Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to the present day ... Michael Schumacher
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Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 ... A legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to...
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Chichester, 4th - 7th of July, 2019

Once again Goodwood have been a blast, not only for the ones going up the hill but also for the thousands of visitors swarming to Goodwood house in south-west of England. What started 26 years ago in 1993 as a small festival of like minded petrol heads turned into the biggest moving motor show one could imagine and not few of those missing the last editions or even being here for the first time were simply overwhelmed by the size and the quality of the event. Since the London motor show closed its doors some years ago the interest of the international brands turned towards Goodwood and not only do they built huge temporary show rooms at the infield but also choose Goodwood for the unveiling of new offerings, so not few cars celebrated their global debut at the FoS as the re-introduction of the De Tomaso brand on one end but also the unveiling of the new Porsche 911 RSR right on the starting line. Not many cars can claim to have a timed run up the hill minutes after being shown to the public for the very first time but this approach certainly shows the philosophy of the brand from Stuttgart.

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Right after WW-II the name Porsche became synonymous for success on the race track soon after it lost the stigma of being a tuned up Beetle. After numerous race victories and class wins at the famous 24h of Le Mans it was in 1969 when Porsche finally set the goal to go for the overall victory at La Sarthe with the all new Porsche 917. Although it did not work out in the first year when Ickx / Oliver took another win for the Ford GT40 in 1970 finally the 917 gave Porsche the first of countless titles. So right next to the 1968/69 winning Gulf livered Ford (being reunited with its two drivers on the weekend) there was a fleet of almost a dozen 917 lined-up in the paddocks. Taking into consideration that the factory museum only sent over a single 917 in Gulf colors (having two of them in the collection) due to the still ongoing 917-exhibition in Zuffenhausen this was certainly a great appearance. Due to the tough life of some of the racers some might complain about the different quality of some of the cars ranging from the genius 1970 Le Mans winner to replicas built out of spares. Highlights included the mentioned Porsche Salzburg racer that won Le Mans in the hands of Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood who was present in Goodwood, the long tail Martini livered car from the Le Mans Museum and the road going car of Count Rossi. Rossi bought the car in 1975 after its racing career and being test bed to convert it into a road legal car including leather interior and registered it in Alabama. Furthermore no less than 4 short tail versions with the famous Gulf livery were standing next to each other.

Double the age is the brand that celebrates its centenary this year as Bentley Motors turned 100. In 1919 W. O. Bentley founded the original Bentley Motor company that should become a main player both in the luxury car sales but also in long distance racing. After the first attempts under private hands in Le Mans with the 3 Litre model W.O. was back throughout the 1920s achieving no less than 5 victories at La Sarthe despite the fact that the cars were not designed as pure race cars. The last victories in 1929/30 were even achieved with the Speed Six, a car in production for several years but never intended to race but to carry heavy luxury coachwork as been seen on the infield display with the gorgeous Weyman Coupe once owned by Glen Kidston.

After racing the four-cylinder 3 and 4.5 Litre cars finally the 6-cylinder model arrived at Le Mans. As W.O. never was a fan of supercharging this technology was brought to the Cricklewood cars by one of the Bentley Boys, Henry Birkin with the financial help of Dorothy Paget. Two of the famous Birkin Blowers were seen in Goodwood this weekend with the single seater and the one owned by Bentley Motors themselves in addition to two of the works Speed Six, Old No.2 and Old No.3 with just the heavily modified Old No.1 missing to complete the Le Mans line-up.

Bentleys were always driven and the club scene in England saw a lot of racing since the Drivers Club was founded early on. Many car were modified putting the huge 8-litre engine in the smallest 3-litre chassis but few of them were as radical as the Jumbo Goddard special that features twin-turbocharger to get 550 HP out of the huge straight-6.

Decades later Bentley Motors, now in the possession of the Volkswagen Group was back in Le Mans and the Speed 8 achieved the sixth and final victory, the winning car driven by one of its original pilots Guy Smith that weekend.

Not few thought that Bentley would be the central display in front of Goodwood house but obviously the marketing department of Aston Martin had other plans as 70 years of Aston Martin in Goodwood and the 60th anniversary of the sole Le Mans victory of the British marque was celebrated this weekend. On the sculpture of Gerry Judah a single Aston DBR1 was high in the sky above Goodwood house. On all days during lunch time in between the batches the participating Astons were lined-up under the sculpture and a firework brought the “Aston Martin Moment”.

Aston Martin started as a very small company with its name coming from the Aston Hill Climb were Lionel Martin participated early in his life with modified cars before founding Aston Martin in 1913. Very early models included the oldest surviving Aston 11hp A3 belonging to the Aston Martin Heritage Trust, “Green Pea” and the very narrow “Razo Blade”. In the late 1920s finally the 1.5-Litre engined International was introduced that put the small company on the map as the later Le Mans and Ulster models of this range gave them numerous class wins. During the time of the Ulster Models the company was owned by Italian born Bertelli and so some of the Ulsters as seen in Goodwood started in Italian Red rather than British Racing Green after the BRG was believed to be an unlucky color after some fails in LM. Certainly Aston Martin would have shared the same fate of many other pre-war manufacturer disappearing after the war but fortunately tractor magnate David Brown was keen on winning Le Mans with a car carrying his own name and so Brown bought both Aston Martin and Lagonda resulting in the DB-Series that should become world famous with the DB5 of James Bond. But to some the earlier DB4 models are the pure Touring design with the famous Superleggera badge on the side. And the DB4 was also used in racing in the shortened DB4 GT version and later even with the lightweight Zagato body. Not only one Zagato could be seen this weekend but two as beside the one running up the hill another one was on display at the Cartier Style et Luxe Concours.

Unfortunately the actual Le Mans winning DBR1 did not make it to Goodwood but still one could be seen as Chassis 5 was going up the hill all days. Finally all three Project cars, 212, 214 and the recently sold 215 were lined-up in Goodwood.

But not only car and brands were celebrated but Goodwood is also about the drivers. It was Sir Jackie Stewart celebrating his 80th birthday last month and it was 50 years ago he won his first WDC title. Together with his two sons he was running up the hill with his three championship winning cars.

Another legend was celebrated with the most successful F1 driver to the present day, Michael Schumacher. For known reasons Michael could not be present celebrating his 50th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his first title but apart from him the main players of his successful career could be seen in Goodwood on Sunday. Be it Damon Hill who fought with Schumacher for his first WDC and driving the championship winning Benetton very much to the delight of Ross Brawn, Schumacher’s closest partner in the success both at Benetton and Ferrari. Not few joked about Damon still looking for the ominous traction control button in Schumacher’s Benetton. The celebration in front of Goodwood house featured an example of every championship winning Benetton and Ferrari as well as the Van-Diemen Ford that started Michael’s single seater career.

Corinna Schumacher was seen alongside Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Luca di Montezemolo bringing back great memories to all those following his career. Mika Hakkinen also payed tribute as the already mentioned Damon Hill. Rubens Barichello was there as well driving his Brawn GP that would become the Mercedes Works team Michael ended his career after the comeback to complete the circle after being in Mercedes junior program racing alongside Jochen Mass and Karl Wendlinger with the Sauber.

Last but not least one has to mention that on Saturday the spectators witnessed the fastest ever clocked time up the hill. 20 years after a young Nick Heidfeld was driving up the hill in the McLaren F1 car of the time it was the all-electric Volkswagen ID.R in the hands of Romain Dumas who was the very first to go up the hill in less than 40 seconds. Unfortunately the official record is only the one done on Sunday at the shootout but the rainy weather with a drying road prevented further improvement so at least on paper the 20 year old record is still intact. But after competing last year in the Pikes Peak configuration the VW was prepared with a lighter battery and less wings for the shorter and straighter hill in Goodwood compared to the long run through endless corners into the clouds of Pikes Peak. The question will be whether this sub-40 sec run is enough for VW or whether they will be back for the official record in the years to come. As the current F1 cars are not chasing the record anymore for safety reasons but going for the show with donuts and burnouts there might be not much competition for the purpose built electric vehicle.

Electric is also the future at Goodwood as several fully electric cars took the hill including another run of the autonomous Roboracer that was again pretty quick.

So after the second major Goodwood weekend after the Members Meeting in April there will be another big event coming up in September with the annual Revival on the nearby Goodwood Race Track. Together with the British F1 GP coming up these events are clearly the most popular motorsport events in the UK and it is breathtaking what the Goodwood team built up in the last 26 years. Some will always complain that it is more and more about the sponsors and the commercial partners but one first have to get in the position to get them all on board. On some occasions it might not be to the delight of the spectators but certainly these sponsors make this event possible that is unequalled worldwide. We are looking forward to the next editions in July to discover some new and old things like the small Ferrari 166 MM that apparently never missed a single edition after being the first car up the hill in 1993.

Report & images … Peter Singhof
www.ClassicCarPhotography.de


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