Tuesday 30 June 2015

Goodwood Festival of Speed (2/2)

Part 2 - Everything Else
Since Goodwood is such a large event and there is so much to see, I thought I'd split this post into two parts. One with just the Mazda content I got to view, and this one to focus on my wider experience whilst there.
So after spending some time on Mazda's first stand, I moved next door to the Ford area which was split onto several levels. I had a look at the aggressive looking new Focus RS, and they also had an original GT40 suspended in the air, working cutaway models of their engine range, and a preview of the next generation GT40. This car was placed in a glass box and was difficult to photograph, this must have been intention on Ford's part. Once you reached the top level of the stand you had a good view of the surrounding area and there was even a helter skelter slide back down to the bottom.

Next to the Ford stand, Nissan were showing their new LMP1 class car, the GT-R LM NISMO. I'd read about this car with it's unconventional front engined front wheel drive layout. Seeing it in person, it looks really cool, and as with all the LMP1 cars, they're a lot smaller than you think when you're stood next to it.
Michelin had their own stand showcasing some of the cars that have used their tyres in the past. They also had a guy dressed as the Michelin man in an inflatable suit, and a cool photo opportunity podium display.
Toyota's stand featured their blue and white liveried TS040 world endurance car, along with the FT-1 concept, an original MkIV Supra, and even a 2000GT.
Honda had one of the most innovative stands I've seen at a show. Their cars were displayed like scale models in cardboard boxes with plastic windows, except the scale was 1:1. Full size cars made to look like toys, they even had the Honda powered MP4/30 in a box labelled "limited edition 1 of 2". The new Civic Type-R was attracting a good crowd, and sitting atop the stand was the new NSX, though it was reserved for media viewings only. I also got a glimpse of the Koeniggsegg Regera and what a good looking car that is. The One:1 with its 1341Bhp was also at Goodwood.
Audi's stand was one of the largest, they were showing the whole range, including the new R8 V10, and a concept car showing their future design direction. The new RS3 was tied up outside, apparently it's a bit restless. Audi were giving away free bags with brochures and other stuff in so I grabbed a few of those, seemed like everyone else did too. After Audi, we headed up to the Porsche centre, it was getting quite warm so I was glad to get into their air conditioned stand. Outside they had a nice clean 919 world endurance car, and inside I got up close with the 918 Spyder hypercar, a stunning looking machine.
After a bite to eat (scampi & chips @ £8.50) we crossed over the track and headed for the paddock area. Just like at the pageant of power, the paddock is a working area with cars moving around so it's a good idea to keep your eyes and ears open. With that in mind I somehow found myself stood outside Richard "The King" Petty's garage space as he was returning from the track. The sound of that car was something else and right behind were his NASCAR buddies. They sounded awesome from just a few feet away, just a really powerful sound.
There were iconic race cars everywhere in the paddock. Derek Bell's Harrods McLaren F1, Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari, Alonso's Renault, Prost's Ferrari and Senna's McLarens to name but a few. Nico Hulkenberg's Le Mans winning Porsche 919 was there, still covered in 24 hours of grime, but proudly showing off the trophy. In the Monster Energy paddock you could find Ken Block's custom Mustang Hoonicorn. Below are some pictures to give you a taste of what was on show.
Taking pride of place on the TAG Heuer stand was Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4/4, the most successful F1 car ever made. This car even had its own security guards. As well as several of their F1 cars, McLaren's road car unit also had a large presence at the show. Their stand featured an extremely rare McLaren F1 GT 'longtail' road car. This was originally built to meet the FIA's homologation purposes, I believe only 3 were ever made.
Away from the paddock there was a concours area featuring some very clean and very rare exotic cars. I spent a while trying to choose a favourite between the black F40 or the red F1, in the end it was too close to call. It was nice to see a yellow Bugatti EB110 too, not seen one of those in the metal before. The unique Ferrari P4/5 was looking very cool too.
Elsewhere around the show it was good to get a glimpse of some more modern F1 tech from Red Bull and Ferrari, and I think Honda were having fun with their miniature street layout and letting youngsters ride mini bikes around it. In the Michelin supercar paddock, Ferrari's XX programme were showing the new FXX K, it reminds me of something Hot Wheels would come up with.
After seeing most of the stands and displays we did a bit of spectating at Molecomb corner where I spotted a very expensive traffic jam featuring the new Aston Martin Vulcan making many noises. Speaking of noises, we were also treated to an aerial display by the awesome Eurofighter Typhoon, that thing is loud!
When we first talked about going to the festival, we knew there would be too much to take in if we only went for the one day so we booked tickets for the Saturday and Sunday. We stayed in a hotel the Saturday night about an hour's drive from the estate, which was as close as we could find. I think if we went again, we'd book even earlier, at least 6 months in advance. I'd recommend visiting Goodwood to anyone into motorsport, the variety on show here was awesome and it was a great weekend.

I'll finish up this post with a look at the engine that powered Roger Clark's Gobstopper 2 Impreza to victory in this year's final shootout. This car was built for hillclimb events and packs around 780Bhp.