Milestones & Celebrations: The 2019 Goodwood Festival Of Speed
We may only have a few weeks of summer in the United Kingdom every year, but whilst it's here, us Brits sure know how to make the most of it. Pinned to the calendar in the midst of Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has established itself as one of the events of the year.
Like strawberries and cream are to Wimbledon, star cars and drivers are seemingly Goodwoods natural relationship. Pulling together the cream of the motorsport and wider automotive world, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a treat for the senses and even if you show just a passing interest in all things automotive then there truly is no better place to be than Goodwood.
Running continually since 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place on the Duke of Richmond’s globally renowned Goodwood estate and this year's edition of the event saw a number of highlights.
Given the rich tapestry that is the history of the motor car and racing, there were a number of notable anniversaries at this year's event and taking centre stage was seventy years of Aston Martin and it was their brand which flanked this years centre sculpture.
Rising high above Goodwood House was the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hour winner, the DBR1 as it commanded it’s presence across the festival site. Every day at noon a plethora of iconic Astons would gather outside the house as an orchestral band played Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory to fireworks. Included in the lineup were Aston’s from its endurance racing programmes from both past and present and the latest and greatest from its road car division.
Elsewhere on the festival site, hypercar heavyweight Pagani was celebrating twenty years of being amongst the supercar elite. With a number of the marque's models on display from the original Zonda right up to the Huayra, it’s ascent into the realms of supercar stardom was plain to see.
Whilst others were celebrating milestones in their history, another iconic brand was making a dramatic comeback. After years out of the spotlight, legendary car maker De Tomaso announced its blistering return to the supercar fray on the opening day of the festival as the company took the wraps off of its all-new P72.
Saved from obscurity by Hong-Kong based Ideal Team Ventures back in 2014, the P72 project has been spearheaded by the group's chairman Norman Choi who had ambitions to take the Italian maker back to its glory days. A retro-inspired design, the P72 is a nod to its former forays into endurance racing and it’s other racing conquests.
Away from the road and supercars, there was also much to see from a motorsport point of view as Michael Schumacher's 50th birthday was celebrated. Looking back over five decades of the F1 icons life, all the key cars from Schumacher's illustrious career were on display. Whether that was his Formula Ford car, the Jordan 191 in which he made his F1 debut or the all-conquering Ferrari F2002 and F2004, all of Schumacher’s key cars were in attendance.
On a weekend that saw Schumacher celebrated, it was also a pleasure to catch up with a friend of Premier GT Lorina Mclaughlin who took her own ex-Schumacher Benetton B192 up the famous Goodwood Hillclimb.
Whilst the Hillclimb aspect forms the hub of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, as the festival has grown over the years, so has the number of live elements and new for this year was the action sports arena which saw Mad Mike Whiddett thrill the crowds in his frankly bonkers 800bhp Lamborghini Huracan drift car. Needless to say, much smoke and tyre squealing prevailed at this corner of the festival.
The Festival of Speed is a truly diverse event and brings together a selection of cars and bikes unlike any other. Before we conclude our wrap up of this year's event we must mention Volkswagens acclaimed I.D. R racecar which took to the Goodwood Hillclimb in an attempt to claim the top of the timesheets.
A Hillclimb record that has stood since Nick Heidfeld delivered his 41.6 second time in a McLaren Formula One race car back in 1999, until now, no one has been able to topple it. That was however before Volkswagens attempt on Saturday.
An all-electric machine, the I.D. R concept gives a glimpse of what is possible from an electric future. Whilst machines of this calibre divide purists, what is clear however is their performance potential as the Volkswagen staked claim to a mighty 39.9-second climb.
Whilst the Goodwood Festival of Speed always takes a moment to celebrate the past, it simultaneously acts as a looking glass into the future and this years event was the perfect amalgamation of old and new. An event to be savoured, we very much look forward to the 2020 edition.
To view a gallery of images from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, please click here.