Top 10 highlights from the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019
1. 2019 was a momentous year for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with Romain Dumas setting a new fastest time up the famous hillclimb in the electric VW ID.R. Many wondered whether Nick Heidfeld’s 20-year old record in a McLaren Formula 1 car would ever be broken, but, after falling short in 2018, Dumas successfully tamed the tricky 1.16 mile course with a scarcely believable time of 39.9 seconds. This proved especially fitting given the theme of this year’s Festival: ‘Speed Kings – Motorsport’s Record Breakers.’
2. Drift cars wowed the crowds in noisy and smoky fashion in ‘The Arena,’ a new and incredibly popular addition to the Festival of Speed. Watching James Deane and Vaughn Gittin Jr drifting side-by-side in extremely close proximity was a real eye-opener as to the level of skill involved, and it was interesting to observe the drivers using differential braking to control individual wheels to keep the car sideways. There was also an appearance from ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, whose new Lamborghini Huracan required the attention of marshals wielding fire extinguishers to put out the burning rubber lodged in the car’s brakes – apparently nothing unusual in the world of drifting!
3. Valtteri Bottas certainly knows how to put on a show, lighting up the tyres of a 2017 Mercedes F1 car in a burnout that lasted from the exit of Molecomb to the start of the Flint Wall. Surely that’s worthy of some extra points in the F1 World Championship?
4. Lando Norris was another F1 star who entertained on his run up the hill in a McLaren M8D Can-Am car. Despite being on a wet track, the young British driver still exploited the power of the 7.6 litre Chevrolet V8 engine in spectacular style. Demonstrating just how challenging the car and the conditions were, he later admitted that he didn’t get out of 2nd gear!
Top left: Central Feature Bottom left: Aston Martin DBR1 Right: Aston Martin 11hp Prototype
5. The 70th anniversary of Aston Martin was celebrated for this year’s Central Feature, which saw a DBR1 suspended 30 metres in the air outside of Goodwood House. The marque had a dedicated class of cars taking part in the hillclimb, which included the oldest remaining Aston Martin – the 1921 11hp Prototype.
6. On the rally stage, 6-time World Champion Sebastien Ogier flung his Citroen C3 WRC through the forest, joined by several other well-known rallying names, including M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans, Subaru USA’s Oliver Solberg (along with his father and 2003 World Champion Petter Solberg) and Ken Block in his Ford Escort Cosworth.
Left: De Tomaso P72 Top right: Honda e Bottom right: Polestar 2
7. Goodwood is often chosen by manufacturers as a location to reveal their latest models and 2019 was no exception. The stunningly curvaceous De Tomaso P72 made its first public appearance, as did the all-electric Polestar 2 and Honda e, the latter being driven up the hill for its world ‘dynamic’ debut.
Left: Porsche 935 (2019) Top right: Ferrari SP3JC Bottom right: Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
8. If you like supercars, then the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the place to be. The Michelin Supercar Paddock featured, among many others, Porsche’s modern re-creation of the legendary 935 racer, the one-off Ferrari SP3JC (based on the F12tdf) and the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante.
Left: Porsche 918 Spyder Top right: McLaren 720S Bottom right: Ferrari 488
9. As if that was not enough, the supercar parking adjacent to the main paddock was filled with a vast number of vehicles, including a Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren 720S, Ferrari 488 and a ridiculously large collection of Lamborghini Huracan Performantes. You could easily spend an hour or more drinking in all the glorious metal on display, and this wasn’t even part of the event itself!
10. In the paddocks, there was the usual diverse array of race and rally cars that left me pondering what car I’d take up the hill if given the chance. I settled on the Martini-liveried Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo in full tarmac rally spec, complete with vented wheel covers to improve brake cooling.
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