RAC Cars News


2015 Goodwood Festival Of Speed

By raccars Published

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This year's Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place this weekend and is a fantastic day out for motor fans and families alike. The doors were opened on Thursday with the Moving Motor Show, showcasing new metal from 20 different manufacturers.

The site is dominated this year by a 40 metre tall sculpture by Gerry Judah, designed to celebrate Mazda's motorsport successes and featuring the 787B Le Mans winner and the LM55 Vision Gran Turismo concept. The statue sits outside Goodwood house and perfectly illustrates the theme for this year's festival: 'Flat out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge,' paying tribute to some of motorsport's most spectacular moments.

The main feature of Goodwood is of course the hill climb, a 1.16 mile run beginning among the trees in a southern corner of the estate, passing Goodwood House and then racing between flint walls and dense groves of woodland, before reaching the fabulous South Downs and the famous Goodwood equine racecourse. Even the best racing drivers in the world find themselves challenged by the hill climb's technical difficulties. Nonetheless, some 300 vehicles take on the sprint every day during the festival. The record to beat is 41.6 seconds, set in 1999 by Nick Heidfeld, driving a McLaren MP4-13.

Climbs are divided into classes, grouping cars of similar style or age, with the oldest taking the first run. This year will see the Lexus GS F and Aston Martin Vantage GT12 making their debut hill climbs, plus the first public challenge for 101 years of the Fiat S76, a 28 litre vintage racer in the 'Edwardian Leviathans' category.

Other new metal to thrill visitors at the show this year includes Nissan's super hot compact SUV Juke-R Nismo, the new Lotus 3-Eleven, a blisteringly fast track racer and a possible appearance by the £50,000 Renault Alpine sports car. The brand new Mazda MX-5, the McLaren P1 GTR and the updated Bentley Continental range will also all be on display.

Five Formula One teams will be joining the fun and special displays will be held to honour motorsport stars, Gilles Villeneuve and Derek Bell. NASCAR is also making its biggest ever representation of racers, led by the legendary driver, Richard Petty. A drifting category will give fans a chance to gawp at the skills of James Deane and Ken Block in his 'Hoonicorn,' a modified Ford Mustang worth 850bhp.

You can also relax and take a break from the adrenaline temporarily with the concours d'elegance and its usual supercar paddock, this year celebrating the 60th anniversary of Citroen's DS brand and 80 years of Figoni et Falaschi.

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