Cheever, Gil De Ferran, Emerson Fittipaldi, Scott Dixon, Kenny Brack and Parnelli Jones all winners with 25, 500 victories between them. The daily ‘Indy moment’ finished by the immortal “Gentlemen, Start your engines”
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton thrilled the crowds on Saturday and Sunday Although Jenson didn’t drive either of the two F1 cars McLaren sent to the festival, the Mercedes MP4/23 of 2008, Lewis’ championship winning car and the MP4 Cosworth of 1981 the first all Carbon fibre construction car to win an F1 Grand Prix with John Watson, due to an injury sustained after falling off a jet ski but he did drive the new McLaren road car the MP4-12C. Lewis sampled both Cars doing some precision Donuts outside the house and Hooning the MP4-12C in the super car parade. Mark Webber and Adrian Newey sampled the 2005 Red Bull RB1. Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna drove the 2009 Renault R29 and the ultimate track day tool the Lotus Type 125, Karun Chandahok had a go in last year’s Lotus T127, Nico Rosberg was on duty for Mercedes-Benz GP driving the 2009 Brawn Mercedes BGP 001 although sadly not in its Brawn livery but the corporate Petronas colours. Ferrari reserve driver Marc Gene demo’ed the 2010 Ferrari F10 with great gusto.
Fastest man up the hill was Dan Collins fittingly with the festivals theme in the revolutionary twin chassis Lotus 88 Cosworth, beating Johnny Milner’s awesome Toyota Celica by a whisker. Other Festival moments Included Damon Hill being reunited with his 1993 Williams FW15, Rene Arnoux in the Renault RS01 turbo, Anthony Reid stunning the crowd with some incredibly quick runs in the 1999 BTCC Nissan Primera, Red Bulls stunning mock up of the Gran Turismo 5’s X2010 ultimate single seater designed by Adrian Newey. Martin Brundle got to drive the Jaguar XJR12 WSPC car from 1990 and on Sunday Martin Donnelly get behind the wheel of a Lotus-Lamborghini 102 F1 car one of the sister ships to the car he had that horrific accident at Jerez in 1990. Nick Mason, Pink Floyd’s Petrol head drummer demo’ed the Auto Union Type C in its hill climb configuration with twinned rear wheels. Once again Matty Griffin did things on his trick BMW motorcycle that physics saw shouldn’t be possible and then to cap that Terry Grant stuntman extraordinaire decided that he wasn’t going to be out done by some kid on a bike and took a Nissan Juke crossover up the hill on two wheels, creating a new world record in the process!
At the top of the hill is the Forrest Rally stage designed by Hannu Mikkola and now in its seventh year and going from strength to strength in terms of popularity with the crowds no less than 50 classic and modern rally cars took to the unique tree lined chalk surface, including the world debut of the new Mini WRC from Prodrive driven by Kris Meeke, this is a seriously quick rally car and with the might of David Richards Prodrive developing it, Citroen, Peugeot et al should be very worried. This car being thrown around was a big draw in itself to the Stage but those that made the climb up the hill were not disappointed with the cross section of rally machinery being thrashed through the trees, Lancia Fulvia 037 and Stratos, Audi Quattro’s including the group B winged monster, Various Fords including Mk 1 and 2 Escorts and the awesome RS200, a Bastos sponsored Porsche 911 and a Metro 6R4 in Tony Ponds ‘Computervision’ colours were just a few of the chalk churners.
The Cartier Style et Luxe was once again a big attraction for the great and the good and the general public, DJ Chris Evans ‘Magnificent seven’ Ferrari’s lined up in the sun, It seems that even though he’s a household name in the UK he isn’t so well know elsewhere and on speaking to an American photographer he said “yeah, he’s the Brit who paints his Ferrari’s white!”
No less than six immaculate Jaguar E Types were exhibited including the exquisite £500,000 Eagle Speedster which is a 2011 hand built modern re-imagining of the original E Type. As with every Style et Luxe since the festival began the sublime and the ridiculous are parked fender to fender For instance the magnificent Auburn 851 speedster with its swooping coach work and chromed exhausts leaving the engine bay via the side engine cover to the Citroen 2CV parked less than ten paces away to the ludicrous Lamborghini Countach LP400 and what I overheard being described as a ‘thug in a Savell Row suit’ the Maserati A6G 54 with its Zagato designed bodywork to the frankly weird Dymaxion recreation a three wheeled people carrier originally built in 1933, with a driving seat forward of the front axle and a mid mounted V8 engine! It was all present on the lawn, Concours D’Elegance going to a Ferrari 340 America.
I could write on and on about what happened over the weekend such is the scale of the event but I don’t know if Rich would publish it! So I’ll close by saying If you’ve never been to the Festival of Speed, Go, you won’t be disappointed I promise. However, put on a good pair of walking shoes though as there is so much to see and do that to see even half of what is on offer in Lord March’s back garden. Enjoy the photographs and let us know if you like them please.
I’m having a rest now my next article will be on the Silverstone Classic, where rumour has it over one thousand E Type Jaguars are going to be present…