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Goodwood, March 19, 2009

On a glorious bright and sunny spring day, Lord March unveiled the plans and themes for this year's Festival of Speed at a special press preview day at Goodwood House. Amongst those in attendance were ex-F1 legends Damon Hill, Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, together with rally aces Rauno Aaltonen and Russell Brookes plus Le Mans drivers Richard Attwood and Anthony Reid. There was also a wide variety of delectable machinery, including a 1909 Morgan three wheeler, the company celebrates its centenary this year, as do Audi, who had an Auto Union Type D "Silver Arrows" and a Quattro Sport S1 on display representing their great motor sport heritage. They will also be the main feature marque at the Festival of Speed in July, with what is promised to be an awe inspiring sculpture on the main lawn in front of Goodwood House.

The theme of this year's edition is "True Grit - Epic Feats of Endurance", to celebrate the courage of motor sport heroes, who overcame physical, mental and mechanical problems to achieve their aims. It was also announced that current F1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, would be in attendance, and that he would realise one of his dreams, by driving his childhood hero, Ayrton Senna's 1988 McLaren-Honda MP4/4 up the hill. It was also announced that his charity, the Lewis Hamilton Foundation, which focuses on improving the lives and opportunities of sick or impoverished youngsters around the world to try and help them achieve their dream or goal in life, will be the event's official 2009 charity.

1959 saw the birth of the iconic Mini, so it has its Golden Anniversary this year, and to celebrate this it will feature strongly at the Festival in July and also at the Revival Meeting in September. As a prelude, on the press day a dozen mini skirt clad models aided by Lord March and Damon Hill squeezed into an original example of the car. Another centenary is that of Bugatti, and the Cartier "Style et Luxe" concours at the Festival of Speed will have a special class for the marquee. Renowned British model (and some time race driver) Jodie Kidd was at the preview day, resplendent in period costume to pose with a Gangloff bodied 1937 Type 57C, after having demonstrated a Maserati Gransport on the hill.

Note the dates of the Festival of Speed in your diary now, 03 - 05 July 2009, and enjoy one of the world's top motoring extravaganzas, where you can get up close and personal with motor sport legends and their machines, plus enjoy great action, both on the hill and on the rally stage with a garden party atmosphere.

Keith Bluemel