The 2018 Festival of Speed: Power & Prestige at Goodwood
2018 saw the 25th running of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and in doing so reached a landmark milestone for the event, its Silver Jubilee. Since its inception way back in 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has quickly become one of the highlights on the motoring calendar.
Taking place in the grounds of Goodwood House, itself situated on the idyllic Goodwood Estate, the event pulls together the best of the best and the who’s who from the motoring and motorsport world alike and it was a real pleasure to be in attendance with both friends and colleagues at an event we are very fortunate to have on our doorstep.
2018’s event also coincided with many notable celebrations for a number of car makers with both Porsche, Land Rover and Lotus all celebrating their 70th anniversaries. Given the size and scale of the event, what better place to celebrate your milestones and successes than the Goodwood Festival of Speed and it was the former that stole the spotlight as Porsche laid on the, now renowned, centrepiece sculpture which takes pride of place outside the front of Goodwood house.
As in previous years, this sculpture features notable and iconic vehicles from the manufacturer for which it represents and this year the structure saw the likes of Porsche Le Mans LMP1 Car the 919, the 911 R and 918 supercar to name but a few. Every day throughout the event this impressive sculpture was backlit by fireworks as Porsche’s 70th anniversary was celebrated outside the front of the house. Porsche had a high level of presence at this years event, but it wasn’t all about the German manufacturer.
The beauty of the Festival of Speed is that it pulls together a selection of not only cars but bikes too from a range of motorsport and motoring categories and included in that selection this year were some notable standouts. These included the Porsche 919 LMP1 Evo Tribute machine that was fresh back from its record-breaking Nurburgring lap a matter of weeks before. Essentially an LMP1 car revised without the need to follow a rulebook, it is one of the fastest race cars ever produced and shows exactly what can be done when engineers are allowed free reign.
The 919 Evo wasn’t the only high profile Le Mans machine in attendance as just a short walk away was the Le Mans-winning Toyota TS050 LMP1 number 8 car in which Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and a certain Fernando Alonso drove to overall Le Mans glory back at the famous enduro in June.
For fans of endurance racing, you were certainly spoilt for choice as accompanying these contemporary machines were some classics from days past and offered visitors to the event unrivalled access to both drivers and machines. Formula One was also well represented at this year's event with a majority of current teams in attendance. Goodwood Festival of Speed has, over the years, become the largest gathering of Formula One teams outside of an official Grand Prix weekend and whilst the teams get a chance to show off these fine machines on the famous Hillclimb, they also bring with them a fine selection of race cars from their historical back catalogues.
Alongside the great and the good from F1 it was a pleasure to see our long-standing friend, Lorina Mclaughlin present with her stunning, ex Michael Schumacher Benetton B192 car from the 1992 Formula One World Championship.
From the racetrack to the road the latest and the greatest in the supercar world was also present at the festival and the supercar paddock located near the houses stable yard featured an unrivalled selection of automotive exotica. Present this year were a plethora of machines from McLaren including the 600 LT and P1 GT which has been specially prepared by automotive specialists, Lanzante.
The Ferrari 488 Pista was also making it’s moving debut at the show and took to the Hillclimb alongside a range of machines from Ferrari which included the likes of the FXXK Evo. The prancing horse was just a small part of the wider Italian contingent which saw the likes of Pagani, Lamborghini and Maserati all taking to the hill over the course of the weekend to thrill the onlooking crowds.
A car that was very worthy of the attention that it received was the Porsche 911 ReImagined by Singer. An absolute masterclass on what is possible when utilising modern technical expertise and practices whilst retaining the shape of an automotive icon. The attention to detail that was present on this machine had to be seen to be believed. Whether that was the gold detailing around the instruments on the dashboard or the exposed gear linkages in the transmission tunnel, this thing was a sight to behold.
Throughout the festival site, there was a range of static displays showcasing a range of supercars and it was a real pleasure to see one of our great customers own McLaren MP4-12C on display on the cricket pitch. Buying from us last summer, Tim Arnold’s vibrant McLaren has seen a fantastic 12 months and it’s only fitting he celebrated his year of ownership at such a special event.
It was also a pleasure to spend some time with valued customers Kenny and Andy from watches of Knightsbridge who had Kenny’s Porsche GT3 RS, which he also purchased from us last year, take centre stage inside their pavilion.
Another highlight of the Festival of Speed is the now annual Bonhams auction. Featuring a range of lots from cars ranging from the rare to the exotic to items of memorabilia and charity lots, the Bonhams auction see's a range of exciting items go under the hammer. This year lots included a heavily modified Land Rover Defender, that was used extensively in the filming for the James Bond film Spectre, right through to a, one previous owner 1957 BMW 507. That one owner being the late, great John Surtees. At the fall of the hammer, the Surtees BMW had fetched over £3 Million. However, the BMW wasn't the only car to achieve a high hammer price. An incredibly rare Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, pictured below, raised a final sale price of a cool £10 Million.
Whether you are a car fanatic or not, there truly was something for everyone to be amazed by at this year's festival and the off-track thrills came no bigger than JetPack aviation’s CEO David Mayman taking to the famous Hillclimb wearing his own JB11 jetpack. With a reported service ceiling of 10,000ft and a top speed of 200 mph, David wowed the crowds with his creation as he went up and down the Hillclimb outside the front of Goodwood house.
Over to the manufacturer pavilions and the latest in all things road cars were very much on display. The latest from manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover was all on display for the public to see and highlights from these manufacturers included Aston’s mighty new DBS Superleggera, Land Rovers 2018 model year Range Rover and Range Rover coupe, of which only 999 will be hand built.
The Mercedes Benz pavilion brought the AMG Project One hypercar to UK shores for the first time officially. The modified Formula One car engined machine features the same engine in part that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas use in their race cars on a Grand Prix weekend and represents a first proper attempt in applying a Formula One powertrain to a non-single seat racing car in a more 'mass production' run.
The Festival of Speed just seems to get better and better year upon year and it’s a testament to not only the manufacturers but the private owners of some of these cars and bikes that allow us the chance to get up close and personal to some of our motoring heroes and icons. An event that is now a permanent fixture in all of the Premier GT teams calendars, the 2018 event certainly didn’t disappoint and we look forward to what Lord March has planned over the next quarter of a century.