Photo Gallery and Report: The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012
Young Guns, Born to Win…
…Those exceptional few who through the combination of natural talent, determination, hard work and sometimes a helping of luck, to be in the right place at the right time to demonstrate that will to win was the theme celebrated at this year’s 20th Goodwood Festival of Speed. Lotus racing cars 60th anniversary was honoured with a simply stunning carriage circle sculpture by artist Gerry Judah. Standing 92 feet tall, a steel infinity twist, which was fabricated in sections and welded together on site and then adorned with six Lotus Formula One cars from across the years, was designed according Lotus cars engineering principle of lightness of construction, its creator remarked, “it’s easily my most innovative design yet”
Formula 1. Six Formula one teams set themselves up in the F1 paddock, all brought recent F1 hardware, a 2009 F150 from Ferrari, in which test driver Marc Gene blasted up the hil across all three days of the festival. McLaren test driver, Oliver Turvey did the lion’s share of the hooning in last year’s MP4/26, Both Lewis and Jenson took turns on Saturday morning Lewis did a particularly good job of doughnuting Jenson’s Canadian GP winning machine in the entry/exit of the assembly area before handing the car over to JB. ‘Kinky Kylie’ last year’s championship winning RB7 was on hand for Red Bull pilots Mark Webber on Sunday and Festival debutant and current World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who was clearly in his element, “ it’s like a fun fair with all the cars you dreamed of as a child. I’ll definitely be back” he told Bruce Jones at the top of the hill after performing several doughnuts to the delight of the crowd. A T127 from Caterham’s 2010 season was on hand for Heikki Kovalainen. Last season’s MGP W02 with a version of this year’s stepped nose from Mercedes Benz with Kiwi Brendan Hartley and Nico Rosberg sharing driving duties. Lotus brought a 2010 Renault R30 resprayed in this year’s black and gold livery for Jerome D’Ambrosio to demo, and boy did he! getting the unofficial award for the best doughnuts of the weekend managing four consecutive revolutions before tearing off still torturing the rear Pirelli’s. The prize for getting the most ‘GoPro’ cameras on the car goes to Red Bull who managed to get six on to the RB7!
Three six-wheeled F1 prototypes were gathered for this year’s festival, the Williams FW08B, Tyrrell P34 and the newly restored March 2-4-0, sadly the only car running was Jeremy Smith’s March which proved very quick, Roger Wills recently shaken down P34 and the Williams were on static display in the F1 paddock.
Another welcome Festival returnee was German former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld who was reunited with the McLaren MP4/13 he set the as yet officially unbeaten outright hill record of 41.6 seconds back in 1998, it was because of this time that Modern F1 cars were banned from doing timed runs up the hill, although there is a strong rumour circulating that Alan McNish did a sub 40 second climb in a Toyota a few years later but as it was a ‘demo’ run no time was registered…
Add to this, Tony Brooks complete with period leather helmet driving the Connaught B-Type he won the 1955 Syracuse Grand Prix in, becoming the first British car/driver to win a GP since 1923. Paul and Jackie Stewart drove the Mercedes Benz 300SL that won both the 1952 Carrera Panamerica and Le Mans. Alain Prost also on his first visit to the Earl of March’s motorsport extravaganza wowed the huge crowd on Saturday with runs up the hill in the car he won four Grands Prix during the 1983 season, the Renault RE40. These were just a few snapshots of hundreds of magical moments throughout the weekend.
Lotus 60th Anniversary. 18th of May 1958 Monaco, Lotus entered its first Formula One race with the type 12 in the hands of Cliff Allison and Graham Hill, Cliff brought his home sixth, thirteen laps down on the Winner Maurice Trintignant, Hill’s car succumbed to a broken Half shaft after 69 of the 100 laps. Hill’s car, beautifully restored by Michael Bennett, came all the way from Adelaide to be part of the celebrations, where it was reunited with its former mechanic, now 83 years young, Merv Therriault , who made the trip from Canada!
Twenty seven other open wheeled Lotus’ racers joined the tiny type 12 of which twenty one made the climb up the Goodwood hill, piloted by Lotus ‘old boys’ Emerson Fittipaldi, Gold Leaf 49C and 72. The Earl of March, JPS 72E, John Surtees drove the very Lotus 18 he qualified on pole position for the 1960 Portugese GP his third championship start! Sir Stirling Moss in the Lotus 18 he won the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix, sans lower bodywork just as it was when he vanquished the works ‘shark nosed’ Ferrari Dino’s of Richie Ginther and Phil Hill. Classic Team Lotus boss Clive Chapman, took Dan Collins ex-Innes Ireland’s 1961 US GP winning type 21 for a spin, while Dan himself, last year’s timed shootout winner had another go with the radical twin chassis Lotus 88 and Manfredo Rossi shared his Martini sponsored Lotus 80 with Chris Dinnage of CTL, Johnny Mowlem had a go in the fabulous lotus type 125, Brendan Hartley and Emanuele Pirro both drove Roger Will’s ex Nigel Mansell Lotus 92 and Dane Tom Kristensen enjoyed Zak Brown’s Lotus 98T.
Motorcycles. No less than 68 racing motorcycles were present with giants of the sport in attendance to show them off for the crowd, John Surtees, Sammy Miller, Neil Hodgson, Arron Slight, Troy Corser, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, Tommy Hill, Cal Crutchlow and Kenny Roberts were just a few of the big names present, que big wheelies and burnouts and appreciative applause and cheering every time the bikes hit the track.
The Forest Rally Stage. The weather played its part in making the rally stage a tricky proposition for everyone this year, the wet/ drying chalk surface was like ice in places and with studded tyres not allowed there were a fair few spills. TV chef and proper petrol head James Martin brought the oldest car to the stage his Ex Paddy Hopkirk 1963 Morris Mini Cooper S. WRC rising star Thierry Neuville made good use of the brand new Citroen DS3 WRC both on the Hill climb and in the forest with some highly entertaining runs in both arenas. Giniel De Villiers brought his Toyota Hilux Dakar racer which he took a fine third in this year’s event out. In one of the runs on Sunday morning he clipped one of the banks and punctured the rear right tyre only noticing it was flat on landing from the jump! Skoda once again fielded the potent little Fabia S2000 with Juho Hanninnen, Jan Kopecky and Andrea Mikkelsen sharing driving duties.
Top twenty timed Shootout. For many the highlight of a frankly highlight strewn event, the Sunday shoot out for the fastest time is THE serious bit of the Festival of Speed. This year was no exception with the twenty fastest cars lining up to do battle for the laurels and the bubbly. Favourite had to be last year’s winner, Dan Collins in the Lotus 88, however the Lotus pilot faced some stiff competition in the shape of Jaguar specialist Justin law who fielded a stunning Jaguar XJR 8/9, Rod Millen looked in good shape in his Toyota Tacoma pikes peak special as did Gary Ward driving the Adrian Newey designed Leyton House CG901 of 1990 vintage who had set the fastest time of the weekend thus far with a 45.74 sec run on Saturday afternoon. However it didn’t pan out as many pundits including me expected. Rod Millen’s commitment was stunning, clipping the grass on the inside of Molecombe and drifting wide onto the grass on the outside. Rod kept his boot firmly in but a 1000 BHP combined with the damp grass was his undoing, the truck gained traction unevenly and despite some great driving the hay bales just before the flint wall didn’t yield as much as the front of the Tacoma. With just the six quickest left to run and cement dust down, things got interesting! Daniel Lloyd posted a good run in his Porsche 911GT3 cup, but was out paced by Michael Bartels in the Maserati MC12, Michael Krumm in the Nissan GTR GT1 couldn’t beat Bartel’s time, which left Ex-BTCC star Anthony Reid, in the brand new Chevron GR8 GT, Law’s Jag and Ward’s Leyton House. Reid’s run was simply stunning, he had, had only three runs prior to the shootout and pulled 46.46 out of the bag with a run that commanded absolute concentration from the Scot. Law was next but couldn’t beat Reid, breaking the beam with a time of 47.05 and 142 MPH across the finish line. Ward lined up last to go and was quickest in sector one but lost time in sector two blasting across the line with a 46.80 time for second.
Thus ended another fantastic Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s clichéd I know but it just gets better every year, my thanks to the Earl of March for putting on another stunning event, to all the marshals who as always do a fine job and to the media team for looking after us so brilliantly, see you all at the Revival.